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November 6, 2010

(Written Tuesday November 2nd)

I’m disconnected and feel like I’m in a cave… on an island… in the 19th century.  Ferocious storms last weekend knocked down much fruit before its time, tons of precious olives, and our interwebs.  I’ve mentioned before how my laptop is the center of my universe, repository of music, images, words, ideas, and memories.  But being my connection to the world is the function I miss most acutely when it isn’t there.  Yesterday was my birthday.  I suppose a few people may have sent me good wishes, but they remain undelivered and those people must think me an ungrateful wretch.  I rang the internet provider, a company called Ampersand who are infinitely better than the alternative, the universally hated Telecom Italia, but still we are in Italy and the response I received was “I will call you back,” which he did not.  Telecom wouldn’t haven’t given the curtesy of saying even that.  They just hang up when it begins to sound like a customer expects them to do their job.  So, 7 hours later, I rang again.  Oh yes, he remembered me.  “Reboot the router.”  Of course that’s been done, but because they can sense such things, I attempted to do it again while he was “watching”.  But I dropped a cable down behind the shelving and he decided it would be better if my husband just called him.  Right, I’m the little lady.  Better to let the man handle it.  But he has a job that he doesn’t leave for 3 hours midday for lunch, so by evening it’s too dark to poke around the dish on the roof.  So, I don’t know when it will be reconnected.  I can’t check the weather report, look up a recipe, or see on Facebook what people back home are up to today.  I can’t skype anyone or find my on-line daily devotionals.  GoogleTranslate is a world away; more critical than you might imagine.  Today is Election Day in the US, but there is no way of knowing what is happening across the country, across the ocean.

It makes me appreciate ex-pats of old who could send letters only by post, awaited newspapers weeks after publication, and in the meantime drank heavily.  I’m thinking primarily of those stalwart English, occupying India, dressing for dinner in the sweltering jungle and drinking gin and tonic against malaria.  Not being cut-out for a hard-drinking-calypso-poet, perhaps I should pull out my old Rudyard Kipling to pass time until the internets return.  Those characters really were disconnected from their society, civilization, and current events.  The odd scorpion in my bathtub isn’t a cobra in the loo.  There aren’t many people out there who will be concerned at my silence.  I hope they remember that I do not live in the first world, as they do.  The internet comes and goes; the water is only mostly safe to drink; it’s been raining buckets for a week, so I can’t do laundry for lack of a dryer; and the heat doesn’t come on until midday.  But you won’t read this until someone somewhere believes that our connection is down and that it might be his responsibility to fix it.  Until then, I will use the cookbooks, read ink on paper, and play with my plain old-fashioned live cat.

ps: Il tecnico did indeed arrive on Friday as promised and replaced the cable on the roof, the casing of which had cracked.  So, we’re back on-line!  It was a wild Friday night in the LewisDrozda household, as you can imagine.

pps: Yes, yes, yes, I know.  Haiti and so many places have it worse.  But they aren’t in the EU.  No one expects them to pull their weight in the world.

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