by Sarah Luna

After ten days, I finally got internet on my laptop.

When we first arrived at our hotel in Sarole Pathar, we were excited to see ethernet cables in each of the rooms. Yes, we thought, we would have internet access! Only two of the four rooms worked. We inquired at the front desk which then sent someone up to look.

He plugged in the ethernet cable to my laptop, looked at me, and said: “Internet works now.”
Me: “No, no it doesn’t. See, I can’t open any pages.”

Him: “But it’s plugged in.” He points to the cable.
Me: “…I know it’s plugged in, but it doesn’t work.” I point to the error page.
Him: “Ok, I have someone come look at it tomorrow. No problem.”

Tomorrow comes and the “expert” takes me into the room with the modem. He points to it and says proudly: “See, the light is on. It works now.” I take the ethernet cable and plug it in. Nothing happens. “No, it still doesn’t work.” “But the light is on.” “Yes, but something must be wrong with the cable.”

Messing with the modem, however, got the internet in the boys’ room and one professor’s room to work. My advisor simply switched rooms.

The next day, my roommate was able to get online with the cable in our room. I tried without luck. Then I went next door and tried with the boys’ cable. No luck there either. Something was wrong with my computer. I tried disabling the firewall. I tried messing with the network settings. Nothing. By that time I was resigned to the fact that I’d simply have to use someone else’s computer to check my email and wait till I was home to check Facebook. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but inconvenient.

Fast forward to today. Before heading back to Mumbai to fly back to the US, one of the professors mentions that he knows how to set it up on the Mac operating system or on Linux but that he doesn’t know how to fix it on Windows 7. Wait, I thought, I haven’t tried it on Linux!

I restarted my computer, this time selecting Ubuntu. It had been a few months since I’d used Ubuntu on my laptop, and I stared blankly at the screen. Then I sat up, looked around, realized that I’m the only one around to fix this, and thought: What would Drew do?

Of course, the answer was obvious. CLICK STUFF UNTIL IT WORKS.

It took me about ten minutes, and I have no idea what I did that finally worked. The important thing is that I got my laptop to connect to the internet all by myself. Triumph.

Half an hour later, I got the hot water to work for the first time since being here. Today was an excellent day.