Ming the Mechanic:
Good neighbors

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Good neighbors2006-09-27 10:50
by Flemming Funch

So, I've had this problem getting my internet connection to work in our new house. We're staying with the same provider which is called Free. They're the biggest, and provide an excellent package for little money. When it works, that is. Their technical support isn't easy to get through. In principle our line was all activated on the 11th. Except for that it doesn't work. I've tried all the plugs and dug through the house for any possible kind of phone outlet, but no success. So, I'll have to wait for somebody to actually come and look at the wiring in the house, which will take another couple of weeks.

And, well, my life grinds to a halt without a connection. OK, mainly my work. But it drives me crazy when I can't get on. So, in these last couple of weeks I've shuffled my computer around to various friends' houses and offices, plugging into their connections. Which was very nice, and allowed to me to cover some basic things and do my e-mail, etc. But not really to actually make progress.

I tend to shy away from asking anybody for anything. Sort of a personal issue of mine. I have to be very lost before I reluctantly will ask somebody for directions. So, I had internet connection at friends' houses recently more because they offered it, and insisted that it was no problem, rather than because I actually asked them.

But yesterday I got myself together and passed around a letter to all my neighbors, explaining the situation. See, I had noticed that somebody had a WiFi connection which seemed usable, if I only had their password. So, I was trying to locate who it was, to pursuade them to share.

Didn't take much persuasion, though. It is something I've noticed often in France. If you lay out your situation and your problem in some detail, lots of people will find it both logical and "normal" to help solve it. Of course even more so when you run into some nice people who aren't just being polite.

I had passed around letters to five neighbors. Within an hour or so I had had three of them on the phone. The first one apologized that they didn't even have a computer, so they're sorry, they can't help, but if there's anything else we need, don't hesitate to ask.

The second neighbor said he'd come by in an hour, and "we'll find a solution".

The third caller was actually the house with the wifi connection I noticed. And he said, yes, of course we can use his connection, go right ahead!

So, now I was almost getting too much help. Neighbor #2 came by first. His suggestion was to string a cable over to his house. And he's in the computer hardware business, and has his garage full of equipment anyway, and he'd be perfectly comfortable with that.

I say thank you very much, but I've better check out the WiFi thing first, as it would be less of a hassle if that would work. So, I visit Neighbor #3, who happily gives me his passwords and codes. He didn't know overly much about it, though, so he wasn't quite sure what was what. Two visits later, and several cups of coffee, I can't seem to get any of them to work. So, despite his offer that I could just take his laptop with me and work on that, I go back to Neighbor #2, to take him up on his proposal.

He offers to drive me to town to his favorite supplier, we acquire an 80m ethernet cable, and I string it up. So, now there's a cable going out my window, around the house, over the hedge, through his bushes and into his back window. And, voila, I have Internet. And he didn't even allow me to pay for the cable yet.

Good neighbors for sure. In France one has no guarantee one will even ever meet one's neighbors, as people tend to be very private. But one can be lucky, or actually have a good excuse for presenting them with a problem to solve. So, I'm glad I asked.

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27 Sep 2006 @ 12:19 by jstarrs : Bad connections...
Great post..from the roots.
I'm moving this weekend and have been overwhelmed by the kindness of some French friends, who've offered to store my stuff in their basement and even use their uncle's lorry to help me move.
I'm a little like you, Flemming, hesitant to ask for help and I hate having to.
Let me know where you've moved to, k?
I'm back off to the buddhist institute, where I spent 8 years in the '80's, to design & maintain their website & look after their archives, which means transfering hundreds, if not thousands of teachings given there since the 1980's, to MP3 format, so they can be made available on the.....net.
Take care & love to the family (I know I'm not a good 'contacter' so please accept my apologies for my bad 'connections'.)  

27 Sep 2006 @ 12:51 by ming : Connections
Ha, well, I'll have to apologize too then. Alright, so let me know if you need help this weekend. When we moved, I went ahead and did most of the carrying myself at first, and hurt my back, and only then did I call a couple of friends who had offered help.  

27 Sep 2006 @ 16:47 by jstarrs : Thanks Ming...
...I think I'll have enough help and you should primarily take care of your back, ok?
Hope to see you soon for that beer.  

28 Sep 2006 @ 05:26 by Ge Zi @ : beam me up, Scotty
Sometimes the technology on this planet is really annoying. I really miss that phone booth kinda thingy, where you dial a number and then be there.
Really would like to join you for a beer.

But at least you are alive again, Flemming - blog-wise.  

28 Sep 2006 @ 09:50 by Enocia @ : Good neighbours
What a brilliant post, Ming. Thank you for sharing it.

I find people are so helpful. As I see it, there are no people there is only Love, and Love is always there to help.

All the very best.

Love EJ  

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I wouldn't have had the guts to ask my neighbors. Cool story.  

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Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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