This is one of those "interesting to no one but me" stories, which should probably be a new category, but I thought it might help to get it out. I don't post stories about repatriation very often because I think they're hard to relate to, and they sound kind of pretentious, but it's really just me being a little lonely and desperate. And what's more attractive than lonely and desperate?
So, god, I had a whacked-out run in with the cable guy this morning. I have Internet service and television through TWC. I've been using up too many minutes on my cell phone and one of my friends in DC who I talk with the most just went "out of network" or something, so I decided to get a real phone for my house. And apparently long distance is free now. I also love Bill Maher, so even though I've watched about two hours of television since moving here in December, I decided to order HBO. So I called TWC last week and the guy came out this morning.
He arrived at 9:00 and things got complicated fast. I learned that my 120 year old rental only has one phone jack. And he had to drill holes in the walls to put a wire from my computer to the phone jack. (Why connect the computer and the phone? Who knows.) And it would be easier if I got a certain kind of phone that doesn't need a jack. What kind of phone is that? I don't know. Then I realize I don't have an American phone, I only have my Japanese phone. Will it work here? We don't know. Somewhere along the way while he was answering one of my questions, I drifted off and started thinking: Time Warner Cable? Cable means television. Why am I asking for phone service from the television guy? Is he trying to scam me or what?
It gets worse. I asked more questions and didn't understand the answers, and he clearly started to get freaked out with my ignorance and suspicion. And then I started to get upset . . . yes, I teared up. I didn't CRY, I just got a little weepy. It's just so isolating when I come up against something I don't understand because of being out of the country. It's more confusing than it sounds. Almost four years is a long time, and although technology in the US is still behind Japan, it's much different than it was when I left in 2002. He ended up installing a new modem, I don't know why, and I do have HBO, but I don't understand it. Turns out there is no schedule of shows; I just turn it on and all the shows are running all the time. I just pick which show I want and - *poof* - it's magically starting right then. Luck, I guess.
So long story longer, the old phone works, and I even called myself just to hear the sweet kawaii Japanese ring, which was delicious in its familiarity. I was surprised to hear my own voice when the message came on, and what's more, I was saying my old Japanese phone number, 52-5195. Sometimes it's SO WEIRD to me that I lived in Japan. I can't believe it happened. And after all of that I wanted to put an audio clip up on the blog of my Japanese phone ring, but I decided that would really be under that new category.
After that mess I calmed myself down and went to my sister's to take care of her pooch. But with all of that still on my mind, when I pulled out of my driveway . . . I think you know what happened. Wrong side of the road again.