Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Bad Hold Music and THB


I spent virtually all day at home yesterday. But I did get a lot done -- I caught up on all our laundry and I finished a book I've been reading. I studied for our "Life in the U.K." test and collected some documentation we'll need to prove our residency when we take it on Friday.

At one point I called the local council to have them mail me a tax statement. They put me on hold, and I waited, and waited, and waited. I was listening to tinny, synthesizer-heavy hold music that sounded like something from Miami Vice, repeating over and over. I never even got to hear the whole tune -- it would play for 30 seconds or so, abruptly cut off, and start again at the beginning. It was so bad I began laughing, perplexing Dave. Finally someone answered the phone, but then her computer wasn't working, so she put me back on hold and I waited some more. It took me about half an hour to get that statement mailed. (Hopefully it will arrive in time, but I have a backup plan!)

The hot, dry weather continues. I made a salad for lunch yesterday from stuff left in our fridge after our dinner party, and it hit the spot. I may do the same today. Things are supposed to cool off on Thursday, when rain is expected.


Remember my West African beer labels? Well, here's one from Madagascar, from 1999. (I worked more yesterday on my journal transcribing project, as you can see.) Apparently it's known locally, or maybe just among expats, as "THB," and I called it mauvaise but I also seemed to drink it fairly often while I was there -- so it couldn't have been that bad. I got a kick out of reading about my experiences on that crazy trip. I went because one of my oldest friends was working there temporarily, and I stayed with him while exploring the island. It's a long story, involving lemurs and sea urchins and poverty and land crabs and torrential rain!

(Top photo: West Hampstead, yesterday morning.)

10 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I hope you tell us more about Madagascar Steve. I have never been there but I think it is a fascinating island for several reasons - not least its unique flora and fauna... and the terrible impact of logging and population growth.

ellen abbott said...

You've had a pretty interesting life. I'd like to hear more about Madagascar too.

Sharon Anck said...

I hate it when I get stuck on hold with annoying music. Madagascar is not a place that many people visit so stories from there are always welcome.

Red said...

I absolutely hate call centers and the time they take and the rotten music they play. Couldn't they play something popular?

37paddington said...

A productive day at home now and then is one of life's try glories, at least by my lights. Operative words: now and then.

37paddington said...

TRUE glories (not "try" glories). i should proofread.

robin andrea said...

Wow, your telephone call with the local council sounds so much like mine with the UC Retirement Office. I often wonder where to they get that music and why do they keep repeating it and repeating it. Yikes. I would love to hear about your time in Madagascar. Truly the other side of the world.

jenny_o said...

Good luck on Friday! That is such a great picture. But then -- so many of yours are!

I've never heard "hold" music that I liked. EVER.

e said...

More Madagascar tales, please and good luck on the test!

Steve Reed said...

Thanks, as always, for your comments, everyone! I'll think about how to tell some more Madagascar stories...