Friday, January 29, 2010

Two Days In the Bathroom

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a detailed account of bodily malfunctions. Tuesday morning we developed a problem with our internet connection, and after a couple hours of fussing with it, and contact back and forth with the equipment providers customer support folk it stopped working completley and we lost wireless service. We hooked up via a wired connection which put us back on the bathroom counter, as that’s where the antennae comes through a window, and we only have a short cord for the device that interfaces between the antennae and laptop.

The rest of Tuesday we did exciting things like get an oil change on the truck and a second key made for our gas cap. We know these are mundane activities, but when conducted in a culture like Baja’s and in Spanish, interesting experiences nonetheless, at least to us.

Wednesday we kicked around the house, exercising, cleaning house and reading while waiting for Doug. He arrived at 1:30 and proceeded to struggle with our system for 6 hours! In the end, he conducted a short ceremony and pronounced our hardware “toast”. His view was that the customized router was being asked to do too much.

So Thursday morning we drove to La Paz in search of new hardware. Doug gave us directions to a place that carried what he recommended, but unfortunately they were sold out, so they directed us to an Office Depot nearby. The folks there didn’t even recognize what we were asking for, an “Access Point”, and couldn’t offer any suggestions. We returned to the first store for advice, and after further thought they pointed us to a third store a couple miles away, “Microsistemas”, for those who recognize that name even in Spanish. The process of giving and receiving directions in Mexico is always a challenge. It appears to us most Mexicans are driven by a stronger desire to help than by a great sense of direction. Add to that our imperfect skills in understanding Spanish and, well, you get the idea. We found the third store, and they had one Access Point! Unfortunately we needed two. So we bought one, and a longer ethernet cord, which would at least get us out of the bathroom, and they said they’d order a second Access Point we could pick up next week when we’ll be back in la Paz anyway.

Disappointed that our 4-hour round trip drive was not going to be fully successful, we headed across town to shop for a few things. Several miles down the road Cathryn called out “Bob! There’s another Exacto, the same name as the first store Doug sent us to!” We turned in, and lo and behold, they had a shelf full of Access Points! We gave each other a high 5 and declared the day a success.

So we’re back in Los Barriles today, and Ponytail Doug says he’ll come tomorrow to help us hook this stuff up. Today we hope to find another waterfall we’ve been told is nearby and leave internet issues behind.

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