Getting connected…

Internet cafes are strange places.  The one I’m typing this from has a studious atmosphere to it, a bit like a library, but I’ve never been to any library that smells so powerfully of burnt samosas.  We patrons are sat slightly too close together to feel like our personal space is intact, and the desk my computer is sloping at an angle, making it as if I’m typing against the side of a hill.  I am, as you might have guessed, currently without home internet access, having just moved flat and had all sorts of trouble with the people who make all the right wires work.

But there’s something nice about being unconnected.  It’s frustrating and inconvenient but also quite fun to hike across Oxford in the wind and rain to this cafe, with my rickety umbrella blowing inside-out every fifteen steps, to be able to make contact with other people.  And for a child of the internet generations such as myself, who gets his daily news fix out of websites, it’s quite refreshing to revert for a while to life pre-www. 

… I wrote the above yesterday, then the meter in the cafe timed out and I had no change to top it up with.  It was a race against time to finish the sentence and hit ‘Publish,’ but the computer beat me and powered down.  Then, still in whimsical mode about the nature of connectivity, I stepped outside and got absolutely drenched by the rain.  It was funny because I’d been to the bookshop and had some new books in my bag, all three of them about rain and the weather.  I got home, dripping, took them out of my soaked bag (they were dripping too) and had a quick flick through the first one.  The thing I came to was this amazing little fact, that at any given time your lungs have something like a 97% chance of containing one of the air molecules exhaled by Caesar with his dying breath.  Air molecules just pass around in this secondhand fashion, apparently.  Connectivity, and all that.

Today it is raining again.

Comments 1

  1. Robert Mileham wrote:

    Book Launch yesterday at Blackwells was brilliant, weenjoyed ourselves – Ali’s reading of his book was very moving! Good to see that everyone is a fan of the book and of Ali!

    Posted 22 May 2009 at 12:27 pm