Thursday, May 10, 2007

24 April: Good Ol' American Ingenuity

Our satellite TV has been out of order for about a month now – ever since we got back from our ski trip, actually. First it was just Aravind’s satellite downstairs that wasn’t working, so I told him to call Herr Becker. I don’t think that ever happened (I have a feeling Aravind is just as uncomfortable speaking on the phone to Schwäbisch repairmen as I am!), and then our satellite went out too, so of course it was up to the Hausfrau to solve the problem. (A couple weeks ago John told Aravind that it was possible that the dish was out of alignment; Aravind apparently took it upon himself to try to move the dish because he finally admitted that he might have “bent” something.) Needless to say, I was really not looking forward to calling Herr Becker – sure I could tell him there was something wrong with our satellite, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to understand anything that he said back to me. I happened to mention my delimma at last week’s makeup consultation and Thuy said that she knew an American guy named Mac who works on satellite systems on the side. She sent me is name and contact info, and I spent the last week trying to track him down. Finally I got a hold of him last night and he agreed to come over this evening around 7:00.

Mac was running late so he didn’t get here until nearly 8:30. He quickly diagnosed our problem – Aravind had indeed broken the mount for the receiver and the dish was out of alignment. Mac didn’t have a replacement mount and said it was an older unit (Herr Becker had installed it only a year ago!) so he wasn’t sure he would be able to find another one, so he did what any clever, resourceful American would do – he asked if we had any duct tape. John disappeared into the basement and came back with a roll of duct tape, which he had, naturally, brought from the States. Mac proceeded to tape the receiver back onto the mount and repositioned the satellite (which involved me standing in the living room and yelling “OK!” out the window when we got our TV reception back). He charged us 50 Euro for the visit, and said that the tape should probably last, but to call him if we had any problems. I said we only needed it to last until the end of this year at the most. Something tells me that if I had called Herr Becker, there would not have been any duct tape involved and the bill would have been a lot higher.

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