Thursday, August 10, 2006

Network Hunting

Most internet cafés are weird places. They're predominantly populated by males of the 15-50 age range who are either there to play addictive videogames or to surf online dating websites, disguised as tall, good-looking and well-earning businessmen.

Internet cafés in Turkey are no different. It is hence unadvisable for any female to enter one without a suitably well-built male escort.

If, like me, you happen to be staying at your grandmother's house, you can hardly expect the ancient-looking computer to have an internet connection, because chances are it doesn't. But in this day and age, a computer without an internet connection is like a watermelon without seeds, a sea without waves, Peron without Evita, Posh without Becks, food without salt and I think you get the point.

So you can imagine my discomfort as I sat there with my brand new Preity perched on my lap (because she is a laptop after all), and a nasty 'The page you were looking for could not be found' message from Internet Explorer. What to do? What to do? Face the hordes of hairy creeps at the nearest internet café, or live through weeks of net deprivation?

I can tell you, I was very close to making myself the object of lewd fantasies by entering the dreaded air-condition deprived hellhole when suddenly, Preity went 'ding!'.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, she went 'ding!' during a relatively entertaining Turkish League football match.

'What could she possibly be dinging for?' I thought. To my surprise, there it was! A feeble yet beautifully real wireless network! Excitement and adrenalin flooding my veins, I clicked on My Network Places, anticipating blissful internet surfing. Alas, my joy was to be short-lived, for the selfish, heartless owners of the wireless network, wherever I was picking it up from, had made it password protected. I briefly considered trying to guess the password. Recognising that as a flash of insanity, no doubt brought upon by disappointment, I dropped that idea immediately and fell back to clicking the refresh button over and over again, hoping, by some kind of miracle, to pick up some unprotected network.

It didn't happen.

Undeterred, I took the matter into my own hands. I unplugged Preity and embarked upon what will henceforth be known as The Long March In Search For A Wireless Network. Too bad Mao wasn't there to lead the way.

After much fruitless refreshing at different points in the house, with Preity perched precariously in the crook of my elbow, I eventually got to the balcony on the other side of the house. Here, I sat down and prayed to Gandhi, as I used to do when I was late for school and the tram didn't come.

It worked.

I found a wireless hotspot on my grandmother's balcony.

The only problem is that the signal is so incredibly weak that moving by half a metre breaks the connection. Also, there is an air conditioning motor right above my head and if I try sitting somewhere else, well, the magic is broken.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm exploiting someone else's wireless network because they were too nice to password protect it. I'm saving money that would have otherwise been spent at a seedy internet café. I am doing all this without having to step out of the house (unless you consider the balcony as being effectively 'out'). I am stealing.

Crime pays.


Saturday, August 05, 2006


I turned 18 a few days ago, and actually felt it. You know how birthdays usually don't feel like anything, and if it weren't for the fact that we have calendars, they'd go by unregistered? Well, for the first time in my life, I have found that to be untrue. I actually felt something when I turned 18 or, rather, the days before and after I turned 18.

Nothing physical, of course. I didn't sprout a second head or third eyebrow or anything of the sort. But I did feel a strange sort of psychological pressure, a nagging thought of 'OK, I'm 18, now I actually have to do something with my life'.

Of course, this only lasted for a few hours because luckily, I get over things pretty fast. Also, the purchase of a new laptop aided in the recovery.

Oh, yes, the new laptop.

Well, what can I say, she's beautiful. Yes, of course she's female. All laptops are female, didn't you know? Now I've officially left Moses Jr. to my mother (Moses is Jr. because his motherboard got changed last year. He used to be just Moses) and taken possession of my brand new Preity. Preity like the actress.

Preity is pretty for many reasons. Firstly, she is the first item I have bought especially for university. Also, she has almost invisible yet uber-cool designs all over her. On top of all that, she allows me to type as I sit in bed in Turkey, as I am right now.

Oh, yes, Turkey.

Well, I'm back in the motherland for the summer, as I usually am. I haven't been to the seaside yet, but I'll go tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and... you get the gist. To say that it is hot here would be an understatement, so bathing is kind of essential. Either that or you sit under the air conditioning all day, but that isn't very healthy.

The highlight up to now has been meeting my hot cousin Aladdin. Now despite being my age, Aladdin is actually my mum's cousin, and that gives me an excuse to think about just how good looking that boy is. No, seriously. He really is hot. Of course, I feel nothing but sisterly affection towards him, but there's no harm in aesthetic appreciation, is there? The problem is that Aladdin consistently goes out with girls who are simply not pretty enough for him. I should know. He shows me their photos.

This last one, for example, is definitely not much above average, and believe me when I say that Aladdin is HOT. In case I hadn't managed to get the point across previously. So I wonder, how is it that normal girls get hot guys and pretty girls with brains (like me, for example) get nothing? Perhaps we scare the men off. It's the brain; girls aren't supposed to have one.

Aladdin is not my cousin's real name, obviously. Pan came up with it. She's seen a photo and is convinced that he looks like Aladdin.

Speaking of Pan, she's stuck in Milan, poor thing, and Milan is a ghost city in August. It's weird not seeing her or talking to her on the phone every day. I miss her. Sniff.

And that, friends, is all for now. Excuse the mess of random topics that was this post.