Don’t forget to brush your tooth!

A random article the other day in Wired caught my eye. Apparently there’s a new trend in England – toothing. Now this is significantly different, if similar sounding, to ‘teething’ which is what my nephew is currently doing (I’m pretty sure he’s not toothing just yet thankfully). With toothing you use your handy Bluetooth device, such as a phone, to find other Bluetooth devices in the immediate vicinity. Then, based on their Bluetooth name, you work out whether they happen to be the cute woman you fancy across the train carriage and then send them a message. If it all works out then bingo! Instant date. If not then you can quickly pretend it never happened when the large guy across from you starts smiling and fluttering his eyelashes at you*.

What was bizarre about this was the article also referenced ‘dogging’, another English trend I’ve never heard about where people meet in out of the way places to watch other people have sex. Amazing what the internet and mobile technology is allowing to happen. It’s also interesting how all these Wired articles are coming from England! Guess that’s the same way Jimi Hendrix made it big… Anyway, I was then reading another article on how the Craigslist personals in New York often mention iPods – a yardstick for current popular trends. In the article it mentioned that Craigslist London doesn’t seem to have the same iPod hit rate, so I went to check it out – also because I wanted to see what accomodation was listed. Turns out is not Craigslist… it’s actually a site for arranging dogging meetings! How strange is that?

This Internet name-jacking is something that you see in meat-space regularly in Thailand. Aside from the obvious brand clones (which are often better quality than the originals – witness my 210 baht/three quid Birkenstock fake sandles that lasted two months of solid use and were still going when I bought some new ones) you also get extremely blatent ‘re-use’ of hostel names. On Ko Lanta I stayed at Lanta Long Beach resort which is pretty much the only guest house recommended on this beach by Rough Guide. But although I had a lovely stay in a great bambo hut it is in fact not the guesthouse in the guide. That guest house is in fact next door.. the Lanta Long Beach. A big sign between the two explains the difference, as the new one has just opened in the last year. In Europe this would be a huge law suit, but in Thailand… well, the law is slightly more lax on this point and will tend to fall against the farangs (foreigners) if they complain – and the original Lanta Long Beach (which is a much more hippy affair than the sanitised one I stayed at) is owned by French Canadians. Zut alors et tout ca.

* Unless of course it’s Johnny Depp in which case you’ve got some serious thinking to do…

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