No Worse Off
I’ve been in Rio de Janeiro for nearly a month now. The most significant difference between here and home isn’t the language barrier or the uniquely Brazilian culture. It’s not the blaring noises of the city or the sea of people on the streets.
It’s the lack of technology. By that, I don’t mean to say Rio has no technology. It has just as much as anywhere else. The difference is, I don’t have access to it.
There are only three devices that made the journey with me: an 11" MacBook Air, an iPhone 4 and a 3G Kindle Keyboard.
The Kindle’s 3G Whispersync technically works here, but not as I expected. Books can be delivered, but they cannot be searched or purchased from the device, making the 3G support basically pointless. I’ve used it to read items I’ve yet to finish, but just barely. I rarely touch it.
The MacBook Air connects to the internet using a 3G USB adapter, meaning the speed of my connection isn’t particularly fast. It’s perfectly fine for writing and reading, but videos and images take too much patience. So I mostly read.
The iPhone 4 hasn’t been used at all. Before leaving, I failed multiple times at (illegally) unlocking the device. My mother, prefering simpler flip phones, allowed me to buy the iPhone using her upgrade. I was able to get it for $99 a couple years ago and, though it’s locked into AT&T, it has never had service. Instead, the phone runs entirely with Google Voice over wifi. Having no wifi here meant needing a SIM. Having a locked phone meant a SIM isn’t possible (as far as I know). So the iPhone has been laying dead on a table for weeks.
It’s been wonderful, actually, not having to take anything with me. Not being glued to a screen all day. Not depending on anything outside of my own brain, or luck, or friends, for navigating the city and figuring out what should be done next. Not having any incentive to go online much, it being so slow.
I’m definitely no worse off for it.
- June 9th, 2013