This week I got a virus on my computer. Which may or may not have resulted from my online search for the most recent glee episode. Let me just say that the arrest of that German guy in charge of megaupload was pretty much the apocalypse for American TV in any place outside of the U.S. Fox.com does not work in Europe. Did you hear me? FOX.COM DOES NOT WORK IN EUROPE. Consider yourself warned.
The incapacitation of my computer was a little bit upsetting. Here, my computer is not only a computer. It’s also a phone, an ipod, and a navigational device. And when I say that my computer is my ipod, it’s because I don’t have an ipod, so it is the only way I have to listen to music. This is where the no computer thing starts to get BAD.
First thing Monday morning I undertook a plan of action. I woke up and went straight to a “tienda informática.” I got there around 10:30am to found that they don’t open until 11. Figures. I returned later to Chip Prodigioso which is a very well-decorated store considering that it’s a computer repair place. It’s run by two pretty friendly guys who nicknamed me Lorena de las Flores (I wasn’t sure if I should take this as a compliment or an insult. Internet research did not provide any answers. If anyone has an insight, please share.) In less than a week they fixed the virus and the charger plug-in that I was having problems with. It’s possible that they worked faster than usual in order to curb my frequent visits to the store. LORENA, WILL YOU GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE ALREADY?
So, what did I do from Monday to Saturday without a computer. Well a few things actually. Here are a few ideas for you, should you find yourself in a similar situation.
1. Watch a movie. Obviously, it has to be a movie from cable since you don’t have your computer. I will say that Pearl Harbor is better than you remember it being. And better still when dubbed in Spanish.
2. Catch up on current events. You’re gonna need some print media for this one. Luckily a friend left a copy of Newsweek in my apartment about a month ago. Before my computer issues I had only read one article: “31 ways to get smarter—faster” because, let’s be real, I only read news articles that are directly applicable to my life. But last week I pushed my boundaries and read articles about the GOP primaries, Kim-Jong-il, and the Egyptian revolution. So now I am very well informed about events that are practically obsolete by contemporary media standards. …Whitney Houston died? WHAT?
3. Write a letter. While living outside the states, my computer is how I talk to people. People from home and even people in Spain. (My phone is pay-as-you-go so I avoid phone usage as much as possible.) Probably the worst thing about not having my computer was sitting up at 11pm or midnight, wishing I could talk to so-and-so from home, but having no way to even send her/him an email. But if this happens to you, don’t be discouraged. By some miracle of God postal services all over the world continue to function and deliver mail at a surprisingly fast turnover rate. I’ve found that mail from Europe will arrive in Kansas in a week or less. (There was one fluke of a letter from Switzerland to D.C. that took over a month… rogue mailman?) So with your extra time, sit down with a cup of tea, pen, and paper, and write somebody a letter.
4. Run your random errands that you never get around to doing. On Wednesday after a stop at Chip Prodigioso to harass the people working on my computer, I decided that I would not return to my apartment until I had a chessboard in hand (yes, the search was still on). So I stopped in no less than five different stores: a home decorating store, a game store, a tarot card store (I’m telling you, I was desperate), a thrift store, and finally, a Middle Eastern artisan shop, where I found it. It is beautiful, no?
So I survived a week without my computer and you will too! You might even be a stronger person for it (or at least keep telling yourself that…).