Thursday, March 28, 2013

Electronic Meltdown

This post has been updated: see postscript.

Despite my sensible decision a year or two ago to stop buying electronics "back home" -- the money saved was not worth the hassle of getting things repaired or replaced under warranty from here in Turkey -- I admit I've bought a couple of items in Canada since then, and have regretted it each time. 

Today my latest mistake arrived.  In what I can only explain as a sleep-deprived under-unusual-stress-induced impatient decision, I bought it online and found a way to get it here mid-year.  I'm embarrassed to say (but will do so in a minute anyway) how many people were roped into my obsessive plan and ended up contributing to this scheme in some way.

And then what did I do?  I plugged it and its 110V insides into my 220V sockets with a plug adapter forgetting that I also should have used a voltage adapter!!!  

What makes this really sting, though, is that the appliance was the "Tot Clock" I'd been looking forward to for months and that I'd gotten my 3-year-old all excited about.  I'd ordered it on Amazon because only they would take a non-American credit card, and therefore paid way too much for it, had it sent to a friend's house in Ohio, who had her husband bring it back to Istanbul, who in turn  had his assistant drop it off this afternoon.  I'd spent way too much time and energy on this silly thing, but so convinced was I that this would be the perfect solution for my son's too-early wake-up time, that I was blinded.    

There we were this evening -- my kids and I are on the floor, opening the box.  Everyone's grabbing at it, pushing the buttons, dropping it ... It's madness, and I'm acting just as crazy as the kids are.  B's grabbing the manual out of my hand and insisting on "reading" it, because that's just the 20-month-old phase he's in; K's pushing all the coloured buttons, trying to change the colour of the clock face, since he's colour-obsessed (always has been); and I'm trying to set the damn clocks while reading the instructions in the manual that keeps being moved, page-turned, flipped upside down.

And then the clock face goes dark and the digital clock on the back goes blank and it's game over.  I thought I'd smelled something funny a minute ago ... Turns out it was the insides frying.

And so once again, tomorrow morning at about 5:45, I'll be woken to the sweet lilting voice of my 3-year-old, calling from his bedroom across the hall: "Mommy?  Is it wake up time?"

"No, not yet," I'll softly call back.  But it'll be too late.  The baby will be standing at the crib railings and the dog will be stirring in her crate, and I'll have about two minutes until they start to noisily insist on being set free to start the day.

12 hours later: my older son did indeed wake up at 5:30am, and in his whole-house search for the clock, woke us all up.  But on the bright side, with the extra hour this morning, I decided to give the clock another try.  I dug up a screwdriver and popped four AA batteries into the battery compartment and ... it worked!  So as long as I keep those batteries charged, I should be able to forget this ugly incident ever happened.


  1. Hi Cecile,

    Not sure if I have previously been in touch...

    I am a Producer on the US travel show House Hunters International. I found your website when looking for expats who might be interested in being a part of the show, I hope you don't mind me contacting you?

    I thought I would reach out to see if you or anyone you know might be interested in taking part in House Hunters International?! Ideally they should be outgoing and fun, aged under 45 and have bought a property within the last few years or are renting a property.

    House Hunters International is a half-hour TV show currently airing on the Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) in America. The series is designed to de-mystify the international home-buying / renting process, by going behind the scenes of a house hunt where expats and their real estate agents tour 3 homes. At its core, House Hunters International is a travel show concentrating on the idiosyncrasies of the locales and what makes them special and different.

    Here are some examples of the show that you can watch on Youtube: - Barcelona from LA - Vienna from California – Panama from Pennsylvania

    Please do get in touch if you or anyone you know may be interested in the show.

    Best wishes,


    Michelle James
    1-3 St Peter's Street, London N1 8JD - +44 20 7704 3300