Further Adventures In Cyberspace

I have another couple of days to go before I’ll be able to use my USB modem again. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my visits to the Info Plaza. I do. Since it’s a half a mile away from the house and UP a hill, I usually wait and take the bus to the plaza and walk home. DOWN is much easier to do.

There are two girls who supervise the Info Plaza. Nancy is a thin, almost anorexic waif and Karina could stand to lose about as much weight as Nancy has to look fit and trim. They are both very pleasant girls and we always chat a bit at each visit. In Spanish of course.

It’s always cheaper for me to connect to the wifi when Karina is running the show than when Nancy is there and the pricing reminds me, a bit, of a truck stop in Missouri where I went to college. Actually there were two truck stops at the south end of town at the edge of the corn fields. The closest was small and rather dark and a quarter mile or so away was a larger, brighter truck stop. They both displayed prominent signs advising that they “reserve the right to refuse service to anyone,” but persons of color knew they had to order their food through a back window.

My friend Dennis and I, after a night of drinking or cramming for exams, though most often following the former rather than the latter, would go to the more distant of the two if we felt like having a breakfast type meal and we would almost always order ham and cheese omelets. We did this for a reason which was to see what we would be charged for them. The menu listed a ham omelet, a cheese omelet but NOT a ham and cheese omelet. Naturally the waitresses would take our orders, the cooks would prepare them but when it came time to tally up the bill they were at a loss. What did a ham and cheese omelet go for? They had no idea. Sometimes they’d charge us simply for a ham omelet or for a cheese omelet and sometimes they’d just make something up. It didn’t matter. We never quarreled about the bill. We simply paid what they asked for and it was never the same twice.

What I pay at each visit to the Info Plaza is sort of like that. I believe the official price is thirty five cents for each hour or part thereof. When Nancy’s manning the helm I pay between seventy cents to a dollar five a visit. On the obverse side, when Karina is running the show it’s a flat thirty five cents even if I should stay all day I think.

In the past week I discovered that someone nearby has a wireless network set up in their home since my computer will flash it receives a signal. I can’t get online when I’m inside the house even though the computer says it’s available. But if I sit in the front door I get a one-bar signal that allows me access to my email and other web sites. The signal is only available for a few hours a day, mainly in the evening but last Sunday it was on all afternoon. It gets shut off after a while probably when the person who has it goes to bed for the night.

I love being online, especially now without access to a television but it’s not easy to do as much as I’d like, but I’m adapting.

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2 Comments

Filed under Boqueron Panama, Expatriate Living, Living Abroad, panama, Retire in Panama, Retirement Abroad

2 responses to “Further Adventures In Cyberspace

  1. Hi Richard:

    It’s admirable how fast a person adaps to the situations. I guess it’s due to the instinct of survival that goes way back when apes decided to evolve into walking-thinking creatures. That’s us, always thinking how to survive.

    If I were you, I would find out what’s Karina’s working schedule and adhere your posts to her work shift. Thirty-five cents for a whole day is a damn good deal if you ask me.

    Enjoy the rest of the day,

    Omar.-

    Sounds like a good plan, Omar, but I’m too addicted to the internet to do that. Me head aches, my hands tremble and my stomach gets queasy when deprived of my time online.

  2. I just wasted a good bit of time searching for a photo of my “cyber cafe” over on the Rio Frio in Concan. There are pics of the high-class joints, but not of my beer-ammo-satellite connection place. As I recall, it’s five dollars a half-hour there, but it’s the only game in town. I hear another store’s got wireless now, but I’ve not been that direction in a while, so checking that out will have to wait.

    On the other hand, a friend and I have the art of tapping into stray wifi signals down to a science at her Matagorda beach house. A couple of folks have the setup, and it’s the same there. You can check email and do a little light browsing – just don’t try to stream a movie or play …. well, whatever a hot video game would be.

    By the way – guess what just showed up at my door? A box of lovely chocolates from the Chatham Candy Factory! I know it’s only 10:30 in the morning and a little early for that sort of thing, but my first “taste” of New England was pretty darned good!

    I was going to take some photos today of the Info Plaza here but when I turned the camera on the message “Change Batteries” came on the screen. OF COURSE! Naturally I didn’t have any spares with me. Another day.

    There was no Chatham Candy Factory when I was living in Orleans. Of course that was half a century ago so I guess there have been a few changes since I left.