Internet access (or inaccess)

Well, it turns out internet access is a lot more difficult in Lebanon (or at least Tripoli) than we thought. And of course, things went wrong at the office, so I had to have access to fix things, but nothing seemed to work. We tried a few times, from net cafe’s and from Maissa’s sisters house but the connections kept dropping out.

Actually, the guy at the first net cafe was trying to be helpful, but he was obviously quite clueless. What made things worse was that he was quite happy to crap on as though he knew what he was talking about. He said that all the ports were closed except 80 and we couldn’t do anything except surf the web. I tried ssh and thankfully it was open as I needed to move some files around on then cocolo website. When he saw me using ssh, he was like “oh… so do you have a linux server or something?” and I said “yes” and then he asked me if I had studied computing and I said I had done computer engineering. He was like “Oh… me too! I have MCSE 1 and 2” I wonder if he could see the distain on my face. I tried very hard to hide it. At a later stage in my conversation, he told me that his ISP blocks mozilla because it downloads and uploads too much, and they do it by blocking port 5332 or something…. again, I was trying not to let the horror show on my face.

Yesterday, Maissa’s brother inlaw took us up the mountains in a four wheel drive. It was beautiful I have to say. We went up about 3500 meters, above the cloud layer, above the plants even. and there was even some snow up there. His 4×4 is a very old range rover, but he was telling us that it gets such a beating going up the mountains that its crazy to have a new one, and i have to say, it really did take a beating, and he really likes to drive it hard over the bumps. He goes up there once a week with his kids, and he has to change the shock absorbers every 2 months, and after each 2 trips, he has to adjust all the nuts and bolts that hold the car together because they all shift and loosen!

One of the things thats a little depressing about Lebanon is the peoples apparant disregard for the environment. The whole way up the mountain, there were plastic bottles and rubbish here and there, but worse of all was there seemed to be loads of shot gun shells everywhere. Why don’t people pick things up after themselves *sigh*?

By the time we were comming down the mountain, the sun was setting and the view across the hills and valleys, with the evening mist and the rosy pink sun was really stunning. I didn’t take any photos of it though as I couldn’t be bothered, so you’ll just have to imagine it.

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