Wednesday, February 4, 2009

We Have Internet!!!

We have *internet!* In our *apartment!* I think I'm excited...

Oh, what a *saga* - we moved into our apartment December 10th. When we talked to our landlady, we said we wanted internet on the phone, and she indicated that it was possible. So, a few days later (we did have to move in, after all), we (ok, all this "we" stuff is really Rick) called ICE (the phone and power company) and requested internet on our existing apartment land-line. They said that because the phone was not in our names, they needed a copy of the owner's (our landlady) cédula, a request form filled out and signed by her, and a copy of our phone bill.

We called our landlady (she is awfully difficult to contact), and she said that she had already requested the internet - YAY! - and that it was supposed to be available to us within 15 days. Well, that put it right *on* Christmas, so we hoped, but didn't count on getting it by then (things reeeeaaallly sloooow dooown here during the Christmas season).

Well, Christmas came and went, and we saw our landlady again. She mentioned in passing that ICE had said that it would be faster to get wireless than to get DSL, so she said "sure, do wireless!" ARG! We explained that wireless wasn't secure enough for us, and that we needed the DSL line. So, she goes back to ICE and starts a new request. Yes, a *new* request...

Meanwhile, soon after the earthquake... Our phone starts to get flakey. And it quits working. Now we worry that if the phone isn't working when ICE comes for the internet install, we'll need a *third* appointment (no-no-no!). We find our landlady, and after a few days she changes the line between the phone and the wall box - and it works! YAY! But! only a couple of days later, it quits again - what a *rollercoaster!* We thought maybe the bill hadn't been paid (it wasn't ours yet), so we paid it (no effect). The landlady eventually comes and checks the phone, and says she will come back tomorrow (uh-huh, we've heard that how many times?).

January has come, and now it has gone. Still no phone. We called ICE, and they estimated that the internet would be connected in the first week of February. We're still worried about that phantom third appointment looming. Fortunately, a person-who-knows tells us that 5,000 colones to the ICE guy will get any wiring problem fixed - but quick!

So! the night before last (February 1), the landlady was here, checked the phone line, had her fix-it guy come by and check it, and thought that the wire was broken somewhere between the apartment and the outside switchbox. They planned to come at 11:00 am the next morning to finish fixing it.

Well! Yesterday at 9:00 am (Nine - that's earlier than eleven!), the ICE internet guy shows up - they (of course) had been trying to call us to confirm this appointment, but couldn't reach us - duh. He is not too happy that the phone line isn't working. When he tried to track down our phone line to check it, he found that our *phone number* wasn't even working at the switchbox! The fix-it guy had left the line disconnected - geez! So he couldn't even *find* the right line to *check!* He thought that the phone number was dead because we hadn't paid the bill, but (YAY!) Rick showed him the receipt (hehehe). So, back to square one (that's the phone connection, in case you lost track)!

AHA! Some Very Important Wire out in the street was loose! It was probably shaken loose during the earthquake - truly minimal damage for us. He eventually got the line fixed and the internet connected! It took a second trip, but fortunately it was in the same morning. AND all with no 5,000 colon tip :-). YAY! (are you suspicious yet? 'cause I sure am).

Rick spent the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon trying to get our router connected and working. The box we got from ICE is a combined router and DSL modem, and the two were set to the same IP address by default, so they got in each others' way. But, Rick "es listo" (is clever), and got it to work :-D.

I got to check my email in comfort finally - but (of course) after so long without internet, I have too much to get through in any reasonable amount of time. We also got to call my folks using Skype! It was great to actually speak to them - no echo, no delay, clear as a bell! whoo hooo!

Naturally, I stayed up waaay too late last night, and am dragging my you-know-what around today!

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