June 5, 2006 – 5:08 pm
It’s raining today in Sydney. I’m trying to figger how to get into San Francisco so I can actually, you know, go home. It’s too expensive and too late to get the flight directly into SFO. I can’t book a connecting flight to San Fran at my travel agent’s affiliate over here, which means I’d have to wait until tomorrow—the day before I leave—and make a long distance phone call to them. This original plan is quickly turning into a large potential problem. So I decide to investigate Plan B.
Plan B is just to fly into LAX as I’m already doing. So in terms of how simple it is I should really call it Plan A. Anyways, Plan A involves my excellent bestest-friend Lauren picking me up at the airport before I’ve actually left Sydney… which I know is a headtrip, but get used to it. Then I can spend maybe a week crashing wherever (which isn’t all that different from what I’ve been doing the past four months) and drive up north with them when she has her 21st birthday party. Where, of all places?—in San Francisco! Which is, again, why I’m now calling this Plan A.
But at this point in my day, right after I’d left the travel agent’s, I don’t know this. Which leads me to… the worst computer experience I’ve had over here to date, perhaps ever. I start walking around 12 noon. All over the place. The convenince stores want, like $20 for 5 minutes. And nope, I asked, there aren’t any sexual favors involved. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but it’s hard not to refuse that kinda “convenience.”
Finally I find a place that’s $2/hour. Not bad, but they don’t read USB sticks. Not reading USB sticks = useless internet. I lose a dollar cause that’s the minimum and they’re smart enough to ask for a deposit up-front. Next place I go to reads USBs, but is running Windows 98. Once again, totally useless. That time I was smart enough to just walk outta there. Finally I find a nice little corner shop that sells ice cream, has decent computers running XP with front multi USB-readers. $2/hour. Oh thank goodness. I pop my USB stick in and it doesn’t take the first time. Have to switch computers, and, though it’s “plugged into a non-Hispeed port,” it still can actually see the damn thing.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a crappy anti-virus utility deleting all my programs! –what!? No prompts, no “this file has been placed in quarantine,” just DELETED, DELETED. Ho-God. Pulled that stick out faster than I would my boots in quicksand. Gape-jawed, I approached the counter.
“Uh. Ho lord. Your computer has just deleted a bunch of my programs.”
“Uhh… what you mean?”
“This anti-virus thing came up and just started deleting stuff. I don’t think I have any viruses on there, and I wasn’t trying to install or move stuff onto there, but it just popped up and started deleting stuff.”
“This is how I keep in touch. I mean, I need this stuff and if it is infected it can be cleaned. But your computer just caused a lot of damage.”
(makes blank face, as if she doesn’t understand)
Guy next to me: “So the computer just ate your files?”
“Yeah, that’s exactly what it did. Half my programs are gone.”
“Bloody hell. Good to know” (walks out of shop).
“So I guess, just… don’t put anybody on number 27. Can I get my money back now?”
And she gave me a dollar. I got charged a dollar in Sydney for my programs to be devoured. And I asked, “uhh… you’re gonna charge me a dollar for that?” I wasn’t angry, just incredulous. She pointed to a sign saying half-an-hour cost minimum one dollar.
Okay. Whatever. I’m not letting this ruin my day. It sucks gigantic donkey tits, but please, it’s not the end of the world. Just the end of the internet. A big inconvenince too, a waste of a day while I repair the damage, a story to inspire nerdy sympathy. Sigh.
At least I now have a plan to get home, even if it did take forever and get my hardware abused along the way. I’m going to Taronga Zoo tomorrow. It’s gonna be awesome, and it’s not going to rain.Cause it’s my last day. You hear me?