Daily Archives: December 14, 2010

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.


Filed under Boqueron Panama, Living Abroad, panama, Retirement Abroad