Before we moved into our apartment, when we were still at the Macondo Hostel (where they have Wifi), Shelley downloaded a free solitaire game from the Apple website. With no TV in the rooms and the Wifi not working that far away from the reception area, she thought it would be something to do in the evenings when they got tired of reading, etc. Although it's hard to believe, Brian at 67 had never played solitaire before. Shelley showed him the ropes of the Klondike game and at that point we were both just happy to win a game from time to time.
After we moved into the apartment and pursued our cosmic joke with installing internet, the game was there for a bit of diversion. A competition ensued where we'd try to top the winning time. Sometimes a week or two would go by before one of us got the better of the other. You'd be reading or watching TV or doing chores and notice the other had gone missing. A quick check would find them intent at the computer, cursing the fact that no 9's were coming up. When we first got the game it took 5 to 8 minutes to play a game and win it. These days Brian's top score is 2 minutes 21 seconds. Shelley, of course, is working on beating it! We figure the only people that can really trump it are 13 years olds with fantastic dexterity and very little life. If we ever get internet again we can check on line to see what the record is.
It's been raining a lot lately. Locals will say that it's been raining more than usual. The river is high and roaring and they're actually worried about it breaking the bank in a couple of places (not where we are). Sunday dawned, however, sunny and beautiful. We sat out on the patio and ate our breakfast and read our books for a couple of hours in the morning and then went with another couple to visit some friends of ours in their newly rented house ($450 p.m.) at the North end of town just off the Pan American Highway. It was a $5 cab ride out there (split of course between the 4 of us) but we took the bus back. They have a huge house with 4 (maybe 6) bedrooms, 4 or 5 bathrooms, a couple of sitting rooms, a laundry room, maids quarters, a couple of garden areas and a basketball court. There was an outdoor pizza type bread oven, an overhanging veranda for rainy days and a wood burning stove in one of the sitting rooms. We sat around a huge square wood table eating home made pizza, fresh fruit, newly baked cookies and drinking beers while sharing our various stories. It was a good day. On the way home, on the bus, it started raining again.
Tomorrow is the big day! They promised us they'd give us internet tomorrow! They've toyed with us before so they could just be toying with us now. We hope not. We'd really like internet at home! It would be nice to play with FaceBook and see what the kids were up to on a daily level. We'd like to make some improvements to the blog but it's just too hard when you're in a crowded place with people peering over your shoulder. We've got pictures that friends have sent us that we'd like to download to our own computer. Brian likes to cruise YouTube in the morning when Shelley's still sleeping and Shelley likes to go at the computer in the afternoon when Brian has his nap. We miss internet! Tomorrow will tell.
It's 9:15 in the morning. The internet people are supposed to be here between 8:00 and 1:00. We're all dressed and ready for them. We've even decided what time we'll phone the internet guy (at 12:45). All we can do is wait and see what will happen. It's got to the point where it almost feels like some sort of sociological experiment. We're studying the habits of internet providers in Ecuador.
At 11:30 Brian said, "They're not going to come."
"Why don't you phone them now?" Shelley replied.
"I'll phone them at 12:30" Brian said "I just can't phone them before that."
We fruitlessly waited. At 12:30 Brian phoned the internet guy and left a message. "Oh internet gawd in the heavens, why hast thou forsaken us?" At 1:00, all hope gone, we left the apartment and bought a 7 foot tall bamboo plant ($8) and a huge pot to put it in ($16) to cheer ourselves up. Shelley was also able to find bubble bath! We went home to wait for delivery of our plant and Shelley, of course, had a bubble bath.
"How many times are we going to phone and leave a message before we go back to ETAPA and ask what is going on?" Shelley asked of Brian.
Brian refused to talk about it.
The next day we phoned and left another message and then went about our daily business. After several hours and no return call, we decided we'd go down to ETAPA first thing in the next morning.
"You know, we'll go down there and they'll tell us 'blah blah blah' and then we'll go home and wait for them another whole day and then we'll end up going back to get our money returned" Shelley informed Brian.
He again refused to talk about it.
Up early the next morning, Shelley had her hat on ready to leave the apartment and was standing on the balcony deciding if she needed a sweater or not, and Brian noticed an ETAPA truck pull into the building. He went down to the lobby and enthusiastically escorted the technicians back to the apartment. It turns out the line was not cut after all. The phone line was set up for telephone and switching was required at their head office to connect to internet. This took about 45 minutes with much chatter between the techies and the office.
The end result is positive and we now have internet at home!