17 November 2007

Stranger in the Piscina

When you read the blog or my email, do you picture me composing it while lounging on a silk-covered chaise in a palazzo, a steaming caffe latte close at hand, and my pristine white laptop resting on a gilded table nearby?

Here is the grim reality: me, freezing, contorted and perched on the slim doorstep of my first apartment building, my coffee growing cold in its thermos, my now-slightly grubby Mac teetering dangerously on my knees... and the local Carabinieri eying me suspiciously from the bridge. More than once I have had to rely on my actress skills to deflect their attention: “Oh, mi dispiace, Signori, I am locked out. My husband will be here soon to let me in...,” smile smile, blush blush, etc. etc.

Why do I do this? The Piscina has something rarely found in Venice – a “hotspot.” The wireless internet connection is free for anyone willing to show up at weird hours, brave the elements (including one particularly feisty Jack Russell terrier who snorts at me!), and type while wearing mittens. While the weather was warm, this was a great way to save some cash. But the mornings have grown quite nippy lately, so…

Buona Notizia! ("Good News!") Yesterday I finally surrendered. I pulled out my thin purse and purchased a hideously expensive wireless modem that will permit me to surf from anywhere (in Italy) my heart desires anytime I wish for a mere 30 euros a month (gasp!). Even from my own cozy bed.