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Adi & Praja 104

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 9

Issue 104: The Computer Shop

Naturally Shano wanted to help everybody in the city, especially children, who were poor or sad. But there were thousands. The only thing would be to give them money.


(the computer shop)

Then – he had been only a week in the city now, he passed by a big shop, a very beautiful shop full of light, and above the shop was written ‘Computers.’ By now, he had discovered that con-puters were computers, and that they weren’t people but machines. He understood by now that he could not become a computer, but he could be could become a computer expert, or ITer as they called it. He entered the shop. Never in his whole life he had seen or even imagined such a shop. First he wanted to open the door, but before he had touched it, it opened itself for him. When he entered, he saw nobody, but their was a nice puppet in bright colors which came to him, and said in English “Good bye, what do you want, can I help you?” E wontu no upout con-puters, he answered in English – which he had learned from books, but never spoken. It was at least three seconds before the puppet answered. Then, in a perfect imitation of Shano’s own voice, it answered: “That is possible. What du yu wantu no about conputers – is that computers?” He answered: “Evareezing.” The puppet understood, and called a human being from behind, and said: “here is a very nice boy with a village accent who wants to learn about computers. He wants to work here also.” How did that puppet know that? – he had not spoken his own language, and he also had not talked about working there. But that had indeed be his secret wish as soon as he had entered the shop. “Okay, said the human being, I’ll have a talk with him. Villagers are not usually very educated, but he has a nice face, as you say.” “Yes,” said the puppet, “I always immediately know when boys have a nice character, or a bad one.” Actually the human being looked a lot stranger that the puppet. He had an absolutely fanciless grey suit with straight legs, and straight arms, and Shano wondered of this man might also be a computer inside. But he wasn’t, he was actually the director of the shop, and fully human. He spoke the language of the country, not English, and asked Shano what he knew about computers. “They are in cars behind the dashboard and are very intelligent. They do everything you say and know every street in the city.” The man laughed. “What is the brand you usually work with,” asked the director. Shano didn’t know what a ‘brand’ was, but he new that some farmers with big herds had branded their sheep. He happened to like orange, so he said “orange brand.” “O said the man, you mean Apple, a very old brand from the 20th century; they made many of their designs in orange” “Yes I am fond of apples, but they are expensive aren’t they,” said Shano. “Well, said the man, you can help me carrying computers from the stockroom, and perhaps you can help clients from villages who know very little about computers. “Yes, I like to,” said Shano, in good English, with a breaking voice, because he was just in his voice breaking period. First Shano was shown all the departments of the shop: TVs, music machines, machines for making things cool, or hot, or both, and all kinds of communicators, and of course many computers, from one inch in size to supercomputers bigger than a box of pencils, and with separate screens. Computers could have all forms, some looked like puppets, large and small, some like moving pictures, some had eyes, other could talk and listen, and read and write, and answer almost every question, like “How many people were living in Berlin in 1827?” It was a magic world. Many looked at Shano and wanted to play with him. They were called gamers. He could not go anywhere in that shop or there was a voice calling to him: “I have the latest cosmic game,” or “absolutely intergalactic”. Or, “your heart will become warm when you play with me.” There were even a few that you could hold under your tongue, and than your whole mind would become like a computer. But that wasn’t for people of his age, said the director, and they were locked behind windows. In reality Shano knew absolutely nothing about all these things, but he absorbed like a sponge all what the director said, and he understood that if he had a question he could ask any puppet. He looked closely when the director or his helpers were selling things, and soon tried to imitate it. After some practice he knew how to handle the simpler instruments, and also about credit and debit cards and thought-cards, which could kind of measure how honest and intelligent the client was – and honest clients they could pay by merely thinking ‘yes’ when the amount was presented, and the amount would automatically be taken from their bank account. Shano at first didn’t know what a bank account was, but he understood that the director was always happy when they “thought of something they took from their bank account.” Then came a client who wanted to buy a TV with an antenna. Shano had seen the director put the plug of a TV in some little holes in the wall, Shano did the same, he took the two ends of the antenna and put them in the holes on the wall. Bang ! FIRE !!! The client ran out, and the director came from the other room purple and green faced and shouted: “What are you doing?!” Shano, shaking over his whole body because of the unexpected event said: “A client wanted to buy a TV, but the TV didn’t like the client, so he chased the client out of the shop by startling him. But I was really friendly to the client.” From that time on, Shano had to work in the storage rooms, and was not allowed to plug anything in whatsoever. Still, the director noticed that Shano was exceedingly bright, learned fast, was interested in everything, was never tired (because he still had the healthy vitality of his valley in his blood.), was very good with the clients, and even helped them with things that had nothing to do with the shop, like tying their shoelaces, or saying that they looked very smart or handsome. More clients actually came to the shop, because they felt it had become ‘human,’ and most people went to Shano first in stead of the puppet at the automatic door.

He learned quickly, and never made any stupid mistake again like that with the TV. When he had time he would do his own things on some computer, dividing his time between googling scientific websites and chatting with mates all over the world. Rapidly he made chat friends all over the globe: Japan, Peru, Botswana, Australia, Sweden and many others, mostly boys and girls of around his age, but some much older man and women. The special thing about Shano that he never chatted to ventilate how good he was or to tell stories that were mainly interesting to himself. He felt genuine sympathy, and sometimes concern, for each correspondent, and had endless patience to read and answer and skype when somebody had a story to tell. Usually these stories were the boys’ en girls’ problems with their parents, or about a mean school teacher, or about the problems boys have with girls and girls with boys. He always had some helpful answer. So this multinational band of chatters regarded him as a friend, and some fell in love with him. But he could also be remarkable philosophical, and he often amazed older chatters with his deep remarks and comments. They couldn’t believe he was only fifteen. The only thing he didn’t like was girls (and sometimes boys) falling in love with him and chat all kinds of flatteries, often followed by invitations. In his heart he wasn’t interested in girls (or boys) at all, because inwardly he knew that one day he would meet the only girl who was really a part of his destiny – that was beyond doubt, though he didn’t know when and where. In the beginning he had posted pictures of himself on the net, but because he was so exceedingly handsome (which he himself was hardly aware of) he unintentionally gathered a big fan club around him who wanted to spend the rest of their lives (or at least one night) with him. So he removed the pictures and put an over-aged American female movie star in its place.

Shano had never talked about money though, and neither had the director, and the first three months he was ‘on trial’ so he received nothing.

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