Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Language Barrier

Microwave Control Panel
The very worst part about life in Buneos Aires is the confounded machines. When I am dealing with people I can generally get by with a couple of the Spanish words I know and pointing. Most people are at least willing to work with you, and some of them even know English. Some machines, like the plumbing, the range and the oven, are fairly easy to puzzle out.
    Electronic gizmos, however, don't care, are remarkably unhelpful and totally confusing. The labels on the controls may as well be written using glyphs from Alpha Centauri for all the good they do. I paid a visit to the washing machine (el machino por laundering la clotheselina) to see if I could figure out how to operate it. The only things on the control panel that I understood were the temperature settings, and that wasn't really enough.
    My daughter gave me a local cell phone to use, and while the keypad is fairly straight-forward, the display is all Espanol, all the time, and not one of the words on the main menu is cerveza.
    I spent a few eons puzzling out the microwave. The weather is hot and humid so I don't want to overload the air-conditioning by boiling water on the stove and so induce another power failure. But I do like a cup of hot tea in the morning, so I gird me loins and set about the microwave with malice aforethought.
    Eventually I determined that pushing the button on the lower right corner of the control panel, the one marked 'COMENZAR INICIO RAPIDO', five times would induce the microwave to run for 2 minutes, which would heat my cup of water well enough to make a cup of tea, or even instant coffee. 

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