This week has been downright gruesome. Remember I posted about our ISP changing and how odd it was that they were going offline for 6 months? We got the call for that from our internet Carrier late on the Friday afternoon (well timed) before a long weekend. Monday was a public holiday. They pushed us to register with the new ISP within 24 hours or we'd lose out. Now, anytime we have internet issues, it is well nigh impossible to get through to the ISP... even on a good day. Everything was very official with this whole setup. Who're we to argue? When you encounter regular oddities, you get to a point where little surprises you. This changover to the new ISP happened literally a day before the bill was due for the old ISP. On Tuesday, I got a nasty call from the old ISP. Why haven't we paid? Uh.... well... I have no intention of paying for a service I'm not using. "But you're signed up with us." No, we're not. Yes, you are. I told them about the call from Telefonica telling us that we were to change to UOL because Terra would be going down. The caller claimed to know nothing about that. The conversation went downhill from there. Jurgis was out at a client and I was home getting my knickers in a knot. They don't give you much leeway here before cutting your internet. When Jurgis did finally get to speak to them, we were in for a surprise (that's putting it nicely). It turned out that we'd been scammed into changing... by who, we don't know. When your Carrier phones you, you can hardly ask them to show ID. We had confirmation calls and emails from the new ISP, UOL. The 3 'players' in this little game are all massive companies. We are now registered with two ISP's. It's a mess. Procon, the consumer rights organisation says we can only take action once we have proof that we're actually paying both. In the meantime, we should just choose one to cancel with *muttering under my breath*
Thing is, we need to move. We've been needing to move for a while now, but we're taking advantage of Brazil's never-never attitude to procrastinate. We've been wanting to change to cable (we're currently on adsl through our telephone company). To install cable in this house before we move is not practical, as we'd be faced with two lots of installation fees... one here and one once we move. Now we have the bust modem... the pressure is on.
Aside from our internet woes, I have been headachy, generally feeling unhealthy and grouchy *snap... snarl* Our electricity bill arrived. The price of electricity has gone up... way up. The tax alone is R$50 (around US$30), 50% of the actual bill, plus an extra fee for street lighting. The electricity tax is threefold... a municipal, state and federal tax. Eish! If we got great service and had excellent facilities, I wouldn't mind, but we don't. I was shuffling students again this week, as one of my Skype students had a power outage during our class this week and it wasn't even raining very hard at the time.
Jurgis just surprised me with a bit of information. I have been looking online for work by the artist, Stewart Titcombe, for years with little joy. It seems his paintings are now only being sold, usually by auction. When I have a respectable connection, I'll post the photo of the painting I have. Stewart Titcombe was visiting my home town of Port Elizabeth some time before I was born. He went into my gran's florist shop and fell in love with some proteas he saw there and asked her if he could paint them. This painting is of the PE harbour. I found it on an auctioneer's site. Something that took me by surprise here too is that the ship is named Vergelegen, which was the name of the one farm my gran had. She spoke of it often.
Ah the joys... shall I try to post this blog? Guess saving it all first would be a good idea...