Saturday, November 10, 2018

I Am a Sultan

I hate to sound like some crusty old 20th century dude, but do you have any idea how sublimely easeful our lives are here in the future?

I'm headed to Barcelona this week. I will travel for less than the cost 25 years ago: $319 round trip, thanks to (one of several newfangled travel tools that have transformed my notion of travel).

I need to bring this humungous inflatable rose gold flamingo pool toy for a 12 year old friend in Barcelona who totally deserves it:
It ships in a 6 pound box, but c'est la flamingo. After ordering, I realized Amazon wouldn't deliver till the day I fly out. There'd be a 50-50 chance it'd arrive after I left for the airport.

So here's what I did. I canceled the order (which Amazon gave me zero hassle over). And I ordered the same item on Amazon EspaƱa for the same price. To my shock, they let me use my American Amazon account and American credit card, they charged me in US dollars, and they will leave my package at a 24 hr Amazon drop box two blocks from where I'm staying in Barcelona. It will be there waiting for me when I arrive. I won't need to shlep it with me. It will all happen way more easily, just as rapidly, and no more expensively than if I'd brought it on the damn plane. That's insane.

Every aspect of this story is unbelievable. To buy something from a European retailer with an American credit card, alone, is a miracle. To do so with no local mailing address is ridiculous. And to have the retailer provide me with my own personal pick-up location so utterly convenient to me is inconceivable. The entire transaction took me less than a minute, and the sheer comfort of all this is something I frankly don't deserve. I am so, so rich. I'm like a sultan. A sultan for sixty bucks (and a jet-setting one for $380, flamingo included).

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