Some Ranting

The iPhone

Yes we had several discussions about why the iPhone 4 is no better than the EVO or whatever else. But that doesn’t make me want to any less. However, when people in the US are paying about 10 grand for the phone on a 2-year contract, in India – the supposedly poorer country – we pay 35 grand or more for the phone.

The reason – there is no “contract” here for the phone. Now I don’t know why exactly but I read somewhere that this is mainly because the providers – Airtel and Vodafone – believe that the contract system is not really honored in India and that there are shops that can “break” the phone in every alley in India. Well, that is true. We are notoriously unscrupulous at times and look for loopholes just for the sake of it.

But it does annoy the hell out of me that I have to pay the full price simply because… I live here?

And that I have to go without an iPhone because I cannot afford to pay 40 grand. Does anyone know if there are special corporate schemes or something?

A part of me laughs at it saying we bought this upon ourselves. A while ago, when I still lived abroad, there was a rush of Indians who came back to India after buying Nokia N79s on contract. They would upgrade their phone to the latest scheme or whatever and then just come back, without even bothering to cancel the connection. The service provider, after several futile attempts to collect the bill had to just give up. They did the same with credit cards too… get about 6… swipe them like crazy before you return home and then… hey!

Of course, this caused a problem for us because by the time we got there, the government was just catching on and Indians historically had been assigned a horrible credit rating. So even to open an account for electricity – and yes, you needed an account – it was sheer drama.

Immigration

A friend of mine forwarded a mail about potential changes in the Australian Immigration Policy. It is based on what Australia has been saying for a while – they would choose to give residency for people who have the skills that they need. There has been a rant against this issue for a while, mostly from students who were studying there and hoping to get PR based on that.

According to this article, however, the minister can veto any possible application and the applicant has no powers to appeal. Okay, I admit that is harsh. And perhaps a little short sighted as well…

But the article went on an Australia-bashing session, talking about how the government took money from international students during the recession and now is tossing out all their hopes of PR into the ocean.

How many people went there with the sole purpose of getting a visa? So if they paid more for their education, was it equivalent to buying their residency?

For once, the logic of both sides fails me. Why would anyone go and do a hairdressers course in a new country? Or cookery? Why were these professions even on the “skilled list”. The government should’ve pruned the list a long time ago. And doing so now in an abrupt manner and tossing all those people who have made their lives in Australia and are contributing to the society is just plain… mean. Or a “I really don’t know what to do” mechanism.

Further applicants can be stopped. People who have just applied or come into the country can be asked not to apply unless they really qualify.

But I wonder – was this a reaction to the racial allegations that arose earlier this year? All the furore from India about the alleged racial attacks and deaths? Is that when Australia woke up and realised they had enough people to sustain a good economy? Or that their smooth mechanism was breaking down?

Photo of the day: Today’s photo is my own. I took this about… 4 years ago on an expedition. I’ll tell the story some other time, but I’ve long lost contact with the woman in the photo. If someone knows her, please do let me know.

 


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