For an anniversary present my Mr. Hot Stuff wanted to get me an electronic Chinese-English translator. These are pretty handy gizmos. Not for translating entire sentences, but when you need the word for “stop” or “toilet” or “toothpaste”, they are every superlative the Chinese have for wonderful. The trouble with them is two-fold:
- The ones you buy here are designed for use by a Chinese person and very confusing for an English speaker to navigate.
- They are horrendously expensive! I saw the price and just couldn’t let Mr. Hot Stuff pay that much. Seriously. Just get me a diamond instead. Ouch. We priced an i-phone and it was a little higher in price so I just sighed and blew the whole idea off. I mean seriously? Talk about paying for a status symbol. oy.
So we just sort of put off the purchase. Then while in the U.S. over the summer, I accidentally dropped “old trusty” my cell phone. It still worked as long as you didn’t need to use any of the buttons on the lower left of the keypad. I was very disappointed because this was an “unlocked” phone and I could use it in the U.S. and China just by buying a new SIM card and installing it.
Fast forward to my return to China. Mr. Hot Stuff said that he would get me a new phone “like his” in Hong Kong when we went. I wasn’t sure I wanted a touch screen phone. I’m hardly technophobic, but sometimes touch screen technology makes me wonder if I actually have fingerprints. I decided to trust him and take a leap of faith. I’m so glad I did. I love my new Android cell phone. It was way cheaper than an i-phone and 2/3 the cost of an insanely confusing translator. After I got the phone set up, all I had to do was download a free translating app which actually seems to work better than any electronic translator I’ve seen. So HA!
Yes, it’s filtered by the Great Chinese Firewall. I’ll just live with it. Soon enough I’ll be moving back to the U.S. and I’ll get to pay extra for the privilege of downloading email and surfing the net and text messaging. In the meantime I’ll just enjoy my “free” access to the information highway – however slow and incomplete it may be. Neener-neener. 😛
winner-winner, chicken dinner 🙂