There are some times when the whole 差不多 attitude here drives me nuts. Now is not one of them.

The Suffering of a Web addict

Since my recent move, I’d been going through serious web-withdrawal. I couldn’t write anything on my blog, except from work. I couldn’t check my email. I couldn’t call my friends or family back home on Skype, and I didn’t have a land line either, for that matter. I couldn’t look up Chinese characters in my favorite multi-radical dictionary. Worst of all, I couldn’t read Reddit. Barred from my limitless source of online news, I was in bad shape. I was nearly to the point of jumping random teenagers on the street and asking them if they’d read technology related news in the past six hours.

Zhōnghuá Diànxìn to the Rescue!

Had I been in the US, it would have probably taken a couple weeks to get my phone and DSL installed. The phone company here, Zhōnghuá Diànxìn, only needed three days. When they arrived, there was a serious problem, though. I live in a 加蓋房子. It’s also pretty clear that the builders just decided to “wing it”. Unfortunately, they made a few oversights, such as providing a way to get a telephone line inside the apartment.

Confronted by such an obstacle, a workman from a US telephone company probably would have scheduled another time to come back, I would have had to wait another week, and it would have cost a ton of money. Well, this dude from Zhōnghuá wasn’t like that at all. Barely pausing, he opened the door to my apartment, whipped out a hammer and bashed in the upper-right hand corner of it!

Then, he used a screwdriver to scrape a groove into my door frame, and he set the phone cable inside it.

Next he dug a hole through the wall.

And now I’ve got a working internet connection!

Total cost: $700NT
Scheduling time: 3 days
Installation time: 20 minutes

Sometimes, living here just rocks.