Saturday, July 5, 2008

Rest in peace, dear friend. (Or come back from the dead, please?)

I really don't mean to complain, nor do I create situations in which problems cling to me like a freshly-tumble-dried sock to the inside of a pant leg. I should count myself lucky to have the experience of experiencing, managing, and solving slightly unusual problems in another country.

A back story, if you don't mind:

I've never been one for personal music players. I dislike being disconnected from my surroundings, and never felt the need to listen to music at all times. I rejected iPods for years on thee (and other) grounds, until finally, this past Christmas, Theo gave me a Nano. I kept it in its package for almost two months, until finally I decided to exchange it for an iPod Touch, since the Touch is the best of almost every world: portable internet, portable video, portable music, portable Chinese-English dictionary, et cetera.

The Touch has become my closest ally in a world of loud cars, louder talkers, and even louder phlegm-flingers. I listen to it constantly--on my way to work, while waiting for lunch, while preparing lessons at Starbucks, while running.

I went for such a run on Friday evening. Although it rained for approximately 7 minutes earlier that evening, the temperature was still well above 90 degrees. As I am wont to do, I produced a good amount of sweat, enough to (as is my hypothesis) allow some hand-sweat to drip into the headphone jack of my iPod Touch. Suddenly, as I was rounding the final stretch, whatever awful running song (I think it was a Crystal Castles tune) I was pounding the pavement to cut out. According to the screen, it was still playing, but my ears suggested otherwise.

When I got home, there was still no sound coming from the machine. Everything else functioned as normal.

I took it to several unlicensed and one licensed Apple repair centers in Tianjin today. The licensed repair center representative told me:

a. There is a chemical at the bottom of the headphone well that turns red when moisture makes contact with it, and it was, indeed, red.

b. To repair the Touch, they need to basically replace the entire strand of metal intestines inside, as there are not generally individual parts to use in repairs.

c. "Sorry! (Awkward laughter)"

So now, in addition to purchasing a bike and a trip to Shanghai this month, I also need to figure out how to replace my best friend, Touchy Touch McTouchesalot.

No comments: