Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Learning to Trust When out of Your Element

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Learning to Trust When out of Your Element

Article excerpt

Gideon Bosker of CMEducation Resources on getting a computer fixed in Indonesia.

When I was practicing medicine, I used to give lectures all over the world. Now, most of my travel is focused on developing medical education programs and attending scientific congresses, as well as researching books that I write.

I'm kind of a control freak. That's not good, especially when traveling for business, when everything that can go wrong often really does.

I was in Bali, Indonesia, and my trip was going very well until about the third day, when my laptop computer broke down. I needed it for work, and like everyone who has experienced a broken computer, I felt out of control and out of touch. That's not a good feeling for me.

My first instincts were to just dump the computer, ship it home to Oregon for repair or buy a new computer somewhere in Indonesia. Each of those ideas had its own drawbacks, so I finally decided to try to get the thing fixed in Bali. At the time, Bali had a good electronic infrastructure for commerce, but not everyone was as plugged in as we are in the United States. I still figured there must be a few computer repair technicians available somewhere in Bali who could help me out.

The hotel front desk directed my driver to a computer dealer. We drove out of the hotel district and cruised through neighborhoods crammed with shops for baskets, teak furniture and kites. When we passed some beautifully manicured rice fields, I really thought I had made a poor decision, since we were in rural Indonesia.

We finally got to the computer store, and a woman there directed us to the computer repair part of the establishment, which was in a shed packed with pool tables. It looked to me like the most out-of- control high-tech service center anywhere in the world. It was like a computer graveyard, with parts strewn all over the place. To say I was a little concerned is an understatement.

No one seemed to speak English, but an older man finally pointed to a teenage boy who apparently could help me. …

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