The Fix-It Culture

First, an apology to our regular readers: this post is late.  The main reason is that the hard disk died on our trusty Sony Vaio netbook, the very machine on which I am typing these words.  We use this machine a lot: we move money around with it, keep in touch with family, friends and other travellers via email and facebook, use it to store our photos, and of course to write the blog.  One day it just wouldn’t boot and we needed it fixed urgently.  Fortunately, over here they have a fix-it culture, so off we trotted to laptop-fixing street, actually the Centro Commercial del Carmen, a small indoor shopping mall.  Businesses here tend to cluster with similar enterprises, more so than in the UK I think, so the place is stuffed with shops selling and fixing computers, printers and the like.  We picked one that was open (it was 9:30am), and they agreed to replace the disk for about 75 quid and reinstall Windows and Office for about a tenner.  Here’s Paul standing at the counter/workbench/desk/cartridge refilling station in the shop.
P1060294 (600x800).jpg (600x800 pixels)
Three hours later, and we’re back up and running, with only one tiny problem: it’s the Spanish version of Windows, hence the total absence of the pound sign in this post.  Somewhere between Spanish Windows and an English keyboard it got lost.  Using Excel in Spanish is interesting, too.  We use Dropbox to store backup copies of all our important stuff, and so a couple of hours later, we’re able to bank and blog again.  Or so we think, until we find the internet in our hostel monstrously unreliable and the version of Spanish Windows so out of date that any time we do connect the machine wants to install a million updates, cutting down our access time.  Eventually, this sorted itself out, and we’re up and running again.
On top of this, our best camera developed a nasty mark on the lens, probably dust and dirt from the harsh conditions over the last few months.  Again, we found a camera repair shop, and got it cleaned for a few soles.  We were very happy with it until a few days later when the autofocus started to play up, as ever at an inopportune moment.  Luckily we had bought a cheaper camera as a spare a few months ago, although it’s just not the same quality L.  And to cap it all, the frame of Diane’s glasses broke, irretrievably.  For a couple of days she managed to wedge them in place, but then we were off to ‘optician street’ where a technican suggested he could put the existing lenses into a new frame.  Thirty minutes later, and for less than 20 quid, she walked out with a not brilliant but perfectly adequate pair.
So, all things being equal, normal service has been resumed.  We have trips planned to the Peruvian jungle and Machu Picchu via Cusco, so watch this space !

1 comment to The Fix-It Culture

  • Karen

    Brilliant! Isn’t it great when you get all the breakages ove rin one fell swoop?! …And when you’re in a place that can fix them?!! Let’s hope that this is the lot and you can continue to wilder places without worrying!
    Really enjoying your blog. Continue having adventures and telling us about them! Have fun!
    Thanks! Karen

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