Big shop in Tesco

Trip Start Aug 04, 2011
Trip End Jan 04, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  ,
Thursday, September 22, 2011

We've got no plans, we've just got to Bangkok and we've got no idea what we're going to do. So we go to Tesco.
Tesco Lotus to be exact, and the first Tesco Lotus Extra to open in Bangkok. It's exactly like Tesco at home but with a little Lotus sign and with much smilier staff. The intention is to buy a little netbook to enable writing of blogs and checking of emails in some of the future hotels, as business centre access is becoming more expensive and free wi-fi appears to be everywhere. To make the buying of a netbook easier and to reduce the amount of arguments over cost, I explain to Kate the netbook will be hers as her birthday present and she quickly becomes very keen on the idea.
Browsing the shelves we find a relatively reasonable spec computer in a brilliant white that Kate appears to want. It will cost about 200 quid which is reasonable. The assistant tries to find one in storage but they have none left. We feel a little disappointed. I'm gutted. I've been falling behind further and further with the blog and the new place we're in charges in the business centre but we have fast free Wi-fi in our awesome room. This would be perfect for catching up and planning the next part of the trip.
We do a bit more shopping in Tesco and buy some microwave meals and cheap clothes to re-stock our bags - it's amazing how bored you get wearing the same clothes all the time on rotation.
Over the road and we check out Big C which is the main competition to Tesco. It is just a Carrefour Extra. They have the same computers, for the same prices except the type we were looking for.
Back at the hotel after a Taxi ride back with our bags we flick on the Kindles and use the Wi-fi to find IT Malls in the vicinity. Kate finds one a couple of stops up from Sukhumvit station on the metro. It's meant to have everything you need IT wise all under one roof. It does. It's an IT geeks wet dream.
We very quickly find a netbook of a higher spec than the one in Tesco in a burgundy Red and the guy knocks off some Baht from the list price and throws in a mouse, headset and other little accessories. I manage to get the mouse changed over as the shop assistant first brought out a pink mouse which just wouldn't do. I explained the fact that although this was Kate's netbook, there was no chance I would be seen dead with a pink mouse. The alternative is a beautiful baby blue and it is an improvement of sorts.
We go through the motions and get all the professional treatment, get a years warranty (that we can't read and won't be able to redeem) and walk out in the thunder of Bangkok with Kate all smiles.

Back at the hotel (5pm) Kate turns on the computer and waits for windows to kick in. It doesn't. Very little occurs in fact. It goes to a black screen for something called Linux and we both get very confused. Looking through the paperwork, a note is attached in the box suggesting that the operating system for this netbook does not have windows installed and won't work with Windows. Bollocks. My receipt says 'No Refunds'. I am feeling devastated and angry and quickly get everything back into the box ready for some confrontation.
Back across town for 6pm at the IT mall, we sit down with the the guy who sold us the computer and another assistant and I try and explain with Kate's help the fact that we have been given something with no windows and no ability to install it. The guy is helpful and points out with some Thai English that it was quite clear it didn't come with windows (which it wasn't) but that it can be installed.
"How much?"
"We have official one for 1500 Baht (30ish pounds) and can install it here, about one and half hour"
"bloody hell, and that comes with office, right?"
"No, only windows"
"Other shop can give you less than official type with office for 300 Baht"
(Other assistant in shop actually works for a PC service shop across the way who install software and what not).
"How long will it take to install there?"
"About 2 hours"
"Whats better?" I say to Kate "Something official costing 30 quid plus, or something a little dodge with all the software for 8-10 quid".

Roughly an hour and a half to 2 hours later after a KFC meal (eaten off plastic plates wouldn't you know) and a doughnut and slushy in a coffee shop (both in the IT Mall) we returned to pick up our new computer fully functioning with Windows and Microsoft Office. It was past 8pm, and our first full day in Bangkok had been spent mostly shuffling around IT shops.

Before going to bed, we watched 'The Net' starring Sandra Bullock. Somewhat appropriate.
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