XBox

I would be remiss if I didn’t briefly report on what was by far the most daunting and time-consuming aspect of preparing for this relocation – figuring out what to do about Erez’s XBox360. There was no way I was going to spend the next several months with him here without his XBox and XBox Live connection. It would have been a miserable situation for both of us. I started researching the situation months ago in anticipation of our move. Should we just buy a new XBox in Singapore? Well, first I had to research whether his favorite US-purchased games would work on an Asian console – it looked like the answer was yes, but there was no way of knowing for sure that they would work. Plus, my research suggested he wouldn’t be able to access his existing XBox Live account (which apparently would have terrible lifelong consequences for him that would pretty much further ruin his already ruined life). So, that meant we had to take the XBox with us. But first, thanks to an understandably frustrated blog post by Ernst in Singapore entitled¬†R.I.P. XBox 360¬†- god, that is so ominous it gives me the chills just to type it – I was alerted to another complication. You have to have a special “power brick” in order to plug in your US XBox console to an outlet here in Singapore, since the one that come with your US console only supports 120 volts and the power in Singapore is 220. A simple power adaptor is not sufficient to support the XBox.

So the search began for the Singapore power brick about one month before our relocation date. Well, after several hours of online chatting with XBox representatives, a few long phone calls with phone reps (they were all excellent, by the way, just couldn’t solve this particular problem), and multiple attempts to buy this power brick online from the Singapore site (trust me, it cannot be done if the XBox that you have registered with the site is a US console and/or if you are using a US credit card to pay for it), I enlisted Moshe, who was already in Singapore to get involved. He called the Singapore Microsoft number, ordered it through them, who instructed him that he would have to pick it up at some electronics store in a digital mall somewhere in Singapore (which he did).

Meanwhile, my task was to figure out how to safely transport the XBox from Boston to Singapore. We were not about to risk checking it on the airplane and having some baggage handler throw it around. So, the night before our departure, Erez and I packed it all up carefully in bubble wrap, put it in a carry-on suitcase and brought it on board with us. (This meant that Erez had to go for a few hours that night and several hours the next morning without playing his XBox, but he survived.) Based on more research on the issue of taking a game console through security, I was concerned that we might have to unload and unwrap it at the airport, so I also packed extra tape in case we had to rewrap any equipment. No one blinked an eye when we went through security at Logan. At Newark, they asked if it was an XBox and sternly told us that next time we will have to unpack it (I don’t think there will be a next time).

Anyway, as you can probably tell from the tenor of this tale, it ended well for us. The first thing we did when we arrived at our apartment here in Singapore (I didn’t even go to the bathroom first) was unpack and connect the console. Moshe had the power brick ready and waiting. And, amazingly, it worked! Erez was connecting with his friends back home on XBox Live within minutes. And all the stars aligned when we realized that Erez’s sister Lea is fortuitously coming to visit us in Singapore on November 13th, the very day that Black Ops 2 is released, so she will be able to hand-deliver the game to Erez, which we pre-ordered back home in Brookline before we left.

While our story ended well, alas, things did not end so well for Ernst. As he describes in his blog post (which I urge you to read for yourself if you have the stomach for it), it took him months – really – to figure all of this out, get the power brick and finally be ready to plug in the XBox. He finally had it working, was happily playing Call of Duty when, in his words, “all of a sudden the screen froze and made an awful sound. I tried to reboot the console, and the power LEDs that are normally green were now red.” Yes, Ernst encountered the red rings of death that those of you who have an XBox know about and fear. And, if you thought the process for getting the special power brick sounded frustrating, wait till you read Ernst’s description of the process of getting a US console repaired from Southeast Asia.

305 Comments

  1. Your engaging writing style and choice of travel topics for this blog are splendid. I am enjoying every word — and I do hear your voice in my mind as I read! Sounds like you are adjusting and finding it all a fascinating adventure! Keep the entries coming.

  2. Even though I knew the outcome (and might have been somewhat instrumental in the addition of the carry-on suitcase and additional tape), I was still riveted to the story. Why haven’t you invited Ernst over to play with Erez? That sounds like a mitzvah to me.

    • You definitely were instrumental as I was planning to carry the console in a totebag which would have led to a severe shoulder issue – especially since E and I were also each carrying a laptop. Meant to acknowledge you in the post for your excellent suggestion to put it in a rolling carryon.

  3. If any mother deserves a “mother of the year” award it is certainly you. I will be sure to let Jake know that Erez is Live. He comes home from camp on Sunday after 5-1/2weeks away. I am sure Singapore is a more enjoyable place for everyone with the x-box safely there.

    • Erez is looking forward to connecting with Jacob soon.

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