a short diary of some part of my life.

Posts from the Travel Category

Here’s an idea: Let’s put aircraft black boxes in the cloud

As searchers from more than two dozen countries continue to look for the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, some transportation experts are calling for a revamp of the traditional black box flight recorder, recommending that at least some key flight data be transmitted from aircraft to the cloud.

Great idea but how do they upload the data in the middle of nowhere?

Rue du Faubourgh Saint-Honore

The world’s famous Rue du Faubourgh Saint-Honore. This is the Disneyland for high-end shoppers. I like the street much better than the also famous Champs-Elysees. I guess I like a quieter street.

I can’t remember the name of the street. But boy, the street looks absolutely stunning at night. It’s somewhere around Champs-Elysees.

I didn’t get the chance to have dinner on the boat due to freezing weather. As always, there is always next time. And the next time I’ll go, it’ll be in the summer.

Grand Palais

It is indeed Grandeur.

The Élysée Palace

The French President residence. I stayed just across the street. After 9 PM, I had to show the security guard my security pass that I was staying right across the street. It’s the French’s White House.

Tep is the answer for you who must have internet access anywhere in France. Not only it gives you internet access, it is actually quite fast considering the time frame I was in France. I guess tourists visiting France during high season do not use internet.

Weeks before my departure to France, I booked one mifi with unlimited data. The standard 100 MB per day is not enough even for regular usage. Keep in mind that the unlimited data is not truly unlimited. They should not have branded it as unlimited. The fair usage for unlimited data is 500 MB per day. After you pass that mark, you can no longer use the internet. I thought it would slow down just like similar services that I am familiar with but it didn’t, it will simply stop working. Tep will send you countless notifications that say you are about to pass the limit and they are giving  you 200 MB for free.

Their communication was very poor. This was where Tep did not do its’ job very well. I requested for additional 1 GB to one CS (customer service) rep but another CS rep replied with their original response which explained that I was about to pass the limit. And it went on and on and on with various CS reps replying to my email scatteredly without proper responses and directions. It seemed like they never discussed the subject in the CS team. Like all service providers, renting an extra battery is expensive so I brought my own battery pack (10000 mAh), much larger than their offering.

Despite the piss poor communication on their part, I enjoyed using Tep service. It’s reliable and fast. The only dead spot that I found was when I boarded the TGV from Nice to Paris. The download and upload speeds are 5 MB / 1 MB.

Things that you should be aware of:

  • In the package they send you, there are two USB cables for charging, a 5V charger, a pouch, manuals, and a shipping bag along with Tep address label for return.
  • Tep is based in the UK. So, you must return the mifi to the UK. You should find out the time it takes to ship the mifi from Tep to your destination.
  • On Sunday, post office is closed in France. If you want to receive or ship the mifi back to them, you should do it on Saturday. There is a post office near the Louvre in Paris that closes at 6 AM on Sunday.
  • The return label is on you. You must purchase the shipping label. They don’t offer paid shipping label back to the UK. The cost is about €7-12 depending on options you choose.
  • Tep unlimited data is not unlimited. They simply raise the limit to 500 MB from the standard 100 MB. After that fair usage limit is crossed, you cannot use anymore data. Unlike some truly unlimited who simply throttle down the speed after fair usage is used up, Tep will charge you considerable amount of €. I took the extra 1 GB for €44 which is a very expensive offering.
  • There is a considerable coupon code (30% off original booking) that you can use: CHEESIEFAN.
  • Bring you own battery pack. My 10000 mAh cost me about USD$40, that’s cheaper than renting an extra battery from Tep.