Just 3 days to go…

The original plan was to for Katie and I, along with some other friends, to expatriate ourselves to Italy — specifically Florence. The plan was to leave on January 20th, or maybe even the 19th, and stay there for several months, if not years. You should have heard us. If the US re-elects that chimp, we gotta get the hell out of here.

But now, reality has set in. GWB was re-elected. Heather got a job (amazingly, in this economy … but then again, she actually has marketable skills). Everyone else flaked out for one reason or another. But not me. I’m committed.

On Sunday, Katie and I will be leaving for Florence, never to return. Er, okay. So, we’ll be coming back in May. But if we can get someone to continue to live in our condo while we’re gone, we might stay longer, or even just cancel our return flight altogether.

That will mostly depend on Internet access for me. Since I’ll be continuing my job from abroad, I need a pretty decent connection. Our research thus far has led us to believe that residential broadband in Florence simply does not exist. We’ll see once I get there.

Fortunately, I was able to get a GSM phone from a co-worker and purchase a SIM card from TIM, which apparently works. I’ve been able to send and receive text messages, and I got a call from a friend which seemed to work out okay. The phone is bluetooth-enabled, so I can allegedly use GPRS to get online from my laptop, when appropriately equipped with a bluetooth card.

My dad braved the new world of SMS messages and sent me a message, which I was able to use to call him back. Other attempts to make calls from my phone have failed. I wonder if that’s because the SMS message contained some info that I wasn’t providing when calling out with a normal phone number. I did discover that making a call from the phone required me to act as if I were in the US, rather than acting as if I were in my home calling area (Italy). I thought that’s what the whole “+” thing was supposed to accomplish. Oh, well.

I’m looking forward to whiling my day away at a caf�, leisurely attending to the needs of my software development team. I’ll have almost a solid month abroad before I have to do a product release. Hopefully, I’ll have Internet access by then ;)

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