Ainslie Paton romance author

Jetlag, swollen feet and Mum’s Kindle Continued

A conversation with Mum about setting up her new Kindle – this occurs immediately following the day of jetlag and swollen feet – both conditions remain in evidence.

cautionMum:    (Hands me the Kindle Paperwhite)

Me:        (This is the first one of these I’ve seen.  I look at the screen.  All the writing is in Japanese characters) What did you do?

Mum:    You told me not to touch it.

Me:        So what did you do?

Mum:    Nothing.

Me:        You did something.  You took it out of the box and then what?

Mum:    I charged it up.

Me:        Good, and?  (Would it be possible that the Big W Kindles are set to Japanese – surely not).

Mum:    I didn’t do anything else.

Me:        So you turned it on?

Mum:    Yes.

Me:        What else didn’t you do?

Mum:    Nothing.

Me:        So when you turned it on it looked like this?

Mum:    No.

Me:        So how did it get like this?

Mum:    I don’t know.

Me:        Me neither.  (I realise not only is the language set to Japanese, the screen is totally frozen and won’t reset).

Mum:    But it changed.

Me:        What did?  (Dead-set she’s mucked big time with this).

Mum:    First there was English and then there was that stuff.  It’s because it’s from Big W, all that Chinese writing.  I knew I should’ve taken it back.

Me:        It’s Japanese.

Mum:    Well it’s still a fake.

Me:        It’s not a fake.  You did something to it.

Mum:    Are you having a cup of tea?

Me:        Don’t change the subject.

Mum:    I don’t know what I did to it.  I’ve broken it haven’t I?  I’ll take it back.

Me:        Just make the tea and leave me alone.

(Do you have any idea how hard it is to reset a machine whose menu you can’t read?  Eventually I find a YouTube video that shows me precisely how to switch from Japanese to English.  I write to the man who made it and ask him about his mother.  Turns out, yep, she got it stuck on Japanese as well, though Big W was not involved.  We are best buds now, siblings in the sensory deprivation and unbound confusion of mothers who unknowingly hack tech.

I reset the Kindle, register it to her account and download her books.  Then I realise I need to explain the concept of using finger swipes and the cloud to her and I nearly, so nearly weep.)

Me:        All your books are here now.

Mum:    In English.

Me:        No.  Spanish.

Mum:    Oh no.

Me:        Bad joke.  They’re in English.  Now I need you to look at this.  See this bit here, it says device and cloud.

Mum:    Yes.

Me:        Device means the Kindle.

Mum:    Why don’t they say that?

Me:        Because they like to confuse people.

Mum:    You’re not wrong about that.

Me:        Cloud means…

Mum:    Does it mean on my computer.

Me:        No.

Mum:    But that’s where everything else is.

Me:        What do you mean everything else?

Mum:    All of Amazon.

Me:        Okay, Amazon is on your computer because your computer is on the internet.

Mum:    It’s like those Russian dolls that go inside each other.

Me:        It’s not anything like those dolls.


Mum:    What are we talking about?

Me:        This word cloud and this word device.  Think about them as two different drawers.  In the device drawer is the new books you download to read.  In the cloud drawer are the books you’ve already read that were on your old Kindle.

Mum:    Why don’t they just say old Kindle and new Kindle?

Me:        Because they don’t speak grandmother.

Mum:    Why don’t they say drawer one and drawer two?

Me:        Because I’m making something up so you’ll understand it.

Mum:    In English

Me:        Drawer is an English word.

Mum:     Very funny.

Me:.  The good news is I’ve set it up so all your newest books are in the device drawer and all the ones you’ve already read are in the cloud drawer.

Mum:    What happens when I want to swap them over?

Me:        I have an aneurism.

Mum:    Don’t be horrible.

Me:        The good news is, it remembers your percentages.  It knows where you’ve stopped reading.

Mum:    Well that is good.  But this Kindle might be a problem still.

Me:        That’s an understatement.

Mum:    It doesn’t have buttons to turn the page.  You have to do something on the screen like you do on your mobile phone.

Me:        That’s right, you swipe it, like pretending to turn a page.

Mum:    It’s going to get finger prints all over it.

Me:        No it won’t, it’s a special screen, it won’t mark.  (I show her how to page back and forth and how to return to the main screen, we’re just about there, if you don’t count the phone call I’ll get about ten minutes after I get home and the replay of this on the weekend).

Mum:    (Practices stabbing the top of the page for the menu screen and swiping with very dramatic flourishes much like an orchestra conductor.)

Me:        You can make little movements you know.

Mum:    I hope so because this will get tiring, though it’s probably a good work out for my arm.

Me:        (I look at her with certain horror)

Mum:    I’m kidding.  You’re the one in the cloud.


2 Responses to “Jetlag, swollen feet and Mum’s Kindle Continued

  • I would be very disappointed if this hilarity doesn’t make it into a work a fiction.

    • Hah – oddly to real for me to be fiction. If romcoms ever come back in fashion I’ve got material.

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