While reading a great post by my friend Rivkah, I was reminded of something that happened in our home on Sunday…
Yisrael was frantic because the HOT (cable) box seemed to be malfunctioning and he was being deprived of an American cartoon he likes to watch (in Hebrew). I suggested that he might need to change the batteries in the remote. He snapped back “I’ve already done that, Mom!” (in that ‘what do you think I am, an idiot?’ tone).
Because I can already visualize the eyes of some friends back in the “old country” rolling and the judgments forming… we have cable TV in Israel to help us improve our “ear” for Hebrew and to gain a better understanding of the news and culture here (e.g., I love watching cooking shows in Hebrew). We are also able to block channels we feel are inappropriate.
Feeling a tad bit less alarmed than Yisrael by this latest catastrophe, after taking him to school I promptly forgot about my parental responsibility to phone HOT – a call that I dread making because it seems that only their sales people speak English. This results in my attentive listening to the voice system offerings of Arabic, Hebrew or Russian, and selecting Hebrew; then the game begins – will I select the correct sequence of numbers to reach a live person? If not I have to hang up (unless their system has already disconnected me for making the wrong choices), redial and try again. The process can literally swallow up my entire morning because sometimes when I do finally get through to a human being, they don’t understand my Google-translated Hebrew and offer to have an English speaker call me back (which sometimes doesn’t happen for a few days)!
You can imagine Yisrael’s utter disappointment (i.e., disgust and anger) upon arriving home at 3:45 p.m. to a screen without Sponge Bob (or whatever Israeli “Yeladim” program it was that he was hoping to see). So I did what any other tech-oriented parent would do – I told him that before I would phone HOT Tech Support he would have to go through the steps I knew they would ask me about on the phone:
- Remote Batteries changed? Check
- Turn the thing off and on? “No, the remote won’t turn it off!”, he cried.
“Hmmm… back in the old days (i.e., before remotes) we had buttons to push and knobs to turn did you try that?”
He tried but not all the lights went out and it didn’t resolve the problem.
- And then what I tell all my non-tech friends who contact me with computer problems popped into mind… reboot!
At this point Michael had to get involved because he has created a professional style cable bundling that I’m sure prevents anyone from tripping over cables, but also makes it difficult to determine which plug/cable in the maze corresponds to what device.
Within a few minutes the box was unplugged from its life source, given a moment to rest, and plugged back in. And guess what – Mom became a hero (for 10 seconds or so)! The TV and all unblocked cable channels were available for viewing (without the need for a HOT technician service call)!
Living in Israel has caused me to become more self-sufficient 🙂