We are at last online. The DSL and Wifi are humming away, and I can finally sit at my little egg-shaped table overlooking the trees three floors down (and the really noisy trucks) and surf the Net.
Or, as Brad noted, ignore completely the fact that I’m in Germany. But it’s not true, there’s really good beer out there, and some good sweet wines, and they must be explored.
Lessons for the day: German telephone hook-up guys smell just as bad as their counterparts back home. It’s a fu thing, I think. To get DSL here a guy has to come and physically rearrange some wires in the basement of the apartment. The ceiling is very low there, and he kept bumping his head and muttering in German, and I — sympathetic but ignorant as always — smiled and nodded my head. That’s my role here.
Lesson two: German tech support, in German, is hard if you don’t actually speak German well. Aimee did the trick on this, explaining to the operator that they never gave us a password or username, and finally worming our telephone number out of them. Which is the username. Which, you’d think they’d have given to us already, since it is our telephone number. But I can’t really complain.
For the record, we’re using Alice, a DSL service advertised all over town with gigantic billboards, some covering whole buildings, showing a mostly naked woman marginally covered by a bright red ribbon. Sometimes she’s wearing a slinky black dress. The precise significance of the ribbon escapes me, but it’s clear that sex sells DSL here, not just bits per second. But that’s really always been what the Net is about, hasn’t it?