It isn’t much of a secret that I’ve been without Internet for the better part of a week. I think I made that point relatively clear in several subtle ways via the social media sphere. Eloquently, even.
Okay, okay…I was a whiny little bitch.
I’ll start from the beginning. After the big move from the house that I’d called home for three years to…an apartment, I decided to go with a company my brother and I used before – Frontier Communications. What I failed to take into account was that the Internet option we used was a direct line to their fiberoptic network – FiOS. The result: Screaming speeds. I was a YouTube-devouring mo-fo for well over a year. Sometimes at the sacrifice of productivity.
At my new apartment complex, we were nowhere near any fiberoptic network. The only option was cable broadband – which I couldn’t afford – or…well, a bunch of other options I couldn’t afford. So, I backpedaled to DSL and hoped for the best. I didn’t realize how spoiled I’d become. Troubles started from Day 1.
First: When I signed up the new account, I didn’t make sure the information they took down was correct. They misspelled my name – horribly. I’ve seen and heard every permutation of “Geoffrey” there is…”Jeffery” was a new one. Not even the J-folk spell it that way.
Second: I failed to realize that our apartment complex had some sort of handshake deal with Comcast. The building’s wiring was tailored to suit their cable broadband. Hell, a Comcast Xfinity truck had a car port near mine – seriously. As a result, the DSL signal that Frontier piped to us got waterlogged.
A really knowledgeable tech came out and jury-rigged something to get it working. All was well for about two days. Then the connection went kaput. I secretly believe it was because I used the word “throttle” on Twitter, and that pissed ‘em off. But that’s just paranoia talkin’.
After some attempted modem-juggling, I played phone tag with their tech support. They were about as helpful as plywood. I decided to call the technician directly, and he promptly forwarded the request for immediate assistance. Someone came out later that week, jury-rigged something again, and it’s been working well(-ish?) since. So, Frontier eventually did pay off.
The only reason I maintained my sanity throughout the blackout was…well…good black tea. Let’s face it, moving is stressful, inconsistent, and jarring. I’m a creature of habit, patterns, and highly resistant to change. When even the most basic routine is disrupted, the rest of my tenuous mental/emotional balance topples with it. In this case, regular access to whining about things in writing…on the Internet.
I kept my tea-ing consistent for the whole week. For the ordeal, I went with my trusty sample pack of Nepali Tea Traders Himalayan Gold. I didn’t think it would hold out for the long haul, but there was enough for two pints every morning. For six days.
The leaves were an interesting menagerie of browns, beiges, and charcoal. But the ones that stood out the most were the gold-tipped – true to the moniker. Their aroma was equally as golden – honeynut with a shade of muscatel character, like a Dian Hong fused with a Darjeeling. The liquor brewed up a rather light crimson with a bit of a sweet note on aroma. Taste-wise…I was a little shocked. This resembled a medium-bodied, low-altitude Ceylon – only more sweet than floral. It was definitely orange pekoe-ish through-and-through.
The real joy of this Nepalese gem, though, was that it could put up with scatterbrained neglect. There were many mornings and afternoons – as I pondered a life without consistent connection to the e-world – where I forgot about the pint I was steeping. It held up to several ten-minute steeps, and infused a good two times after. Hearty suckers, they were.
As I write this, Internet has been restored. My fingers are still crossed. And I have a good two-pint stash of Himalayan Gold for the following morning. Things could be worse, but just in case…I have a flash drive and a flask for back-up.