Sunday, March 16, 2008

"What the f--- is the Internet?"

Posted from Delhi, India

That's the question I've been asking myself for the past 3 months. In a world that grows smaller everyday, it's amazing how difficult it can be to find decent internet access. For starters, most of Asia seems to have at least DSL or point-to-point ISDN connections to the internet; however, these are incredibly slow (around 128 kbps, which is 20 times slower than your cable modem connection in the States, or twice as fast as dial-up, if you can remember what that was like). Still, they aren't as slow as the few dial-up internet cafes we've wandered into, and there have been a few of those. Don't even think about WiFi! We found WiFi all over Vietnam, but that was an anomaly; we hadn't found WiFi until then and haven't since.

Of course, even when we find a decent internet cafe, the computers inside are nearly ancient and running pirated copies of Windows 98. Or so many other travellers are also there that we might as well send email via carrier pigeon! Unfortunately, most web sites based in the U.S. assume that you are using have American broadband access, so when CNN tries to load three video ads, a Flash-based map of Democratic delegates, and over 200 tiny images for things like menus, it's easy to bring the entire cafe to a standstill. Needless to say, this makes it all the more difficult to publish pictures and keep up with the blog. There have been more than a few times when Lizzi and I will walk out of internet cafe, steaming with frustration because we can't even do something simple like check our email.

Part of this trip for me was to untangle myself from the daily addiction to email, the web, and everything it entails. But when it's been a week and I haven't checked my email, I get a little edgy. I know that's a sure sign of withdrawl and, hence, addiction, but I'm ok with it. At least I can step awat for little bits at a time. I will say that I am looking forward to ubiquitous WiFi and blazingly fast internet connections when we get home. In fact, I might need just a little quality time to get reacquainted with my internet.

PS: I will personally buy a gift from Nepal or Hong Kong for the first person who can correctly name the movie and character the title of this email comes from. Leave your answer in the comments, and using IMDB is cheating. Trust me, I will know :)


Andy said...

I'm going to guess it is burried in one of the "Clerks" movies.

Geoff said...

No, no,

It's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back...

Matt, I would like a Chairman Mao watch from Hong Kong if you can find it..