Thursday, January 29, 2009

#062-365 Computer

When still in the Army I had an opportunity to visit Singapore, great place! I went there thinking I could buy a cheap computer, but I will be honest there are far more interesting things for a young(ish) soldier to do in the Lion City than shop. So as my time (and money) ran out I thought "Gee I bragged that I was going to buy a computer!" and here you see IT. I had always intended to catch a bus back to Penang Nth Malaysia (Which shares about 99% of the Indonesian Language as a common tongue - much like English and American I imagine) I wanted to mix with the general public.

Being a soldier I learned early to travel light (One airline bag small and a second set of cloths is all I had) with this sticking out the top of the bag. When we got to the Causeway (the border between Singapore and Malaysia) there was a sign in 49 foot letters in English, Malay and I suppose every other language declaring; "Nothing of Chinese Origin may Enter Malaysia"

So I debussed (Do you like that) and approached the Bumi Putera (Native Born Malay) who was the Customs Officer (Big Lad) and he said "Apa itu?" pointing at the Abbacus (What's that?) showing no acknowledgement to my caucasian appearance, so I hit back without batting an eyelid "Itulah Komputer!) (from here on in I will revert to English but the whole exchange took place in Bahasa Indonesia/Malay) He almost bellowed "That's not a computer" but I heard the humour underneath the bluster. So being a natural born salesman I launched into a spiel.

"Sure it is the most modern computer avaiable - No keys to jam up, no power cord to get dislodged, no batteries to go dead, no screen to blow up in your face and it's portable" I think he was more impressed with my command of Bahasa than he was by the spiel but started to laugh and gesticulate to his fellow Customs Officers who all shut thier gates to come over and see this electronic marvel that I had presented. We all had a good time laughing, joking and bantering (which I relished in) but I suppose it did nothing for the demeanour of the 800 or so travellers waiting for the gates to be re-opened so they could be on thier way.

When I rebussed (??) the driver enquired in Bahasa if everything was okay, so I told him what had happened and he was suitably impressed with my linguistic skills and had me take the seat behind him, much to the chargrin of the venerable Chinese Gent who had occupied it before. I wish I had not taken him up on the invertation though as he spent the entire trip turned around talking to me. (Around 380 miles). I am sure that he was only aware of oncoming traffic by the look of terror on my face.

Hope you enjoyed the story but it is a diversion, anyone pick the puzzle?

Come on Guys Someone have a shot at the Puzzle!

13 comments:

mljrbg said...

Interesting story and nice "computer".

MsKaty said...

Ron, you just keep on entertaining us with your wonderful photos and the stories behind them!! Keep 'em coming!

top5cats said...

That is my kind of computer, one that does not try to outwit its user nor try to assume it can predict what you might want to do next. Great story too!

Candyce said...

lol great story

~Val said...

Nice twist on the theme!

Clara said...

Ron, you have a natural eye for tone and patterns.

Chesney said...

Only you, Ron, could get away with that. Hey, I will give you a dollar to try that today!! Hmmmmm......I can already see the wheels in your brain spinning! Funny story, great computer!

DART said...

so busy reading the entertaining story that I forgot to look at the photo! LOL

365photosin2009 said...

But how do you access in internet? Very funny story, Ron, and a nice interpretation of the theme...

Debra said...

That is a wonderful story! And now we know who holds up the lines....

veejayr said...

Great story. I had to google "read an abacus" to figure out the puzzle, and THEN I had to figure out the right way to turn it, but I think I've got it. If you turn it so that the smaller row is on the top, it reads from left to right:

00062 00365 2009

Am I right??

Ah ... I see now it is the theme number and the challenge name! Very clever young man you are!!

shadowsandhighlights said...

A GREAT story (of course) and a unique item! Isn't that what the accountants use? LOL

Edmund said...

I've been looking at that computer very closely and can not figure out to Re-boot it. Nicely done.