Tech support, Moroccan style

I had to phone the hotel's reception to report that the Wi-Fi had stopped working, and they said they'd send someone. I phoned back when it fixed itself, and the wonk asked "You don't want doctor?"

I've spent the week in Morocco, testing Canon's new HF10 HD camcorder, because I'm the man from Crave and that's just how we roll. Interestingly, my iPhone couldn't tell me where I was when in Marrakech, yet high up in the foothills of the Atlas mountain range, I fired up Google Maps and bang: instant triangulation. The geek kudos was well worth the 50 bazillion pounds O2 will have off me for international scamming -- I mean, roaming.

I was definitely outdone, however, by the hack who settled himself on a furry pouffe in a tent under the blazing Moroccan sun on a mountainside miles from anywhere, and conjured up the Interwebs via, of all things, a Vodafone USB dongle .

Moroccan mountains make marvellous... er, images

The globalisation of technology isn't perfect yet, though. Following a Blue Screen of Death on the Gatwick departure board, I later had to phone my hotel reception to report that the Wi-Fi had stopped working. I asked the chap if he spoke English. He said, "Yes," or at least he said something that sounded more in the donkey polo-pitch of "yes" than the foothills of "no". Then something about sending someone up in 20 minutes. Twenty minutes later, another call said another 15 minutes. By this time it was getting into the small hours and I was losing interest. I tried one more time, and with typically mercurial mischievousness, Wi-Fi worked.

I called reception, and said that my Wi-Fi was now working again. "You don't want doctor?" asked reception wonk. "Er... no." I replied, puzzled. "No doctor?" "No. Er, thanks anyway, though..." It was only when I hung up that I realised what had happened. Johnny Bellboy had misunderstood my request. He thought I'd reported that my wife had stopped working.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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