Thursday, January 18, 2007

Adventures in Technology - building a computer in Kunming

So here's the deal. :)

Part of
my work is dealing with video & photo/design stuff. Over the course of the last two and a half weeks I've built myself a decent desktop system. Video and Photo are especially demanding so I couldn't just get a Dell system or some such.

Armed with a sense of humor (thank God) and a page with some computer components translated into pinyin and english, I ventured into the sprawling technology area surrounding the minority school! I'll spare you the details, rest assured I bought components from over half a dozen shops and made alot of funny faces and noises in my quest to communicate. Good fun!

What really struck me the most was when I was hunting for a nice big LCD screen...! I saw a couple of screens that I was interested in, and asked some prices.... Then I saw this massive screen! Maybe 21"! Way out of my price range I already knew, but I had to ask anyway.. The lady happily told me the price and talked about the features (look! Laowai! He might actually buy this expensive thing!). Okay, I only understood the price, but I managed to look smart and nod at the appropriate times.
And then she showed me the fancy tea set in a nice gift box that went along with it! What? While perfectly natural here, to the mind of the average guy from New York it seems odd, perhaps even absurd, to bundle a tea-set with a lcd screen! The confusion crossed my face but I tried to quickly replace it with an expression of appreciation for the quality of the tea set.

While I find many things here surprising, and often confounding, I have to make a confession.

I usually like it.

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