Tim "The Toolman" Taylor.
Today's assignment was the fluorescent tube in the common bathroom that has gone out the day before. A quick stop at the DIY store across the street and I had the tube replaced in double quick time.
A flick of the switch et...... nothing.
Aw... nuts. It's the ballast that has gone to ballast heaven. The old tube which I now suspect was still alive, was already disposed of already.
So armed with the new tube and the old ballast, I headed down to the store once again.
The tube tested ok and so it was confirmed that the problem was indeed the ballast.
JayWalk: (Showing her the ballast) 我要买这个. 这个叫什么?
China Lady Store Manager: Ballast.
JayWalk: Har? 我也知道叫 "ballast". 中文怎么讲?
Store Manager: 不知道.
JayWalk: （Gives the "您来自中国不知道这个中文怎么说?" one-raised-eyebrow look).
Store Manager: （Gave back the "七早八早你是来给老娘添乱的是么?" death stare)
JayWalk: *quietly exit stage right*
TIL: Ballast for the fluorescent tube is known as "镇流器“， according to the description on the box.
Image Credit: http://www.comingsoon.net