Traveling means not always knowing when you will have a connection to the Internet or not. The lucky thing about having a permanent office or home is that you always know the next time you’ll be able to jump online to check a few things out, or to talk to your friends. The problem with staying in someone else’s apartment (particularly when their Internet contract has run out for the year and if you want to stay connected it’s up to you to let the cable guy in to re-boot the system,) is that you just never know if the connection will be good or not.
When I first arrived in Berlin, I was lucky enough to have negotiated free WiFi with my hotel and had 2 weeks of great service. Of course, every night at about 10 pm I had to restart the connection for a 24-hour period, but it was reliable enough to keep me connected. The next apartment I went to had said there was WiFi in the apartment, but I later learned it was really stolen from the café downstairs, or the language school across the street. Not only was the connection shaky, but every time a tram passed by (every 5-10 minutes) the connection cut out. So much for long Skype calls, downloading music, or reading my e-mails.
I was grateful to have found a sublet for May where WiFi was included in the rent, only this time it was included in the apartment…meaning the person who I am subletting from actually pays for their connection. At last I would have a reliable connection to talk to my loved ones on my own time, and not just on office time, (which at 6 hours ahead is challenging enough to do.) Only when I arrived at the apartment did I discover that in fact the Internet was not working, and a service man would not be able to come fix it for a week and a half.
Needless to say I have been feeling out of touch with friends and family, as I no longer have those key hours between work and sleep to catch up on anything and everything…not that so much has happened and I’m missing out beyond reason, but keep in mind a stable Internet connection gives me TV (thanks to SlingBox), a free phone (Gtalk), the ability to blog about life (see current posting), and endless hours of messaging back and forth with the people I miss most!
It’s a bit sad to admit that I am so dependent on the Internet, but ever since I first logged on to CrazyKat28 on AOL back in 1995, I’ve been hooked and there is simply no turning back! So for now, I will subsist on the limited hours of connectivity I can take advantage of for personal use until a more stable connection comes my way.