that I’m even online. Let me explain. Our adventure in fact started before we left Brisbane. Outside the airport terminal my father realized his backpack had been left behind. The backpack containing his passport and wallet, but more importantly his laptop: the only laptop the family would have until David joined us several days later. Horror spread through our group like wildfire. No email, no google, no games, no blogging – let alone Dad’s lifeblood to work. After a flurry of phone calls, my brother in law confirmed he had found the backpack where it was left: in the street where we had packed the car. David (yes, Jess, my sister, and I are both married to Davids) sent the bag out to the airport in a taxi – and the day was saved. That day anyway.
It was only when we arrived in Singapore that my mother turned to me, ashen-faced, to whisper the shocking news. The computer didn’t work. Jess must have run over it as she pulled out of the drive. Mum and I stared at each other in silence … Dad on the other hand seemed remarkably stoic. I guess he’d had the last eight hours or so to adjust to the situation. He thought the damage looked quite minimal and was hopeful the problem was external. Hmm.
Naturally, our first priority in Beijing was to find a computer repair shop. Where to start? Thankfully Sam’s friend Wei (Way) knew just where to go and offered her interpreting services to boot. So the whole group – laptop in tow – headed off in a convoy of cabs across town to a ‘new world’: an IT world – a maze of floors of stores.
The damage was worse than thought. After considerable contradictory diagnosis, more wheeling and dealing, and much eyebrow raising by both sides for which a translator wasn’t required, it was decided that a new screen and motherboard were. The good news – the job could be done in a few hours – while we waited. And it was – successfully. Can you imagine? All was right with the world once more. We breathed a collective sigh (or ten) of great relief and our holiday truly began.