A Bit of a Problem and Garbage

I have a small problem.  It really is small, so small that I probably shouldn’t air it here.  Yet, here I am.  

I recently bought a new phone.  Actually, three phones with one base.  I bought the three phones with one base at Costco.  The box showed a beautiful set of phones in a glamorous house.  But it wasn’t the glamorous house picture that sold me on the phones.  What sold me was that the box listed the phones’ features in both English and Chinese.  This caused me to assume that inside the box I would find instructions in both English and Chinese.  So I bought the three phones and one base, brought them home and set them up.  I then went to look at the instructions so that I could set up all of the cool features that were listed on the box in English and Chinese, only to find that the instructions were only in Chinese.  

Now, if the instuctions only included the words on, off (as in “pay when you get on the bus” or “pay when you get off the bus”), mountain, entrance or exit, then I would have been fine and I could have read all of the characters.  But, that wasn’t the case.  The instructions unfortunately included a few words that were not on my five word vocabulary/character list, so I was not able to read anything.

Of course, this would not be a problem if this were 1975 and phones’ only functions were answer, dial and hang up.  But these phones can do a few more things than that, and I have no idea how to set them up because everything on the screen is IN CHINESE!  I’m willing to bet that there is a way to switch the screen to English, but I would only be able to figure that out IF I READ CHINESE.

It would also be nice if I could check the messages on the answering machine.  Or even nicer if I could change the outgoing message to something other than a lady telling my callers to please leave a message IN CHINESE.

But, it is what it is.  If any of you Chinese speakers wants to come over and program my phones for me, that would be much appreciated.  But if not, that’s ok too.  I’ll just pretend like this is 1975 and my phone has only 1975 functions.  And, in the meantime, I’ll just put this on the long list of things about our expat lives that I find amusing.

Oh, now here is the garbage part of this post.  There is a cat that has been hanging around our house that I named Garbage, because he likes to eat garbage.

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2 comments

  1. Carrie · September 4, 2012

    Yeah, been there… but thank goodness it is not 1975 and we have a wonderful invention called the internet. if the phones are from an international manufacturer (like Phillips or Panasonic etc). You can do a google search with the model number and make and usually find the owners manual online in pdf form – in English! This is a dolefully boring but practical solution which would totally negate the cuteness of your blog post, so you may want to ignore it all together! Either way, good luck!

    • Jason · September 4, 2012

      Carrie, I’m sure glad you brought up the Internet. If I would have suggested the same thing I would have been scoffed at.

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