When we moved to Mexico, we only brought one laptop computer with us and I was usually the person using it. Linda preferred to access the Internet via her Kindle Fire or her cellphone and never had much use for the computer — but that all changed shortly after we started this blog.
Within just a few months, we started receiving a dozen or more emails a day from readers asking us questions about moving to Mexico. With only one computer in the house, we had to take turns answering emails when we had a break from our daily routine of living life to the fullest.
It was clear that we needed to buy another computer to increase proficiency.
We headed down to the nearest Walmart and bought an inexpensive laptop. Since we were only getting it to answer emails, we didn’t need anything fancy.
Linda and I both speak Spanish so it wasn’t a problem that all of the preinstalled software was set to español by default. We switched a few programs to English and left others the way they were. We speak Spanglish at home, so it makes sense that our computer would reflect that language choice.
When we bought the computer, we noticed that several of the keys were different; however, since the majority of the keyboard layout was familiar, we didn’t think it would be a problem — we were wrong.
Linda possesses excellent typing skills, specially when compared to my two-finger method (patent pending). Nevertheless, this new keyboard configuration effectively thwarted her efforts to quickly crank out well-articulated email responses.
When she was responding to emails, I would hear a few seconds of rapid typing followed by profanity. This pattern would continue for a few minutes until she grew frustrated enough to switch over to the old laptop.
Where is the @?!!
One afternoon, Linda was booking our next trip on her new computer when she arrived at the box requesting her email address. She started scanning the keyboard for the @ and found it sitting on the lower right hand side of the Q key (shown below).
Linda wasn’t sure what magical combination of keys would make the character appear on the screen but she tried the most likely ones: Ctrl+Q, Alt+Q, Shift+Q, Alt+Shift+Q, Alt+Shift+Ctrl+ Q…. but nothing worked.
Linda called me over and we both stared at the keyboard like two cavemen staring at fire for the first time. That’s when she noticed a small key to the right of the space bar called “alt gr” — that was the one.
Of course by now, the website had timed out and she had to start all over again.
We decided that life was too short for this type of aggravation and we gave the laptop to a local woman that we know. She is a single mother raising a school-age child, so we knew that they would put the computer to good use.
We ended up buying an inexpensive laptop on our next trip back to the States.
Let’s Wrap This Up
I realize that this post was a little long considering the topic. I woke up particularly early today and had some extra time to kill before Linda woke up. Thanks for understanding.
Well, enough of that. It’s a gorgeous day here in the Riviera Maya and there is a beach chair with my name on it. Hasta Luego.