Well I Do Like A Challenge

But not this one. I mean I knew it wasn’t going to be easy buying a fancy new Spanish laptop with the dreaded Windows 8.1 on it, PLUS a language barrier to cross…

However, it had to be done. Being as I’m an EX “computer nerd admin” (previous life) I knew exactly what spec I required. So off we went to the Spanish equivalent of PC World. Except here the shelves are fully stocked, there’s a wider range of goodies to choose from, and you don’t have to go looking for that rare specimen called a shop assistant. (Oh, and they all speak English too). Our ignorance,, that’s the way it is.

After spending an hour browsing them all, (excuse pun) there it was on the shelf waiting for me. “I am the one” it said, so after a little play of the keyboard, a swipe or two of the touchpad, and a question / answer session with the assistant, my mind was made up. Meanwhile Dave hovered in the background muttering things like “Well what about this one? It’s a bit cheaper and still has this that the other.” But it was too late for any flea in the ear chat.

Before going to the BIG till, one has to go to the local till at the end of the aisle. Said assistant then needs all sorts of paperwork plus photo ID. I know how it all works here so my handbag was brimming over. (Passing through airport security comes to mind, it’s presenting your passport that does it). The Spanish have to go through the inquisition too.

It’s a complicated house address is ours, the first line is a number plus SIX words. It took us ages to learn how to say it pwoper, and even then there’s two {possible} ways to pronounce it.

Even worse, it can be said slowly, or all merged into one quickly. The latter being an English persons attempt to speak it in Spanish. Common practice is that neither version works.

Ask any local taxi driver, he’ll tell you, it’s only when the second line of the address is mentioned first that understanding occurs, which in itself is three words plus a number… Note it’s not them that’s thick, it’s us…

So we’ve discovered it’s best to say the second line first and take it from there. Then whichever way you pronounce line one (that’s the number plus six words), as long as it’s AFTER the three words plus a number (line two) it usually works. In the small area we live in, say the second line first and the route is understood. The first line which is said AFTER the second line is always {politely} repeated back to you the way it SHOULD be pronounced, along with a titter and a cheesy grin. See, I told you it was complicated…

Thankfully we know quite a few taxi drivers now, they know us two too, makes it a lot easier when THEY tell YOU where you’re going. Si, Si, says we, (oh thank god for that).

Anyway, back at the “local till” in the superstore:

Do you live here? “Si, I mean Yes.”

Your address please? Suddenly I could sympathise with Basil (Fawlty Towers) when he’s stood TRYING to talk to the Colonel with the twitchy head. Under such snootiness from the upper class twerp, he forgets his own name and has to ask Sybil what it is without moving his lips.

After she’s told him: “That’s the one!!! Basil, Basil Fawlty, pleased to meet you, ha ha” and it all goes downhill from there.

Anyway, back at the “local till” (again).

I tried, really tried to say line one, (number and six words) and was met with a blank face. I forgot I had it all written down in my bulging handbag. {Pressure}

So we went through the full address number by number, word by word. Half an hour later:

Your phone number? Required a search through “Contacts” in my smartphone, the one where it says Me. {Pathetic laugh} “I can never remember it, ha ha!”

Your email address? Oh good grief, after I’d mumbled it, the look on his face said it all. So he passed the keyboard to me… Yes, there I was “in charge” of Media Markt for 30 seconds! (Media Mart as we all call it).

Your photo ID? I pass the passport with a terrible photo that looks nothing like me anymore. “Doesn’t look anything like me now, ha ha!” {Shut up fool} Fact: Did you know they actually type the passport number into their records?

Do you want it set up in English for you? “Oh yes please…”

Your shoe size? {Optional} Basil falls to the floor, picks himself up and says “Oh I fainted for a moment there, but never mind, ha ha!”

[I mean was I ever going to get this thing home? By then the tech spec might be second generation]

NEXT: Take the receipt to the BIG till and pay for it there. {What’s the PIN number? What’s the blasted PIN number?}

Fortunately the numbers are etched in my brain, but for a moment or two they’d gone missing, then for another moment or two they came back in the wrong order. Skill, it took skill to re-arrange them properly. BINGO! All done, receipt handed over, “come back in an hour with the paperwork after it’s been re-configured to Ingles.”

One could ask oneself why so long? But huge as it is, the place was mobbed, always is…

So here’s the new purchase, sat waiting in the background while I continue to use “old faithful” with Windoze 7:

Pretty eh, sat on the settee outside, all alone and unloved {as yet}

2015-07-24 15.37.54

I’ve got a lot of work to do on it before we can understand each other…

With language / keyboard settings in Ingles, some keyboard characters WILL NOT work. For example, during the set up process the @ and the : are missing. I mean they’re on the keyboard but the @ comes up as the number 2, and the : is, well, I got so bored last night I’ve forgot.

Now if you think about this small problem it means you can’t type in a web address or an email address. So I’m still stuck in the setup process because Windoze 8 wants my Hotmail address…………

Those technicians who work in the background to change a Spanish laptop into a Brit laptop must laugh their asses off every time. It reeks of “WELL LEARN SPANISH THEN YOU IDIOT.” There are workarounds, there’s always workarounds, so I did some research last night, and so far the one’s I found don’t workaround at all.

One of our friends reckons it’s easier to leave keyboard settings in Spanish. So I reset it back to native tongue, but haven’t had chance to test it yet, because I fell asleep with boredom afterwards.

I can see this being a long and painful process, and oh whoopee, just to complicate things even further,, Windoze 10 comes out in a few days…

Quote Basil: “Well, I’ll just have to do it all myself then won’t I…?”

I wish there was such a thing as a dual core keyboard, in Spanglish. Well anyway, I’ll keep you posted on proceedings, might make good bedtime reading.

Right, that’s it, I’m off to swap laptops, and show “The new shiny one without any dead flies down under the screen and with a touchpad that works” just who’s boss…

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