Hi! it is so good to be back and to know you all missed me 🙂
So where have you been? What’s been going on, you ask? Let me tell you my tale of woe…..
First, my computer died. I bought a brand new apple lap top just before we came to Shanghai. I did this partly for the portability of the laptop and the fact that my desk top is now six years old. The other reason is that China, in all it’s wisdom, has decided you cannot bring a desk top computer into China, but a laptop is ok. Makes sense, right?! lol. So, I digress. My poor new laptop was completely unresponsive. I rushed to the local apple store two train stops away and took it to the ‘genius bar’ where the genius couldn’t figure it out and took my baby away for diagnostics. A full week later I was told that the logic bus was broken and they could fix it. The logic bus, according to my tech home team, is something that lets all the chips in the computer talk to each other. Obviously without this communication between chips things don’t go well 😦
So ten days later my baby was safely home with me again and I was all ready to jump back on wordpress and write. But the world had changed around me in those ten days. The ‘occupy wall street’ movement had begun to spread, not just across America but around the world. As you may know, China is not fond of protests or organized movements of any kind. I cannot prove the connection but the timing seems suspicious….the protests spread and China decided to block many blogging sites behind what we lovingly call the “Great Firewall’ leaving bloggers out in the cold. The irony of this is that in the english language local paper and on the TV news there have been lots of articles about how local leaders, including government officials, are embracing microblogging as a great way to communicate with the people of China. LOL.
At first I did not realize that I was stuck behind the great firewall. I thought perhaps it was something still screwy in my computer. That ruled out, I moved to other possibilities: maybe I forgot my password? maybe I needed to reinstall the wordpress soft wear? maybe it was a local internet issue -my apartment building does not always have great internet service- ? I went on the wordpress forum site and there was no mention of technical problems. Then I went on local expat forums and low and behold there was lots of chatter about all the blogs being blocked and what to do to get around this problem. I read all the comments and found my solution: a VPN.
A VPN is a virtual private network. The way it works is you log onto the VPN site, which your host country does not recognize as objectionable, and it acts as a relay point for you to go to other sites that your host country does not like. I have known these VPNs exist for a while but have resisted getting one because a) they cost more money and b) I didn’t want my kids to have unlimited access to any and all web sites – they spend too much time on their computers already. But in doing my research I found a VPN that is reasonably priced and only allows one computer to use it, per subscription, at a time. So it will not be a wild free for all at home.
So the short version is I have missed you all and now I’m back!!!
And I have lot’s to tell you so stay tuned……