I’m going to jump right into my side of a telephone conversation I had on day two with the technicians fixing my broken laptop – I thought it was an absolute hoot – it’s only my side of the conversation because the other half was in Indonesian…and I don’t speak Indonesian…yet.
– Yes, hello? Hi, English please?
– Do you speak English?
– Um, the person who speaks English please. (side note: I left my computer with a technician fluent in English)
– Could you please get the person who speaks English?
Tons of animated voices and at least six people laughing really hard on the other line.
– Oh ok. No one English?
– My computer, you have, broken yes?
– Laptop fix, yes?
– Yesterday-there-were several-people-who-spoke-English-and-they-told-me-to-call-today-so-I-was-really-hoping-that-you-could-let-me-know-if-my-computer-was-broken-or-if-you-were-able-to-fix-it?
Guffaws. Flat out belly laughing and the same amount of rapid Indonesian spit right back at me. In fact, they were laughing so hard I could all but hear the droplets of tears forming at the edges of their eyes.
– Hmm…Dell yesterday. English person. You fix?
– Ok Yes! DELL! Me Dell! Yay, you remember. Fix, yes?
– Fix? Good? All better?
– Turns on?
– Works now?
– Good or Bad?
– I come and pick up?
– Um, ok, thanks, guess I’ll see you tomorrow!
So why is this so funny…because I hung up not knowing anything knew about my laptop but man were they cracking up on the other side of the phone. I guess it would be like picking up the phone and only hearing someone jabbering gibberish on the other side of the line!
Relax Sans Technology: With my laptop in the shop for at least two days I truly had no choice but to sit back and relax with my book and a cold beer. It was actually an entirely different experience to not process my day through technology by sorting pictures, writing a blog, and working.
Perspective: Best piece of advice I got was “hey, at least you still have pen and paper!” Simplistic, but you know, it hadn’t even occurred to me. Because 75 percent of what I do is internet based, I just plum forgot that I could still jot down ideas and be a bit productive without my IV-line of technology pumping into my system.
Flexibility: Time is elastic in Bali…and pretty much most places outside of the West. This is one of those patience building lessons – if they say to come pick it up in two days…that really meant three.
Negotiate, It’s a Fact of Life: The price I paid was seven times what we agreed. What to do? Negotiate. Since I don’t know what they added to the computer I just paid, but I went into this knowing that as a foreigner I was never going to get the cheapest price.
Learn Some Language!: Maybe the most important was learning just five phrases in Indonesian. In Bali, a smile goes a long way and an attempt at the language can only help, so by the third day, when I went to pick up my laptop I went in knowing just a few words that made all the difference: “good,” “bad” and “thank you very much.” From just those three phrases I pieced together that one of my boards was jelek, or rather bad.
Just Accept and Move On: I really have barely any idea what they did to fix my laptop. And I probably never will. They couldn’t tell me and the English speaking technician never showed back up on the scene. But it works now. Yes, I want to know. It’s frustrating that I don’t know what beyond my “board” was jelek but oh well. What can I do but accept and move on?
I got my computer back completely working yesterday so expect a more some more regular updates as I explore Ubud, Bali…my home for the next few months!
Where: Cyberlink Computer on the fourth floor of the Rimo Computer Center in Denpasar, Bali
How to Get There: Tell your driver Rimo in front of the Ramayana shopping mall.
Tips: Check your receipt and make sure each piece/part you hand them is itemized out and labeled so that you get it back!