Archive for the 'dogs' Category


The Results of No Internet for a Month

I moved just a block away, but being in India, it took a month to get my internet connected again because I was in a postal Bermuda triangle.  The internet providers couldn’t agree in what sector I belonged.  It was a very interesting time for me, and afterward I considered having a Shabbat from the internet.

Being an ex-pat in India, the internet fills a special need for me–it helps me feel connected with my friends who have the same background as I do, the same memories. They take me back to my hometown without me having to mess with airport security in smelly bare feet after being ordered to take off my potentially lethal shoes.

Since I am not fluent in the local language here, I am isolated to an extent in my “real world.” Playing cultural bumper cars all day long, every day, gets tiring, confusing. Coming on to Facebook, iming, twittering, and getting emails from 10k miles away kept me centered. And then I was cut off and had to join the real world here–a National Geographic documentary that doesn’t stop and has no commercials. And this is what I learned:

1. Because I had more free time in the real world, my house was cleaner, more organized. I noticed dirt and clutter that my cyber eyes were blind to before.

2. I developed a hunger for human companionship, making me more patient listening to garbled English and more out-going in practicing what I knew of the local language. I took more time with people–just sitting around drinking tea. I couldn’t flip the web pages now. I had to stay on the same channel in the real world.

3. I cooked more interesting foods like hummus and sharma.

4. I re-decorated part of my house using clay pots I found at local markets I didn’t know existed.

5. I almost got back into drawing and painting again.

6. I started doing yoga again, and my backache from too much time at the computer was gone.

7. I spent more time with my dog, running around and playing, training him out of bad habits.

After a few days, I didn’t miss having the internet as much as I thought. I almost didn’t want the engineer to come and hook me up again. Did I really spend so many hours in that darkened dusty room?  Was I a mole?

And then, when I finally did get hooked up, I found a lot of my “friends” didn’t really notice. There wasn’t the avalanche of emails that I thought that I would be buried under. There were no desperate messages on Facebook. I was a tree that fell in the cyber forest and nobody heard.

And now, since I got an overseas contract to do some writing–I will be forced to connect my life with the internet as never before. I tried so hard to just teach English here and be with animate humans, but the pay is lower than my chances of getting the Pultizer Prize. Again, I am part of the Borg.

Since I am eccentric, only on the internet can I find people who think as I do. How many people do you know are interested in Canine Homeopathy, the Torah from a Christian perspective (especially if you live where I live), and watching Grey’s Anatomy in French (it’s too boring in English now) ?

However, the internet, just like the net that the fishermen use on the beach that I can see outside my window (not XP), it can be cut easily. Come on. You know that the day is coming where we better know how to live without the internet–when we have black-outs due to terrorism or stupid corporate cuts that lead to under-skilled engineers and poor infra-structure. The Y2K phobia might have got the actual date wrong, but we better be taking lessons from the Amish.

PS  Thanks to Alvin Saldanha for his inspiration.


When Your Dell Catches on Fire, Watch the Dell Warrenty Burn Up

One year ago around this time, early on a Sunday evening, my Dell Inspiron decided to catch on fire. This is according to the forensic evidence of the  fire cheif. The laptop had been a gift from a friend of mine in America. Being a true friend, she also bought me a three-year warranty. I had called the Dell helpdesk in the USA, and they had been very helpful. They even sent a motherboard to me by Fedex. But soon they told me that I my warranty would have to be transferred to the International Dell. So when I had the fire, Dell USA said they couldn’t help me because the warrenty was under the International Dell in India. India Dell wouldn’t help me because they said the laptop was bought in the USA.

Thank God that India uses concrete to build their homes or my neighbours would be living somewhere else. As it was, only my office and all its contents were destroyed.  Thank God also that the little white puppy I just got wasn’t in his cage near the computer. The smoke of course damaged the rest of my apartment. But Dell could care less. I’d upload the photos, but it’s too depressing. I have an Acer now.