Monday, October 27, 2003

We went to a party at our Latin dance teacher's house last night. It was a pretty standard Kuwaiti affair: bad music, a bit of half-hearted dancing and way too much food. Except for when salsa or meringue music came on, then there was at least energetic (and cramped) dancing. After a couple of hours of dancing, and the second playing of the "It's getting hot in here, so take off all your clothes" song we called it a night. It is good to get out and meet a few people who aren't teachers. Ernesto, who can dance the meringue like his hips are afloat on stormy seas, is a Porto Rican who drives a transport truck up into Iraq. Unfortunately, the party DJ's like their music loud, so having a conversation with people is a challenge.

We have been leading a quiet life since we got back. A few parties to keep us busy on the weekends. But, we've stayed away from restaurants. There's lots of tutoring and exercise. We've worked out a system whereby we earn our pocket money based on the number of times we exercise each week.

Karla bought me a DVD player as an early Christmas gift (it was on sale) and I paid for the home theatre speaker system out of my exercise money. Our CD player stopped working and we took advantage of the misfortune to upgrade. We can still listen to regular CDs as well as CDs with mp3s on them, plus we can watch DVDs. It will even accept a CD with pictures on it and run a little slide show. But trouble started on Wednesday when a student asked me in class to hold onto her DVDs. Well, she forgot them and I brought them home. I popped one into the DVD player to see the wrong region screen - a screen I was not supposed to seen after being promised that the player I bought was a multi-region player. In fact, none of the three would play. I went to bed Wednesday night thinking about what I would say when I went back to the store.

Thursday morning I got up early and while I sipped my coffee, I decided to check on the internet to see exactly which DVD players were multi-region and which weren't. After a bit of surfing, I had a pretty extensive list scribbled down, (including the cheaper model I had almost bought t hat didn't have the surround sound outputs). I read that some players have a switch inside the controls which region's code it accepts. Just for the hell of it, I thought I would do a quick search to search to see how difficult it would be to alter ours. My first Yahoo result took me to a page that described a process of pushing a few buttons on the remote in the magic order. And sure enough, in a matter of 30 seconds, I had adapted our DVD player to accept discs from any region.