Adventures in Internet

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A few months back, my internet wasn’t working. The lights were on, but as the kids say, no one was home. I wasn’t too concerned, as it’s not common, but not uncommon, either. This was a Friday and I ran some errands and then went to relax on my bed with a book, rather enjoying the excuse of not being able to work or worry about the world spinning off its axis. Or missing out on pictures of some shit I didn’t need to see.

I ended up falling asleep and didn’t wake up until later in the afternoon. I decided to not worry until the next day and rather enjoyed myself with some wine on my balcony, watching my world go by.

The next I called my internet provider and was told they were doing an upgrade and I have to return my modem for a new, better shinier one. I packed up my modem and hiked down to the shopping plaza where I pay the bill.

I was a bit hung over and thought the free air would help. Of course, by fresh air, I mean stench of garbage and black clouds of exhaust in the heat. There was a lot of confusion trying to communicate until a woman in line got out her phone and helped us out with her interpreter’s app.

Not long after a woman came along who spoke English and she finally told me I had to go to the main office. This was the last thing I wanted to do all hungover on a Saturday morning. There was a young man in line who worked at the mall as a driver and he told our interpreter he would drive me there for 100 pesos. She said it’s a moto.

That is a motorcycle taxi.  used to take them in Sosua but I hadn’t here. I have graduated to public cabs. Anyhow, I agreed and off we went.

Holy heart attack, Batman! The weaving through the traffic and cutting between cars was quite enough to wake me up thank you very much. At one point we went between a semi truck and a van and I had to check twice to make sure I still had my kneecaps. When we got close enough to see the building he cut through a parking lot, realized it was closed and then just drove over the concrete parking blocks to get back to the main road.

I decided that was close enough and got off. I hiked up the hill to the office and was shocked to the core to see at least 60 people there. Everyone there with their modems. I took a number and then stood against the wall. Finally, a seat became available and I got to sit down for my three-hour wait, My three-hour wait. Sing it to the theme of Gilligan’s Island.

They had brought out extra chairs to accommodate everyone but people showed up with two and three children in tow. It was brutal, but I was sitting and it was air-conditioned. At one point, the young lad behind me was talking on his phone in English so I asked if he would help me when my turn came, just in case.

It was a long afternoon of waiting and waiting and I had no phone, no book and no water.

Turns out English wasn’t the problem. It was me not having my passport. It had never occurred to me I would need it. After a lot of pleading they let me off with an expired Ontario Driver’s licence.

Once I was out I was so relieved it was all over that it dawned on me I hadn’t really thought about how I would get home. I walked.

Fast forward to last week. I went down to the plaza to pay my bill at the kiosk and the lad there pointed out he didn’t have a computer. I went away and came back a few days later to find the kiosk gutted and a note on the front. The only part I could make out was ‘sorry for the inconvenience’. They aren’t.

The closest place for me to pay the bill is at the main office, which is not convenient. At all. I’m not walking all that way and it’s two cars to get there and then two more to get home.

I went to pay my phone yesterday, a different company and asked the lad there if he spoke English. He did.

Long story short, they two lads that were here to do my installation spent a lot of time picking cat hair out of their eyes, noses and mouths. But at least I will be able to pay the bill across the street.

Interesting side note. They called me today to confirm my address and all that, and I missed the call because I had no idea how to answer my phone. I got a new phone in July and this is the first call I had. Sad, lonely cat lady.

My Poppy

It’s Veteran’s Day. It’s also my dad’s birthday. He’s not been with us to celebrate for seven years now. It’s not a birthday you easily forget.

My dad had a myriad of health problems throughout his life. One, in particular, was his eyesight in his later years.

At this time, he was around 80 years old and had to have medical and eye tests done to keep driving.

At his eye appointment, the doctor said there was a strange dark mass behind his eye and he recommended my father to a specialist.

Even hearing this news caused me a great deal of worry. It’s not something anyone needs to hear, let alone live with.

I remember when the date of the specialist’s appointment arrived. I was worried sick all day. I had to wait several hours before calling him due to the time change.

When I finally called, my dad, in a very grave voice said, ‘I have some really bad news’. Seriously? My blood froze and I stopped breathing. For those few seconds, I imagined all of ‘worst case scenarios’ coming true.

What is it, Dad? I was almost too frightened to hear the answer.

‘He took my driver’s license away’

It took me a second or two, then I  laughed a bit out of sheer relief.

‘He’s a bastard’! he screamed down the phone.

It’s all about perspective. Cancer might have been bad news but losing the license was a loss of his freedom and independence. He lived in an apartment building with other seniors and he was reigning ‘cool guy with a car’.

I suggested perhaps if he was to have eye treatments that driving wasn’t likely the best idea but he wasn’t hearing any of it.

He ended up having laser treatments and did get his license back for a few more years. I often think about that, the ways we reacted to the same situation.

In the words of Louie Prima, ‘Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think.

 

My parents on their way to a movie date.  Enjoying themselves.

 

Mom and Dad

 

 

Butterflies Are Free

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I’ve had butterflies on the mind lately. Mostly because they are absolutely everywhere here. I actually had a swarm of them while walking through the park last week and again the other day walking to the store.

it’s quite incredible, to be honest. We have a lot of trees and flowers coming on this time of year, plus I noticed the mango tree on the corner just heavy with fruit. Fruit, I might add, ends up squashed on the road.

Then, the other day, looking for a wine stopper (not for saving wine, just to re-cork it and keep ut cold) I came across this metal butterfly. It’s a bottle decoration that someone gave me years ago. I don’t think I ever really used it,

It’s one of those large, metal butterflies with a metal ring at the bottom that you put over the neck of a bottle. Like everything else, it’s turned rusty in my drawer. I took it out and left it on the counter.

Today, I grabbed it and tossed it into my grocery bag. I was walking through the park on my way to the bank. I thought, I’ll leave it in the park. I don’t dislike but I don’t use it and don’t see the reason for cleaning it up. Of course, I immediately forgot about it.

I didn’t have my camera, which is my phone, as I never take it with me. You will just have to trust me, the park was particularly spectacular today. In the front part were a lot of young boys and men practicing baseball and exercising.

It wasn’t until the young lad at the grocery store was packing my groceries that the butterfly fell out. I kept it out and then put it on top of the big bag of cat food. As I walked back home, retracing my steps, I pulled it out of the bag looking for the perfect place to put it.

There are plenty of benches but I wanted to give it a better send off than that. I don’t remember who gave it to me, but I’m pretty sure it was Mona, who hasn’t actually spoken to me in a few years now.

I was considering a low branch on one of the many trees when I came upon a partial fence or barrier. It’s really just a lot of spikes, all rusted the same colour as my butterfly. I stuck it right on top of one and it was absolutely perfect. I loved how it looked on there,  like it was part of the stake all along. I wished briefly I had been able to take a picture and made a mental note to look for it on my next trip through.

Simple Pleasures

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This is one of my favourite views. I’m home, on my porch with wine. It gives me so much pleasure to be able to sit on my balcony and just relax. It’s noisy, busy, beautiful, mine.

Sitting here, sipping wine as the sun goes down and the city comes alive. I can’t really afford wine right now but things are inexpensive, so I treated myself. Just because I needed a night on the porch.

Today, everything has been shit, but I’m making today to be everything fucking amazing.

 

Love