In the dark, you can't see. This is a problem when driving, which is why we have headlights, illuminated instrument panels, and illuminated shift gates.
Except that the shift gate light in my Volvo has burned itself out.
Now, I'm rather a fan of the Swedish Bricks mailing list's 700/900 maintenance FAQ, and it does cover this situation. The procedure listed is quite simple:
Shift Indicator Bulb Replacement. Shift Indicator Lamp. [Query:] How does one replace the bulb that illuminates the gear selector letters? [Response:] Here’s how it can be replaced:
1. remove ashtray
2. remove plastic cover under hand brake
3. remove two screws that 2. revealed
4. remove plastic cover that covers shift gate
5. Look under shift gate on left side for two wires connected to light
6. pull down gently on wires and the light appears
7. replace bulb and reinstall in reverse order
Now, after one trip to the parts store (and a certain amount of swearing) I have managed to ascertain that I can reach step 2 of this process. Now, step 1 is deceptive; it should read "remove ashtray assembly", as the ashtray itself is in a plastic box which covers the main fusebox. The fusebox needs to be exposed. Step 2 is a doozy; I have to disconnect the switches for the heated seats in the process of doing it, along with undoing a rather tricky spring clip. #3 looks OK (although I think they mean bolts), and the actual electricals should be OK.
Now I just have to hope that I really do need a 2721 bulb for this, not some obscure Swedish thing that Jan only blows once a year and only ships by trans-Polar reindeer, and that no more surprises spring up.