Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Third Ring of Internet

Preparing for "The Great Baking."

Woot! for Found Ingredients
Our new landlord shook his head and apologized.  "I'm so sorry," he said, "Mama was supposed to have made the call for me."

This was a week ago.  "Mama" had the task of calling the internet company to let them know that their renters were approved to have a line routed to their flat.  Sadly, mama forgot.

Our landlord assured us that he would take care of it.  We left it at that.  We understood that due to Ramadan all businesses were experiencing varied hours of operation.  I looked at the calendar again to see when Ramadan was over. 

I said to John, "I think it's over on the 8th which means Eid will start on the 9th.  I think…"

He shrugged, "Okay." 

This was more significant information for me because I had the glorious aspirations of baking enough cookies to take throughout the neighborhood wishing everyone "Kolo sena wenta ta3b!" which means "May all the year be good to you!"  I could picture it.  Pam walking among the masses, passing out cookies while happy children ate and mothers smiled in welcome.  It would be perfect.

I asked John if he would be game to go to the grocery store around 11 am so that I could gather ingredients for "The Great Baking."  He agreed.  (He kind of had to…We try to travel in twos and well…I don't have any established friends yet, so…)

We called our taxi driver, Sadik, and asked him to pick us up.  He said to give him around 30 minutes.  I double-checked my list of "wanted" ingredients and then also considered what could act as substitutes when I didn't find what was actually listed in the recipe.

Sadik arrived wearing a wrinkled jalabaya (man's robe).  That was unusual for him because he was always pressed and dressed nicely.  He greeted us and we returned the sentiment.  Then he said, "Kolo sena wen too tabe3n!"  What?!  Why did he just wish us a happy year?! 

John asked him, "Is Ramadan over?!"

Sadik laughed, "Yes. Yes. No more Ramadan.  We eat whenever we want now." He gestured to show us what he meant.

Sadik continued, "Everyone is on holiday and asleep.  I was asleep when you called.  No one is open today."  Sure enough as if to reiterate what he had just said, we pulled up to the store and the doors were closed.  He pointed and said say, "See?  I told you." 

John began to apologize profusely for waking him and asking him to come out on a holiday.  Ack!  How could we have been off by a day?

I know how.  The internet.  Grrrrrrrrr…  I was going to look up the official start of Eid al-Fitr (The Holiday of the Breaking of the Fast), but alas I could not because we had no access.

Our friends' flat had been our backup plan to our "no internet" scenario, but that hit a snag as well.  When we had first arrived to their flat, I discovered much to my happiness that they had a good internet connection WITH decent speed.  Woot!  Now I wouldn't watch years of my life wile away while I tried to send an email.

John and I would do "office" work as it were to stay connected and then at night I would set my computer to download news, podcasts and a TV show from iTunes.  It was working out beautifully. 

It was in our second week that I commented to John, "Wow.  The internet is so slow today.  It's barely loading pages."

"Maybe a lot of traffic today or some trouble with the company."

"Yeah, could be."

The next day and the day after that…still slow.  John did some research and found out some sad news.  It seems that this particular internet company is happy to have you as a customer and provides you with the latest technology available, however, if you should exceed their download limit, you will be sent to the lowest speed possible for the remainder of the month.  I was now in Internet Purgatory.

How does this work?  How long do I have to stay?  Does it start over at the beginning of the month?  How much is too much?  How do I pay penance?!

So…that's the scoop.  That's the story of why Pam hasn't posted, why Pam missed the first day of Eid and why Pam spent all of yesterday baking her brains out so that she would be ready to go and visit neighbors. 

It's okay though.  The holiday last for four days.  These people know how to celebrate.  We're thankful to be here.  Sadik loves teaching us about his culture and we love learning.  That's the beauty of humility, it reduces me and removes any opportunity of me claiming any special abilities.  Obviously, any measured success will only come with Jesus' help.

And He's going to have to help me a lot.

I left the room for a moment and returned to find a gecco dancing in the powdered sugar.  Thankfully I was finished with it.

The finished cookies...Do you see all the love baked in?

Today's BOGO Blog: The Curious Case of Pam

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