I don’t like to come off as an entitled American. I try really hard not to act like it’s my right to have the same comforts I would have at home, because after all, when in France…you know.
Except when I can’t get online and I’ve been told that they have to change my password and because the system is blocked, they have to wait for the tech guy to show up. Which, because this is Europe, could be later today…but it could also be tomorrow, or the day after that, by which point I will be marching myself up to the administrative office and yelling at somebody. After I was given this piece of information, I promptly went up to my room (thankfully the elevator was working after this morning’s four-and-a-half hours with no electricity, which, by the way, included the internet, and was falsely advertised as “between 8 and 9 AM”) and cried until I had nothing left. I’m currently sitting in the cafeteria at the Maison Internationale, listening to my stomach grumbling and dreading having to go back to my building and make dinner, because what on earth am I going to do all night?
I guess you could say I’m good and plugged in. I check my e-mail a lot. I am on Facebook constantly when I’m on my computer. I spend an absurd amount of time watching TV shows online or wasting time on discussion forums on various topics. But until this year I didn’t feel myself to be completely reliant on the internet. At home I have a phone with which I can always call my friends and family. At home I have a television for a couple of hours of entertainment, and I have things to do. I have a car, into which I can hop and go do errands. I have a full working kitchen (well, mostly working, anyway) in which I can cook things if I get bored.
Here, and especially now, eleven months into my European year, when my internet goes, my sanity goes. I feel lost. I feel hopeless. I feel unconnected and alone. I feel like the day I move out of this godforsaken dorm will be the happiest day I’ve had in ages. I feel like if they don’t get this problem fixed by tomorrow, I will be even more of a raving lunatic than I am now. I may have actually uttered a rather salty four-letter word in front of the receptionists of both the Fondation des États-Unis and the Maison Internationale.
(But not for Paris. Paris is on my list.)