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Resuming Where We Left Off 27 Days Ago

April 17, 2007

Still in France. Thankfully back on my own keyboard again. I didn’t miss the internet much while we were offline, but I did play a lot of solitaire.

We arrived in the Charente on Friday evening, 30 March. We were expecting the house to have ADSL connected because that’s what the advertisment said, “ADSL connected to the property.” On arrival we discovered ADSL was NOT connected, but it is possible to have ADSL connected to the property. It’s funny how British English and American English are different in this respect. In this case I use the word ‘funny’ to mean NOT FUNNY AT ALL.

As we were here and all, we figured we’d just struggle through and do what had to be done. First step, connect the phone. In France you need a bank account to get a telephone connection. Of course, you need a utility bill to get a bank account. As the language deficient owner of the property has the electric and water in his name, the phone bill was our only option. Classic.

Revised first step: bank account. A local expat our landlord described as ‘very helpful’ offered this advice – don’t go to Credit Agricole like all the other immigrants, go to the Postal Banque. So we did. They refused us outright as we didn’t have the necessary utility bill. Garr!

Four days of mulling every possible solution left us bereft. Finally, Saturday 7 April, I decided that Mr. Very Helpful might also carry the title ‘Mr. Full of Shit’ and we went to Credit Agricole. “No problem,” said the account manager David, “but I will need you to bring the phone bill to me when it arrives.”

From there it really has been a waiting game. We went to the phone company the same Saturday (in Greece the phone office is open until 1pm M-F – this ‘open on Saturday’ thing is very refreshing.) It took until Thursday to get the phone connection, then we had to go back to sign up for ADSL. That was last Friday and the very sweet lady told us it would take 7 days.

In the absence of our own internet connection, we’ve been making use of the Mediatheques’ public (but not free) computers when possible. Our local Mediatheque is closed on Monday and open only 10am-noon on Tuesdays. We arrived today at 11am, later than we planned because I had to change a flat tire. As we were pulling in the librarian was pulling out, having left a sign on the door which read, ‘the library will be closed today.’

At that moment, only for a moment, I knew our home internet connection was on. By the time we’d gotten home 7 minutes later, I’d forgotten about it until R started yelling his fool head off. Bang, we’re on!

Well, that’s it for now but I will be updating regularly again.

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