An Unplanned Morning Walk

I woke up this morning feeling refreshed. The sky was brightening outside, and no clouds were visible through the window cut into the sloping ceiling directly over my head. I got up, woke up my computer, and went to fix tea. The electric kettle quickly heated the water for my first (but certainly not last) cup, and once it was fixed I returned to my desk.

My computer was turned off. Not just sleeping, but completely turned off. Curious.

It wouldn’t start again, either. I tried a light switch, then a different light on a different circuit. Nothing. My apartment was without electricity. Consulting my phone I saw it was 8 am when the electricity had stopped, and out on the street the crews were hard at work rewiring the neighborhood. This was probably a planned outage and I hadn’t got the memo. (On previous occasions I had.)

Well, then, no electricity. No computers. Normally I’d be ok with this. I’d probably just go back to bed. But That Girl had specifically mentioned that she was going to try to stay up until I woke up, so that we could chat. I’d hate to let That Girl down. Obviously, then, if the Internet wasn’t going to come to Jerry, then Jerry could go to the Internet. After all, there is a friendly little café nearby that has WiFi. There aren’t many of them out in this neighborhood of Prague, so I feel fortunate to have one so close. Plus, they often have good tea there.

I was about halfway there when it occurred to me that today was Sunday. If the café bothers to open at all today it will be this afternoon. As I walked (trying not to interfere with the construction crews who were, in open violation of the ethical standards of state-employed construction workers the world over, hard at work), I tried to come up with a Plan B. There was none that didn’t involve public transportation and overpriced access. I stopped outside Little Café Near Home and used my phone to see if their wireless was up. At least I could email That Girl to tell her what was happening. There was the network! Hooray!

I have complained about my phone, but it is perfect for things like this. I laboriously typed out a message, then hit send. “Use cafemania wireless network?” the phone asked me. “Yes,” I answered. “Enter password,” my phone said. I typed the password, working around my phone’s bloody-minded insistence that the first letter be capitalized. Password entered, I hit “send.”

“There’s no network here named cafemania,” my phone told me.

Where did the network go? There was no one inside to turn it off. Maybe LCNH’s power was cut off just then. I laughed, shook my head, scanned for neighboring networks that were unprotected, found none, and decided to go home. I took a slightly different route home, around the worst of the construction, and met a dog who used to be a regular at Little Café Near Home, but hasn’t been coming in lately. The sun was shining, the birds were singing (probably saying “see you next spring”), and the air was chill and crisp. Bracing, even.

I got home, put some water on the gas stove, then with a click and a pop the electricity came back on, and here I am telling you about my morning.

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