Thursday, March 04, 2004

Creatures of Connection

Creatures of Connection

In Indonesia, I blogged from Internet cafes mainly. Even when I was on the road, I always managed to squeeze in a couple of lines from some dinghy cafe, often over an excrutiatingly slow Internet connection.

Here in Bangkok, I'm lucky that my serviced apartment is equipped with a broadband connection. It's good to be always connected, though I try not to get over addicted to it. In KL, I'm still struggling to get my Streamyx working properly: it is only stable when connected to the phone extension downstairs--which is not convenient for me. I'll need to get a wireless LAN set up in my home very soon.

I was one of the pioneer users of Singtel's ADSL service called Magix, when they first launched it. I too faced a lot of problems with my line in the initial stages. But after it stabilized I was able to get flawless 3Mbits/sec downstream for three years. With that kind of download speed, I didn't need a TV; I could watch BBC and Channel News Asia live--in complete TV quality--streamed to my PC.

When I went to Indonesia, I was deprived of my Internet/life-line. It was too expensive for me to dialup from the hotel, so I had to rely on Internet cafes. But somehow I still managed to blog frequently. Blogging is tough back in KL because so many other things vie for my attention. I still have not found an optimum routine for myself in KL, because I don't have total control over my time.

How much should one control one's time and how much room should we for spontaneity? It is a difficult balance but I suppose one needs a bit of both. Here in Bangkok, I have no choice. I have to have be disciplined to ensure that I finish all my work. Surprising my concentration here is good.

I consider myself lucky that I'm never bothered much by loneliness. As a matter of fact, I kind of welcome solitude and is perhaps even guilty of being over-fond of it. I can live without seeing anyone for days, but I don't thing I can last two days without being connected to the Net.

The real test of solitude is when one is totally disconnected with the world. No TV, no Internet, no newspapers and no friendly faces. I wonder how I'll do in such a situation. I suspect I'll be quite OK too--as long as I have enough reading materials. But then again reading is another way of getting connected. As long as we are still leading a "worldly" life, we have to find some means of getting connected with people and the world out there. We are all creatures of connection.

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