Monday, April 25, 2005

pink chiffon war

Why haven't I posted anything for a while? I've been busy. Not busy experiencing the niceties of Nepali life, but busy with work. It's about charging batteries with interrupted power supplies. You wouldn't be interested.

On Wednesday, Nini's father and aunt are coming for a visit. He's been in the British army for 42 years. On Friday we're all flying to go see the Everest area - or, as tourists who read their Lonely Planet extra attentively like to call it - the Solo Kumbu. Ewan and I will be there just until Tuesday on account of work. Monday is his birthday and also the day we have to break from the group and get back to the airstrip, so it'll be just the two of us celebrating his 27th birthday on Monday night - at high altitude, where we can really think clearly. I'm going to get messed up on homemade sherpa beer. Nini and her family will stay up there for another week.

But this post isn't about the future, it's about the recent past. Walking home from work today, I dropped by the place we rent DVDs. It wasn't to rent a DVD, it was to pick up my deposit from the last time I rented a movie. I returned that movie this morning, but the guy said to come back later - no change now. That's a little odd, I thought.

If you step back and look at the DVD place, it's kind of odd in and of itself. They sell two things: pirated movies and office chairs. They don't sell office furniture at large - just the chairs. The DVDs border the walls. They don't like it if you sit in the chairs if you're there to get a DVD. They must think it's not likely that the movie-renting customers are also office-chair-buying customers. They're probably right - completely different clientele. I've never seen anyone buy an office chair there.

So there I am, 6:00 on a busy street, walking into the DVD/office-chair place to get the change from my deposit. But when I get inside, there's no one there. The door's unlocked and the lights are on, but no proprietor. There is no back room in which he could be doing something. He's just not in his store. I walked slowly up to the counter and looked over to see if anyone was on the floor back there. Nope. So I go outside and decide I'll wait for a couple minutes - maybe the guy is on an errand... with his store wide open. The idea of grabbing all the DVDs I can hold and running briefly passes through my transom. But then, why would I want to do that? Just because I could - I guess. The idea passes.

As I sit on the step waiting, an Indian street vender walks by selling chiffon. Not dresses - just loose yards of chiffon. They're on his shoulder. He looks at me as he walks by and makes a face that asks, "you want to buy some chiffon?". I make the corresponding face for, "why would I possibly want to do that?".

Pink or white available - good quality chiffon.

The new idea that sprang to mind was that I'll have to write a post about this. I realize my laptop's in my backpack - I could write as I experience. Modern. I think people call blogging where ever 'war blogging'. I don't know if you need an internet connection to 'war blog' or if writing offline counts. This idea passes even faster than the smash-and-grab-DVD idea - mostly because I can barely handle the word 'blog' itself, let alone the phrase 'war blogging'. I think the phrase is really new - many a year or two old. I believe the name follows from 'war driving' which is a few years older still. War driving is when you tool around town in your car trying to pick up 802.11 wireless networks either without encryption or crappy WEP encryption that you hit with airsnort, and then use the networks. Not exactly 31337 ski1z. What do you do when you find and access a network? I don't know - I guess most people who war drive check the email. Sex offenders war drive for lurid internet business because it's almost untraceable. Both of these names stem from 'war dialing' I think, which was when back in the day people phreaked the phone system from pay phones so they couldn't be traced. What's phreaking? It's bypassing the phone company's archaic systems to make calls for free. It used to be easy, I've read. As the phone companies got wise to phreaking, they got better at tracing offenders - so the offenders went mobile. You could call a friend in Singapore for free from a pay phone by war dialing - if you had any friends in Singapore. And where did the name 'war dialing' come from? I don't know. It was probably made up by people who were never in a war who thought it sounded cool.


At 10:29 AM, Anonymous said...

by the way, did you get your deposit back? coz you don't mention it in your blog!!!

At 10:38 AM, williambeecher said...

Good question from an attentive reader. No, I didn't get the deposit back. Maybe tomorrow, if the guy remembers. I probably shouldn't have given him the DVD when he didn't have any change on hand.

I like the antagonistic use of italics.

At 3:05 AM, Anonymous said...

more posts please.


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