Tech mess in paradise


One day we were about to watch some movies we’d just bought. Our TV was of another opinion though; it had no intention of showing any movies that day. Or rather didn’t have any intentions of cooperating with our cheap DVD-player of the brand AJ.

AJ? Good or bad?

I was a tad doubtful when we bought the DVD-player, since I’m always having strange, compulsive thoughts regarding cheap brands – I simply don’t trust them. When I go shopping for electronics or any kind of tech stuff I usually go for the ones I know are quality brands, those I know won’t disappoint me. Even if the price tag is a bit fat extra one. I prefer them to be Japanese too, because then I really know they’re good! IMBO, obviously…

Canon is superior!

Among cameras, for instance, I stick to Canon, usually. Those few times I have strayed left me alone, sad, devastated, and pissed off. Twice too many I’ve managed to step into the shit when trying to walk the path without a Canon in my pocket.

IMO – neither Minolta nor Sony know how to make cameras – despite their Japanese inheritance!

The first time I strayed was when I bought my ex a camera for christmas; a Minolta. It was cheap, but not too cheap, and it did have all the specs you could possibly ask for. The salesman claimed it was a quality camera, too. As if he’d admit to anything else! So I bought it, but was deeply disappointed. As soon as the shops reopened after christmas, I was there swapping for a more expensive version – a Canon camera, an IXUS (of any number), and it turned out to be so much better, of course.

After that I promised and swore on everything holy I’d never stray from Canon again.

A couple of years later I broke my promise. I bought a Sony Cybershot camera, simply because the camera had plenty of megapixles (very exciting back then) and the Canon camera I really wanted couldn’t be found in any store, and so I was stressed out because I was soon leaving for Thailand. Well, there were lots of bad reasons and I asked myself naively how bad could it possibly be?

Well, it was naturally very bad.

I kept the camera for a couple of years, though, partly because I was hoping the pictures would turn out better (?), in some magical way, and partly because I didn’t really know which other camera to buy. I wasn’t ready to get back into the SLR business.

Extremely picky I frown upon cheap brands sacrificing quality for a cheaper price tag.

I’m probably overly picky, and very prehostile towards cameras NOT named Canon, but I must have gotten it from somewhere. Or so I imagine. Probably simply because I love all Japanese stuff (so usually I do like products from Sony, but that camera was not one of their best products).

I will never abandon Canon EOS.

Today I’ve returned to the Canon Eos-system, which I turned my back on when I bought my first digital camera (I decided to settle for a Canon bridge variant), and I’m not at all unpleased. It’s rather my lack of getting amazing shots bothering me, but I could hardly blame Canon, or any other brand, for that one!

Back to the task at hand – AJ

So what about this AJ-player. We bought it, even though there were more expensive ones, and probably better ones too. Alternatives with alluring names such as Sony and Philips (the latter is not Japanese, however, so it’s usually not one of my favourite brands, although I can hardly complain about their quality). Since I’m a tad empty, wallet wise, down here I try to get away with such a cheap price as possible, so sometimes that means you have to sacrifice quality. Unfortunately. And again I asked myself: how bad could it really be?

Silent movies? No, thank you.

And it wasn’t that bad, at all. It was working for about a week, or two, but suddenly it didn’t want to play anymore. We had perfect picture, but no sound. Silent movies aren’t really any of my favourites either, so I stopped by my friend Malin to make a test – was it the DVD or the TV? The excitement was enormous.

It turned out to be the TV.

Not too surprising, but somewhat more bothering. I was hoping it would be the DVD, because then I could simply head over to Tesco Lotus and complain; maybe even get it fixed (getting the opportunity of discovering the existence of warranty in Thailand, or the non-existence), or simply buy a new piece of crap player (I saw such a pretty one – completely shocking-pink – in Tesco Lotus just a few days after buying the black AJ one). Now I had to get involved even further, instead, and see if I could get hold of another TV. I thought I might start out with the house owner, or rather, Nuni, my self announced realtor/slave, because I don’t really know whom I renting this apartment from.

Swop the TV with one from one of the other apartments!

Maybe they could swop the TV with one from one of the other apartments, and put it here. A simple swop! When you rent short term you might not be so interested in DVD, especially since you have to buy it yourself to start with.

Anyhoooo, to buy a TV felt somewhat like over kill, right, but it looked like I had to, because it seemed they couldn’t get me another one. They’re not that expensive here, but well known brands are almost the same price as back home (Sweden is extremely cheap on electronics!), but there are so many brands I’ve never heard of and really cheap ones too. I didn’t especially feel however, to buy one, since I will have to leave it here during the summer when I’m going home. It feels kind of risky. Or unnecessary at least. I can’t really picture Oh dragging it all the way to Bangkok either, or wherever he ends up.

Samsung is a pretty ok brand for me, but the TV is both tired and old!

The TV is by the way a Samsung, but it’s one of those old, thick TV’s (I don’t really know what you call them in English – in Sweden we call them “tjock-TV” which simply means “thick-TV” or “fat-TV”), so it’s probably old as frack, and besides I could always blame its Korean heritage finally showing its colour.

Since they followed my suggestion, another TV would soon enter the household, and I was hoping for a Japanese one, but that was obviously too much. Well, only to get a working TV – the brand is less important! It’s after all not my own! 😉


We did get a new TV. Although there were plenty of happenings before it arrived.

First, Nuni showed up with a DVD – after I’d told her the DVD wasn’t broken. Just try it. Ok, but I’ve already tested the DVD in my friend’s home and it works fine. She shoved it into my arms and hurried away. She had to get back to work. So I tested it, and her DVD worked fine for a while, exactly like ours did from time to time, and then the sound disappeared. Exactly the same.

The day after that, the owner of the building and an English speaking woman showed up. They wanted to know if the DVD was really working. I started to get annoyed. Was it really so hard to believe the TV was broken? The TV was old, and the DVD brand new, yet everyone seemed to make the assumption it was something wrong with the new equipment.

The thing was the TV worked ok – the picture wasn’t too good, but it was ok without the DVD, I mean to watch cable.

So I figured I had to show them. I turned on the DVD and started a movie. It worked! Naturally. Oh and the Thai women laughed and they all shrugged. I asked Oh – furious about the way they all treated me at that point – like I was some kind of a farang nutcase, who had no idea of what she was doing – to let them know that sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. It’ll probably stop soon enough. He didn’t want to convey my message, since he is Thai and God forbid should they ever complain about anything!

So the women turned and walked away, and I shut the door, and the sound disappeared. Again. Just like that.

Another DVD was tested the day after that, and I was so tired of this fracking frack now. Just give me a new TV! The thing was she didn’t have a new TV – understandably – and all the apartments were full. I sent Oh to speak with the older woman, who actually is a really nice lady, once you try to speak with her. They decided to swop the TV’s just like I suggested, as soon as someone moved out.

And that’s all I could’ve asked for.

A couple of days later they actually swopped the TV’s for us, and a week after that, or maybe two – does it really matter? – they brought a completely new TV – and not a thick one. 😉

So I can’t hardly complain about the service in this home, can I? The home I’m staying at is: Popular House, Fisherman’s Village, Bo Phut. It’s rather splendid actually. I like it a lot – it feels like our own home (I ordered NO CLEANING just to make sure how homey it would feel…), and it’s about 10 metres from the beach. Also I do enjoy Fisherman’s Village. Anyway, I might add it to my recommendation category – we’ll see!