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Yesterday Ded Moroz (a.k.a. Santa Claus a.k.a. Aunt Kelly) gave me a very cool new mobile phone. It’s a camera phone! And since I’ve been wanting a digital camera, I was most excited about this capability.

Within minutes of taking it out of the box, I had taken a photo of Aunt Kelly and attempted to send it to my e-mail address. I got an error message that said I needed to set up my Multimedia Messaging System. I looked at the instruction manual, which is in Russian, and didn’t get me very far, because even though I can order food and talk to repairmen in Russian, pages and pages of technical text still cause my eyes to glaze over.

I fooled around with the phone for awhile and then went to Nokia’s web site for help. Turns out you can get your MMS settings via text message on the website. Good! But the only service provider they had listed for Russia was Beeline, which is not my service provider. Bad.

I found the website of my service provider, MTS, and they even had an English version of the site. Good! They have a place where you can enter your telephone number to have the necessary text message sent to your phone. Very good! I entered my number several times, and got an error message each time. Bad.

I found the local MTS customer care phone number. I could understand everything the recorded message said, and then they even had an English option. Good! But it only gave me information that I could find on the internet, and didn’t give me the option of talking to a person. Bad.

I found the listing for all the MTS offices in St. Petersburg, and there were several within walking distance of my house. Good! I went to one office and there was a long line. Bad. I waited in line, and finally it was my turn. Good! But I had waited in the wrong line. There was only one agent who dealt with technical issues. Bad. It seemed there was only one person ahead of me in that line. Good! Her issue, whatever it was, took forever to deal with. Bad. Finally it was my turn. Good! The guy stood up and said, “I’ll be back in 15 minutes.” Bad. There was a chair in front of his station that I could sit in. Good! Then a woman came up to me and said “There are three people in line ahead of you.” Bad.

I left and went to the other MTS office in my neighborhood. There was no line. Good! I explained what I wanted to the technician. He said “Well, it’s a new technology, it might work, it might not.” Bad. I handed him my phone and he messed around with it for awhile and looked like he was making progress. Good! He handed it back and said again, “It might work, it might not.” I tried to send a photo. It didn’t work. Bad.

I left and went to a cafe and fiddled with my phone some more. I got a message saying my MMS settings had been received. Good! I tried to send the photo again. It didn’t work. Bad.

That was enough of that for one day. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Instead of trying to emigrate to Canada, maybe we US progressives need to support Christian Exodus, a group of conservative fundamentalists “orchestrating the move of thousands of Christians” to South Carolina in order to create a theocratic state. Make it millions rather than thousands, guys, and give us the rest of the country back!

About This Blog

I'm an American who started blogging when I moved to Russia in 2004. Eventually I moved to Sweden, where life is pleasant but uneventful, and stopped blogging for lack of interesting things to say. And then I joined Facebook, which further destroyed any motivation for blogging. Maybe someday I'll start blogging again, but for now, this blog is dormant, an archive of The Russia Years: 2004-2008.

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December 2004