finally after exactly one week since i arrived in changshou i got internet access from my apartment. of course this will ruin me because now i'll probably spent all my evenings surfing the web and staying up late and not getting enough sleep to wake up the next morning at 6:00 to go to work. but i'll worry about all that later. tonight i'm just here to savor the sweet taste of the web.
liou ke called me from my apartment in the late afternoon to tell me my internet was working. he'd been there the whole afternoon (unbeknownst to me, but i can't get too mad about the privacy invasion, he did get my internet working after all), even tested it with his own laptop. the problem? he gave me the wrong password yesterday, missing a letter. this is the 3rd set of username/password combo i've tried, and this one finally worked via PPPoE.
after work the IT guy came over to my place to make sure i'd be able to get online. PPPoE setup was a cinch (did it myself), but i needed a little of his help to set up my wireless travel router. maybe if i purchased it back in the US i wouldn't have this problem, but the admin page was all in chinese and i couldn't decipher it. afterwards we hung around and chatted, before going to the supermarket so i could get some bottled water and some morning cakes. IT guy got some milk.
i came home and gave the internet a test run. although the connection is fiber optic, the IT guy told me they throttle the bandwidth to just 2MBps (compare that to my comcast xfinity, which can get speeds of 20MBPs on a good day). but i don't think that's true, because it seems i can get speeds a little faster, but download and upload. since this is for local chinese residential use, they block a whole slew of websites. basically any kind of foreign social networking site is blocked: twitter, facebook, even flickr (although i managed to get onto flickr at the office). google search engine is flat out blocked as well, rendering chrome searches completely useless. at least in shanghai i could sometimes still get google to work. oh, and no porn sites either, those are all blocked. torrent search sites are surprisingly unblocked (i guess piracy is okay), and they do nothing to throttle torrent downloads; i'm getting speeds that seem to be much faster than in shanghai. likewise, when i uploaded a 100MB file to a client back in the states, it only took a few minutes to upload.
i finally managed to videochat with my parents, gave them a tour of my apartment. we talked for 40 minutes, precious minutes i could've used to do laundry or surf the web.
(it's past midnight! i'm already screwed! i'm going to be super tired at the office tomorrow. thanks a lot internet!)