Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The Magical Spot

I have already spoken of the incredible lack of Internet connectivity in the area or Ispra/Cadrezzate. Of course, they are only villages. In Romania you would be lucky to have a telephone. However, this situation has brought to my attention two interesting and strange things.

First, lacking the distraction of the web and of other people, I found myself rediscovering introspection. It felt like meeting an old friend, as my brain was beginning to spout ideas for movies or short stories, computer programs or blog posts. It felt nice and perhaps I ought to try this more often. Apparently, I will have the opportunity every weekend, but already the universe is working toward bringing me a cellular card, so I don't know if I will have the disposition. If you want to try it, go somewhere where you have no Internet, don't call anyone and don't take any other creatures with you, be them dogs, cats or humans, and stay at least two days. I am already after a month of not working, so if you find yourself focusing on work issues, you are not doing it right.

Second, I actually found a magical spot, almost no metaphor here. So strong was my need for connectivity that I actually found a place where a wi-fi connection was available and I could guess its password. It must have seemed weird to see a guy with a cell phone in his hand, triangulating wi-fi spots. The magical part of it is that the spot is on the sidewalk and restricted geographically to an area of 2 or 3 squared meters. Apparently the wifi comes from a clubhouse, but I could not find it in the area and whenever I make a step to exit the area, the signal strength goes down and disappears. If you are old enough to have played Quest for Glory, you know there was a magical area in the forest where you could sleep and find yourself refreshed, without fear of attack and even having a fruit tree that you could eat from. It's kind of like that. Now, I have no idea what Italians think when seeing a big guy standing in the sun on the sidewalk in front of a metal sign for Cadrezzate and either furiously tapping on his smartphone or reading some web pages, but at least I get to read my e-mail and RSS feeds.

The metal sign is probably the reason this works at all, it must function as an antenna. I wonder if my landlord will be OK with me trying to install big metal plates on his balcony... My search for Internet took me almost 2 kilometers away where, after unsuccessfully trying to find a bar or a restaurant with wi-fi and not being able to guess a single password from private networks, I found one that was an actual ADSL line! Couldn't guess the password for that, either, but for someone to have ADSL in this starved out region and not share it felt like a crime to me. Perhaps I will be able to get a contract for myself here, then share it in the building and become the hero! [Enter Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero soundtrack]
Anyway, tomorrow will be my first day of work here, so probably my hunger will be alleviated a little, otherwise I am half a mind to root my Android phone and then install wi-fi cracker programs.


Anca said...

I loved this, please keep the good work up! :-)