Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Smurfs #2

I never really thought I would start a blog - let alone a blog containing not one, but two (and counting?) posts about Smurfs. It's just that moving to Belgium is bringing up a treasure trove of childhood memories.

The other day, I was researching the difference between transformers and converters, which I still can't say I completely understand. But then I recalled learning at least one part of the lesson the hard way, back in the day.

We had just moved into our new house in Roosendaal, the Netherlands. I must've been about 9 or 10 years old. Even though I was a girl, my room was decorated according to a (not-atypical in Euroland) red-and-white Formula One theme, straight out of the Ikea catalogue. I think the prior inhabitant, a boy, had slept in a racecar bed. Nevertheless, I loved my room and did not yet resent my parents for being Chinese and uninterested in ameloriating or personalizing interiors.

One day, I decided to play a record on my Smurfs turntable, which had been carefully shipped from the U.S. I had watched my parents use the converter with their grown-up devices, and figured it would allow me to do the same. Unfortunately, shortly after plugging it in, the record player began to emit smoke before basically exploding in my red-and-white room.

Lesson learned: Do not use converters on appliances better served by transformers. And identify which is which.

1 comment:

britoutofwater said...

I have more step-up, step-down transformers than I can begin to tell you. Still doesn't mean that I know how to use them though - I recently sent an email to the manufacturers of my hi-fi system asking them why after working perfectly well in the US for twelve months, my CD player appeared to have given up the ghost. Turns out that when moving furniture around, I had plugged the device into the 240V output. I had already identified possible replacement CD players to purchase by the time I realised...