The first thing Matthias noticed after he recovered from the ascent of the stairs was our TV digibox. He started asking questions about it. I suspected nothing, thinking that this was just standard geek talk. Matthias gets really excited about technology.
Then on Saturday Lanying called me. They had been to see “We Will Rock You” and now they were doing a bit of shopping. “He’s buying two slingboxes,” Lanying explained.
Luckily I was at my computer so I wasn’t completely nonplussed. I did a bit of googling and managed to decode Matthias’s next business plan.
So the idea is this. He attaches a mysterious black box to our digibox and runs a 15 metre cable from it to our wireless router (which took him less than 10 minutes to install, by the way – thumbs up for that!) He then types a special code and watches TV on his laptop. Or his phone. In Thailand. A service he then markets to ex-pats in Thailand who are missing British TV.
I wasn’t keen on this idea but Matthias is very adaptable. He was already working on Plan B. “I am going to make some photos of the social housing here and show it to my wife. She will be very excited when she sees the quality of the housing. Then I will bring her here and abandon her. Her children will learn perfect English. Perfect English. Oh yes! Maybe they will start her off in just a two bedroom apartment but after a while maybe something bigger. Yes, I am liking this idea very much.”
Meanwhile he would be renting out her house in Thailand.
He even had a business plan for me. He’s an irrepressible entrepreneur. “Did you iron these yourself?” he asked, admiring the crisp shirts hanging up on my bedroom door.
“Oh, the creases are very sharp. Very good, very good. They are just like if they are coming back from the laundry service.”
“It takes years of practice,” I told him. “My colleagues would kill to be able to iron like that.”
“Well, there is your insurance for the credit crunch,” he said. “If you lose your job at the bank you can offer a laundry service.”
I resisted the obvious quips about laundering his dirty money. These days people who work in banks can no longer take the moral high ground.