Monday, 4 May 2009

A whole new world

For nine months we have lived without television. When we came to Water Street we found a letter addressed to "The new occupant" with a polite, but firm request to pay the tv licence. When we didn't, a phone call followed, Staffan explaining that we didn't have a tv. They threatened to send controllers, whereupon Staffan wondered whether these would like coffee or tea. After that, we were left in peace.

I am not a tv watcher and have never been. News, sport, serials - none of this is of any interest for me. I admit it's a serious mental defficiency. A movie every now and then, nature programs, but if there aren't any I don't miss them. We had tv in California, and I don't remember ever watching it.

Recently, in the old country, Anton seduced me into Lovefilm and set up a list of movies he insisted I must see. From his selection I disliked perhaps one or two. He knows me well. But he is a filmmaker, and the quality of our old tv didn't satisfy him. We bought that set just before flat tv came, so it was outdated almost from start. It had a large screen, which meant it was also huge in itself. When Staffan had bought it and taken it home, we lifted it to put it on the stand and dropped it. In such cases you are glad you've taken insurance.

Anyroad, when Anton was here he investigated the market and told me exactly what I wanted. HD and BR and all those fancy things that are indispensible if you want to watch Planet Earth the way it is supposed to be watched. Since today is bank holiday all shops open earlier, and we went as early as possible to avoid crowds (ha-ha!). My strategy when buying things I don't understand is pretending to be still more stupid than I am, so I told the charming young sales assistant that somebody had chosen a package for me. In fact, I was still more stupid than I pretended to be because I hadn't even written down the make. I just said: "You have this offer for so and so much". She had incredible patience. Apparently had dealt with dumb customers before. She explained the difference between this and that. She answered my repeated imbecile questions. Staffan told her I was a professor. I am afraid she now has a very low opinion of professors. But two hours later and a substantial sum of money poorer we came home with our purchases. I had asked whether a stupid person like me would be able to connect the tv, and she ensured me that I would. So I did.

I am proud of myself. Anyone can hold inaugural lectures, but I have never ever in my life connected a tv or connected a player to a tv. The kids once showed me which button to push to play a movie, and every now and then I had to phone them because I had forgotten. But after a few attempts, where I had to make choices the meaning of which was all Greek to me, I managed to get all the 89 channels (why 89?), and I managed to identify the HDMI sockets (no idea what that means either, but both Anton and the salesgirl told me it was what I wanted) and make the tv and the player communicate.

Tonight I will watch a movie.


anton said...

a substantial sum of money poorer, a medium for enlightenment richer.

photos please!

Maria Nikolajeva said...

Fair enough