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Published: January 23rd 2006
Decorative Communication Tower
How 'bout throwing some more antennas up there? Where are you T-Mobile?
I've been feeling the distance lately. Not only am I twelve time zones apart from home, I am apparently living in a black hole. The phone network has become unbelievably more unreliable lately, so much so, that my work has installed CB radios in all our houses and cars for emergencies. In addition, as I discovered when trying to book a flight to Vietnam, it takes two days to get anywhere from here - one day (two flights) to get to a regional Indonesian airport, then another flight to get to an international airport where you'll be able to make connections to Earth.
How do people survive like this?? Magically, even though you can't get a phone call through, you can often send/receive text messages on your mobile phone. They call that SMS here ("text messaging" in the States) where you use the keypad to type text messages and send to each other. I know...seems totally inefficient to Americans, but SMS is used all around the world for business as much as personal since often it's the cheapest (or only) communication available. I think Indonesian hands, small and nimble, have specially evolved to take advantage of this service.
Part of the new world I am discovering here. I met this man at the market today. It's these random connections with people that makes life for me so interesting and unpredictable.
course, SMS'ing doesn't really help me out when trying to communicate with people back home. So the internet is my main mode of communication: email, Skype and this blog. Actually, I didn't expect this blog to be as useful as it has been - demystifying my life here and making it easier for friends to understand what it's like here for me. Thanks to everyone who keeps coming and reading and posting comments.
So, for a world that is getting increasingly "smaller," it still feels quite large to me. It's nice that my generation does not let borders define our world. But we also have a whole new set of challenges to deal with - partners with family in other parts of the world; work that keeps us on the move; friends that move just when you start to think of them like family. And I am one of them, grappling with those same issues. Wondering if it's still possible to be a "good daughter" even though I feel I'm becoming the "electronic daughter."
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