It is Monday and I am charged as I boarded the bus to bring my Windows disc to the computer store to have it installed on the new computer. They said it would take an hour and then I could come back for it. Thinking ahead, I also brought the software for the monitor and the cordless mouse and keyboard.
When I arrived at the store and was asked if I needed help, I said I was waiting for Peter. Peter was the salesman I had arranged all of my needs with on Friday. He asked me in Hungarian if he could help me and I showed him my paper with his name and all of the data HE wrote on it. When he looked up at me with a blank stare, I could tell there was no recognition happening, he had a short in his hardware. I could have been a new immigrant that had just arrived at the airport and made my way to the store for all of the familiarity we shared. After multiple attempts at trying to communicate with me in Hungarian, a point he seemed to have forgotten that my student warned him about, he went to get an English speaker.
They did not have any of the computers in stock. As I repeated “But you said…” I was transported in time to a childhood of adult promises that were withdrawn at the last minute. A new offer was given. Leave my discs, they will get a computer by tomorrow and then they will call me to come pick it up before 6:00 pm. What could I do? They had me by the short circuits. Later, I called my student and told him the story. I could have recited his response before hearing it “Welcome to Hungary”.