Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I'm Back, For Good (Maybe)

It has been almost a month since I last posted. I want to blame our lack of decent internet service, but that's just a lame excuse as I kept my other blog up to date.

We were without decent internet for nearly three weeks. One day it just went down. On the Dell, where we are connected to a cable, we couldn't get it at all, on the Mac, where we have wireless it was incredibly slow and often would go down without warning.

A little disclaimer here: We have a wireless network, and several others in our little complex do as well. Truth be told, I'm not really sure which one is ours and which ones are theirs. Most of the networks are password protected but there are a couple that aren't and I get confused as to whether or not I am on my own network, or stealing someone elses.

After waiting and hoping it would fix itself we finally had one of our Chinese friends call the company to complain. Turns out we were behind on our bill. Two months late in fact. Now before you roll your eyes and call me a deadbeat, let me explain.

The bill is in Chinese. I can't tell what the heck it is saying for the most part. There are a variety of number on the bill, all of which look like amounts of money and none of which say anything in English telling me how much to pay. The one bit of English on the bill says "prepay" and I always assumed that meant we had paid ahead. I thought this because prepay generally means that you have paid ahead, and because each time we have paid our bill we've had to pay at least a month in advance.

The only way we know how to pay the bill is to the person from the internet company comes to our living quarters. She comes every Sunday in the afternoon. Every Sunday in the afternoon we also have a meeting. Remembering to go to internet lady before the meeting is difficult.

We also got no warning that we were behind. We had heard that if you don't pay a bill then you get items in the mail reminding you to pay. We got none.

Time slipped by and we didn't pay and we got shut off. So we paid and now we're cooking.


My birthday was yesterday. It was a pretty good day. We actually celebrated last Friday by having some friends over and playing games. I made a great big batch of nachos which were delicious.

My brother-in-laws birthday was Sunday and we celebrated by going to the Naked Cow on Saturday night. This is a big western style restaurant. Us men folk had meat. Lots of meat. We had lamb shanks and a pork shoulder and a full chicken and several other dishes. It was delicious and it tore me up most of Sunday.

Tuesday night we met with some more friends and had dinner at a place that gives teachers half on on Tuesdays.

I'm glad I've stayed alive another year.

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