ME and Ophelia

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Support free speech online

American blogger John Pasden of Sinosplice lives and works in China. Today, John blogged about the Chinese government's blocking of another blogging service, and his idea for the Adopt a Blog Project supporting free speech online.

See my previous post August 21, 2003 - re John Pasden and teaching job opportunities in China.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 3/31/2004 0 comments  
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In Bangalore, India

Today, it took me from 9am to 3pm to publish my previous post. Five times my faulty computer switched itself off. Five times I had to wait for it to cool. Five times I had to switch it back on, dial up net connection, get into Blogger, key in password and - as per usual - key in the password again (don't know why Blogger needs it twice).

Then, when I finally got it published, I lost my net connection. My single landline phone was dead. Couldn't use it to phone British Telecom's fault reporting service.

Thankfully, I have an Orange mobile. Dialled 151. Nothing happened. Got up. Looked for phone directory. Could only find the heavy *groan* Yellow Pages. Could find nothing on BT. *Stress*. Dialled 100. Orange operator answered. Gave me 501 for BT fault repair. Dialled 501. Nothing happened. Dialled 100 again. Orange operator said to dial 0800 800 151. Which I did. And pressed a load of buttons. And waited on hold *stress* for an operator.

Then, a familiar sounding voice answered - a nice chap called Robbie. Sounded familiar because of all my phone dealings with Dell. Robbie was in Bangalore, India. He noted my mobile number. Checked my landline. It is faulty. He said they'd deal with it. And update me with text messages. I hung up. A few minutes later, I got my first text message confirming they were looking into it.

How about that? My British Telecom landline phone in England, UK was being fixed by an operator in Bangalore, India.

This is how my day passes. I awoke late at 7am - before Ophelia. She's not yet used to the hour we Brits lost. On Sunday our clocks moved forward one hour for British Summer Time.

Then, one hour to open door for Ophelia, bathe, dress, draw curtains, unlock back gate. One hour to check emails and blog first post before housekeeper arrived at 9am. Another hour slips by looking for a salad dressing recipe on the net and drafting a post about it.

So far, I've eaten lunch and dessert. And blogged two posts. It is now 3.10pm. BT have just phoned me on my landline. A chap with an English accent - sounding a lot closer in proximity - apologised for the glitch in this neighbourhood. They'll phone me again tomorrow, on my mobile, to check that the phone is OK.

It is now 3.24 pm and I'm exhausted. After three solid months of computer problems - I just want to throw this computer out of the window and into the sea.