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October 24, 2008

Borrow or share your wifi?

October 23. Day 115.

Not getting internet at home in order to increase productivity and social contact is the second biggest lie I've ever told myself. (The biggest being that those orange plaid pants I bought sophomore year in high school were funky instead of fugly.) (The third biggest, by the way, is the refrain "I won't get a ticket" while parking in Boston.)

In 2003 to 2004, I shared an apartment with an American kleptomaniac and a Belgian postdoc. The postdoc had internet and I didn't. At first I stayed away, but eventually I threw courtesy to the wind and asked if I could use his internet occasionally. Which turned into every day. (I have him rides and cooked and stuff, so it wasn't like I totally abused his generosity. If you're reading this, geule en terre, bleu!)

In 2004 to 2005, I lived in Paris and had a very old laptop with no wifi card, nicknamed "the brick." I ended up mooching off of another friend, which led to hours spent in her bedroom plotting how she could seduce our tango instructor.

Well, my sister and her boyfriend haven't gotten internet yet, since it's been hard to coordinate with the cable company and they're both busy. So I thought I'd ask one of the neighbors if they'd be willing to share their password and split the monthly bill.

La Sorella and I knocked on the door of the apartment across the hall, where we could hear a lively conversation around 11 p.m. A guy about my age opened the door.

"Hi! Hope we didn't wake you up!"

"No, no problem."

I explained that I'm in town for a week, looking to use the internet while I'm here -- just for gmail and reading the news -- and by the way, my sister and her boyfriend are their neighbors and looking to split internet with someone. Was he interested?

He said he'll check with his wife and let us know.

Ten minutes later, he knocked and told us their password, saying a week is cool, but nothing long term. "Liability," he said, apologetically.

No prob. Thanks, neighbor!

Gained: access -- but not access! I entered the password in front of him, and it didn't work. He said he'll check the encryption of his network, double check the password and get back to me. Maybe this can serve as a trial run, and once the neighbors all get to know one another, they won't be averse to sharing.
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