Day II – or – Stuff written Day III

Well, I’m very tired, but I’m going to try and write anyway.  This Jetleg thing is getting a bit tiresome.  I wake up at 5am bright and awake, which honestly I kind of enjoy for a change. But I’m waiting for a call, (I have to be in the office for this, because I don’t have internet at the apartment I’m staying in) and …  it’s 8:15 my time, and I’m just dying.  I was actually ready for bed at 5pm, but I’d already made arrangements for the call, so … what to do.

In any case, here I am.

So where’d I leave off?  Friday night? That’s as far as I got??

Well, Saturday morning I woke up at 5 or something in the morning, but tried to go back to sleep.  I just didn’t feel like rising and shining THAT early.  I eventually got up, dressed, and went downstairs for some breakfast. Then went to the pool they had at the hotel.  Everything was a bit old, and I wondered if it was out of season, or of the hotel was built for an audience it just wasn’t seeing.  The pool would have been fancy when it was new, but now it was getting old without proper repair – mildew in on the ceiling and pealing paint type of stuff.  There were people out cleaning the outdoor pool, (the cotton wood trees here are apparently very abundant, and the cotton is everywhere – including the water).  So I went to the indoor pool.  Neither of them were heated. And although indoors was a bit warmer, the water wasn’t what one would call …  well warm!   I got in and did some Lappish type swimming – but then realized that the joy of being in a pool resides, as a child, in the play partners you’re with, and as an adult, in the sun, warmth and relaxation abilities it can offer.  Other than that, if you can’t really do laps in it…  there serves no greater purpose.  This pool was inconvenient to lap in, was indoors (in a not terribly pleasant indoors at that) and was a bit cold. All the pleasure I could gain had been gained in a few minutes, and so I got out and headed upstairs for a warm shower.  The general gloom of a deeply smog-ridden city kind of takes the general joy out of being outside.  It was still unclear to me how much of the sun that I wasn’t seeing was from smog or overcastting clouds, or a mix of the two – but it was generally not a pleasant weather to be out in.

So I’m writing this in the office at the institute, and just got another, in a long line of emails today.  Note that this is the first day I’ve been in the office, so I’m still getting accustomed to the practice of it all.  Anyway, I get this email, this morning, this afternoon – well actually, a few times both this morning AND this afternoon – but it’s completely in Chinese, and every time, it’s the same basic format.  I figured that either 1 – it was not to me personally, or the writer would know full well my ability to comprehend Chinese, as extremely limited as it is (and by limited, I mean, if you’re not gesturing and looking me in the face, I don’t understand), ends at ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’. So no one would purposefully send me this thing.  And two – if it’s part of the collaboration chain email, someone will inform me if it was something I should be paying attention to.

Well, finally this evening  I asked Dan, the professor who’s essentially sponsoring me, if he’d been getting it, and what it was.  “I’ve been getting it periodically through out the day as well, and haven’t really paid attention, but I’ll run it through a translator to make sure”.  I did the same.

This is what it was :

Dear users, Hello! Order to facilitate timely understanding of your own wireless network traffic, we per hour wireless Internet access network to provide you notice a large flow. As follows: your laptop (MAC address 00:25:4 B: 91:8 D: E1, IP address —.—.—.–) today (May 18) 19:00-19:59 network traffic to 110MBytes ( see Appendix).

(followed by a list of ip addresses, to-, from- and how much data was passed).

– – –

Essentially, this is how I’m choosing to translate it :

“Dear neighborhood network guest,

We realize you’re an American, and are accustomed to the freedom of usage and prolific surfing of the internet that capitalism and a free market afford you, and we’re trying our darndest to be understanding – but here, Big Brother tracks your every step, (see IP Index of your last 10 most data heavy sites) and we, as part of the institute, don’t want to get in trouble with our comrades in the government office.  We also are extremely limited in our bandwidth capabilities as, you should already be aware, we are not operating in a free market and thus must thank the government humbly for the inter-web access they grant us.  As such, please be understanding that for this reason, we’ve blocked all recreational uses of the inter-webs (Hulu and facebook) to prevent you from being tempted to use up more than your due share of the space.  As you see below, we are tracking your every step, so don’t think you’re being all sneaky.  Also, don’t spend too much time on those video skype calls with your husband.

Sincerely,

Your comrade in The Red.

– – –

If nothing else, this has been an INTERESTING trip.  And I’m only on the 3rd day! YAY!!!

Wow. Time just TICKS by when you’re tired!

So. Saturday morning I took a warm shower after the pool, gathered my things and took a taxi to the hotel I’d be staying at over the weekend, while I waited the permanent apartment be readied.

Can’t do it. My head hurts. I’m out.

Till next time!  Maybe more informative next time on here…  this was kind of ramble-ish.  Haha. That’s what you get for keeping me up late! It’s 8:45 for goodness sakes!

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Day II – or – Stuff written Day III

  1. I love the translation. Do you get in trouble for using the proxy? Even if your posts are short keep them up – it’s interesting to hear about how things are and what you’re doing! Love you!

  2. I didn’t realize that they had such a bandwidth problem over there…That’s kind of creepy knowing that they’re watching all that you do! Though I guess here, everything is tracked and recorded anyhow, they just don’t really care because this is ‘Merica, and we’re awesome. Kind of reminds me of how the Imperial Order is in the Sword of Truth series that I’ve been reading.

    – Mark

    • ya. it’s probably recorded somewhere… but it’s too much for anyone to care about. and no one DOES care. but it was kind of a big brother thing to do. Apparently it’s more about using too much bandwidth than where you’re going… but I did find out that at the end of the month — they list all the top ten users on a big white board, for your shame and disgrace. then you can get some personal emails harrassing you — and people trying to get you to pay more money for your share. fun stuff!

  3. happinessinbites

    What’s funny about getting your name on the board is that it’d only be shameful and disgraceful to THEM! To us it’s like “THAT’s RIGHT!!! BOoO YA!!! I’m AWESoME!!!” haha funny communists!

    • Nik, the Swiss guy, said he’s often on the uploads list, near the top. (They do two lists — head of pushing and head of pulling). He said he’s been approached about paying for his over-use, but when he explains that he could go out and get unlimited service with a local carrier, for 5 years at the price they put out, they give up and let it go.

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