Wilkommen, Bienvenu, Welcome... Sziasztok!

Welcome to The Lotus Position, an intermittent collection of extempore navel gazings, ponderings, whinges, whines, pontifications and diatribes.

Everything is based on a Sample of One: these are my views, my experiences... caveat lector... read the Disclaimer

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey


Monday, 30 July 2007

Heroes, Germans, Wombats! A Veritable Cornucopia of Stuff

Today's hero is Jancsó Ferenc, English speaking engineer at the Panasonic Service Centre (Kalotaseg u) here in Budapest...

Helpful - no make that very helpful - courteous, and above all, well... helpful! Give that man a raise!

I did have two dead camcorders - one, a Panasonic GS-120 remains dead owning to an influx of water from the great storm of last year ("Beyond Economic Repair", Internally Fubar'd, of just PFU!) despite his very best intent, but the
other one, also a Panasonic now nearly 10 years old, has just been cured of its slight old age, slippy wheels and dodgy micro-switch and apparently now works just fine.

However, merely fulfilling one's job description isn't enough for real heroism: despite not-fixing the GS-120 I do
now I have pictures of the water damage (Isn't it just fascinating? Shall I include one here? Yeah - then you too can share the thrill... later) and some information that might allow me to fix it myself one day... once I get it apart. In which case that repair will also eventually also be due to Mr Jancsó.

But, while we are on the topic of self-repair (c.f. Python, Monty "How to take your appendix out on the Piccadilly Line" The Brand New Monty Python Papperbok) just one piece of advice: beware of Japanese hoovers - they are not designed to be repaired and take phenomenal e
ffort, great skill and tremendous courage (oh, let me see, what other heroic attributes does hoover repair require... honour, true grit, indefatigability, deep love of the Mother/Father land, etc. etc. etc.) even to open up - you do have to keep asking yourself

a) HTF did they put this *&^%$ together?
b) WTFTB if I pull any harder on this ^%"*&^ &%*(% !!!! cover? (WTFT break?)
c) WFI designed this (*$~# thing?

before you can even confront the problem itself. It took me two hours to get the last one open.

It is however an enlightening experience. Honestly. *

Hmmm.... hoovers.... reminds me of a rather unusual film I saw once... I think it was German (what a surprise!)

But, since we seem to have drifted from Japan to Germany, some handy hints...

BE CAREFUL! The German for hoover is "Staubsauger" - "dust sucker", definitely not to be confused with "Staus-säuger - which would be a "dust suckler". You will get very strange looks if you ask for the latter when you want the former (though if you do in fact want the latter I expect you're used to such things by now...)

Which brings me, and rather neatly I thought, to that handy piece of conversational German I acquired from Mr Bubley some years back, "Mein Beutelmaus hat verstopfung", or "My wombat is constipated".

Sadly, most Germans seem to have forgotten the word Beutelmaus, and know only "wombat", which is a shame; the etymology is quite nice...

If anyone knows of any equally pointless conversation gambits in other tongues, do let me know... (well, pointless for the audience - all the fun is in watching their faces as you announce in all seriousness the predicament of your marsupial companion animal...)


* If you would like to sign up for one of our occasional courses "Enlightenment Through The Repair of White & Brown Goods" please drop me a line. I also run workshops on

a) Capability Modelling with Alphabetti Spaghetti
b) Cosmology & Cheesecake: What THEY don't want you to know!
c) Impersonating a Giraffe (and other savannah animals)

and can whip up a course on almost anything given adequate incentive... money may mean nothing to me, but that doesn't mean I don't use it.

NB I think they must put something in my coffee today... this is unusually random stuff - even for me.