Going Out On a Limb

***updated October 2013 — also Prisma now does Internet and I would choose a package deal if I were doing this again as their Internet prices are much cheaper than what I have*** Ninety-one channels of cable TV arrived yesterday. I went with a recommendation and used a company called Prisma Digital (www.prisma.net.bd). The customer service guy spoke English (useful for me considering my Bangla consists of saying something akin to “Good garble-TV-yes-yes?”). An appointment was made. Forty minutes after the appointed time, a call from the customer service saying that they were late. Another appointment time made. Another hour passed. Another call. Late again. New appointment made. For ten minutes later. Twenty minutes later, they arrived with the guard escorting them up and checking with me that this was truly  what “madame” (me) wanted. The two guys came in (not in their uniforms like I was told by the guy on the phone) but still the one guy was carrying a large roll of cable on his shoulder so I figured they were the right guys (or that guy has the strangest taste in neck ornamentation). They took their shoes off out in the stairway. Then they set to work.

Efficiently, they opened the balcony door, fed cable out down to the street, and disappeared out onto the street. Coiling the wire into a loose bunch, he threw the bunch over the first wire criss-crossing the street. He missed and the wire got caught. He pulled it back down. Coiled it up again. Threw it again. It went over. The other cable guy helped guide him. They do this ten times a day, every day of the year (but for ten holidays he gets off per year), so they know what they are doing. No doubt. Then, through some rock, paper, scissors system, decided who would shimmy up the telephone pole. Up he went, barefoot, pulling on wires for support. When he got high enough, he pulled on the plastic tube holding many of the wires… water came shooting out and poured onto the street. Unperturbed, the cable guy reached out for the cable junction. He couldn’t reach it. He climbed a little higher by grabbing hold of the wires. Rickshaws and cars honked and buzzed by on the street. The neighbors came out to talk. The cable guys conferred, one at street level, the other one dangling from a telephone pole (this level of agility and athleticism is not called parkour, base jumping, rock climbing or anything else fancy that involves helmets, safety lines, or club memberships). Then, it was done. They came running up. One guy climbed up the bars on the balcony and neatly attached the cable out of the way, then fed it along the wall so that it would be neatly hidden. When he got to the balcony door, he took pliers and efficiently “bit” off bits of the door frames so that he could feed the cable in. Then they plugged in the TV, set the channels, wrote a neat carbon paper bill, handed me a guide to the channels, showed me some of the choice channels (sport with cricket, Star movies, MTV Asia, and BBC), and left.

A word about the channels. Many of them are the same channel but in different languages. I have Bangladeshi, Indian, Chinese, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, American, British, Australian, etc. channels (TLC, Discovery, CNN, BBC, NG, HBO and so on). All with an Asian twist.

It was 300 Taka ($4.50) for the installation fee and 300 Taka per month with no contract***since 2012, it has cost 400 taka per month, of which I pay six months at a time so that they cable guy will not appear at my door every month***. The guys would not take a tip.

2 thoughts on “Going Out On a Limb

  • Oh so different from what I will have to pay next week when I move to my apartment. The nonrefundable fee for the equipment alone is $150, plus a deposit and a monthly fee of $51 for the basic package. Wait till I tell you about the strange internet service we get here!

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