My love for Google continues to grow … I just discovered it has world time as part of the regular Google search box. e.g. if you search for “Beijing time” it just gives you a nice simple statement of the current time and date there at the top of the search results.
No more ad-infested world time sites (or Telstra’s one which, for a long time, asked if you meant “Australia, Broken Hill” every time you said you were calling from Australia, Sydney).
Of course the reason I’m checking world time is that Kate has gone on her annual world adventure — this year it’s the Transiberian Railway, starting from Beijing, crossing Siberia and ending up in Moscow.
Fortunately thanks to VoIP I can stay in touch with her cheaply whenever she has access to a landline to receive calls on, and the rest of the time I call her on her mobile and we share the incoming roaming charges.
I was staggered to see that the roaming rate for Optus mobiles in Russia is nearly $10 A MINUTE though (that’s for placing a call on your mobile back to Australia). It really pays to check the rates for each country before you go.
At least Optus has standardised the rates in each country regardless of the network you choose. It used to be that there was a different rate for each mobile network, so you not only had to research the rate for each country before you went, you had to research the rate for each network in each country. That was a pain.
Last time she went overseas I checked out other Australian carriers’ roaming rates and noticed that Optus was pretty cheap. Vodafone was very expensive for roaming, which is ironic because they’ve made a big deal about how they’ve used their global Vodafone network reach around the world to slash roaming rates. I shudder to think what they must have been before they cut the prices.