I am old fashioned. I have a simple mobile phone that makes phone calls and does text messaging. I have a camera that takes photographs. I have a PC that surfs the net, edits pictures and so on. They suit my needs and I am happy.
A couple of things happened recently that made me realize I’m falling behind. The first related to music. I barfined a girl from a gogo on Soi Cowboy and took her back to my apartment. She likes Thai pop music so I showed her my collection on the PC. She pulled out her Nokia combination phone – music player – camera – makeup case and asked me if I could give her the latest Clash album that I had on the PC.
She didn’t have a USB cable to connect her phone to my computer and my PC doesn’t do Bluetooth. Then I found her phone has a slot for a memory card. She showed me how to extract the card and I pulled out my SanDisk 9-in-1 memory card reader. I plugged the reader into my PC and found a slot that fit her card. Then I looked at my music files. It seems that recent CDs published by GMM Grammy are copy protected. When you rip them to a PC you have to run an application which transfers licensed WMA files to your computer. Hence I couldn’t copy the files to her card.
Now you try explaining to a 20 year old gogo girl from Buriram at 1 o’clock in the morning why I, the farang who can make money appear from ATMs at will, cannot do something simple like give her some music. I tried explaining file formats, encryption and Digital Rights Management but she wasn’t impressed. ‒Sorry, cannot do” would have done just as well.
Soon afterwards I was showing a Big Mango lady some photos I’d taken. She wanted copies on her phone. She too had a super combo phone that I think included a som tam maker, but no cable. ‒No problem” I thought. Surely her phone can read JPEG files. ‒I can do this.” I knew enough to locate the memory card on her phone and extracted a little piece of plastic smaller than my thumbnail that held 256MB of stuff. But it was smaller than anything my 9-in-1 reader had seen. I nearly lost it in the reader poking it into its slots. So I failed again. Instead I burned a CD of the pictures and gave it to her.
A few days later I saw she had one of the pictures as the background on her phone’s screen. ‒Did you find the cable?” I asked. ‒Oh no”, she said, ‒I displayed the picture from the CD on the computer screen and took its picture with my phone. Easy.” These Big Mango girls are clever as well as sexy.
Why didn’t I think of that?