Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Another "Old Days" Gone

Called my Travel Agent (hereinafter called my “TA”) and asked if there were any other documents coming in from Holland America Line (hereinafter called “HAL”) that I needed for my cruise. I had already downloaded my boarding pass from their web page and thought maybe the regular padded envelope of stuff might come in.

“Cheapskates,” she told me. “There’s nothing else. You printed out all there is. The ‘Know Before You Go’ booklet is online now; the lengthy cruise contract is online; all the extra pieces of paper they stuffed in are online, the shore excursion booklet is online and there aren’t any big more HAL buttons for your jacket lapel.”

“Well,” I reminded my TA, “these are electronic days and why print and mail a pile of things which can be stored on a central computer? I’ve got a pile of those dandy padded envelopes; I have the ‘Know Before You Go’ booklet memorized, and the ticket booklet with its many pages of small print lawyerly if, ands & buts.”

Yet, there is something to having the object there in front of you, or on your table when you return. We can get as modern and electronic as we want, but there are memories to cherish and these can’t always be treasured by looking at a computer screen. You need the object, the ticket, the booklet. We are never quite that modern.

I never save much paper from previous cruises anyway, so this new way of doing things makes little, if any, difference to me. But, still, that booklet was magic.


Anonymous ruthc said...

E-docs do the job quite efficiently. But doing the document dance while clutching your laptop will never be any fun.

June 07, 2010 9:51 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

It's even less fun with my full-size desktop machine.

June 07, 2010 3:53 PM  

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