During the travel to India, I was extensively using my mobile phone, sending SMS updates to Twitter (user: "rbehringer"). This also linked to my Facebook account, so I probably had gotten on the nerves of my friends there with the frequent updates of my status. The flight on Emirate Airlines from Dubai to Ahmadabad even allowed the use of mobile phones on the plane - for me the very first time that I had this opportunity. I made no calls, but sent a couple of txts.
I had hoped to have internet access in our accommodation, but there was only a phone socket - no sign of ethernet, and no wifi anywhere. Mobile access still was ok, but I stopped sending txts, as I was not quite sure about the roaming charges. At the institute, I tried to connect my laptop computer in the IT lap to a ethernet cable, which worked fine with one of the PCs there. Strangely, however, the laptop computer showed no sign of any connection, as the cable was plugged in... as if there was a different technical standard. No wifi was available, but for one day I borrowed one of the USB modems, which basically provided internet access over a wireless cell phone connection. On Tuesday, Brian and I took a rickshaw taxi to one store which sold such USB modems. However, as we had no permanent address here, we were unable to purchase one; also we would have to buy a connection for at least 4 months, which was a bit unreasonable for just the two weeks here.
On Wednesday, I went with Sunil to another store, and here we solved the problem of internet access: Sunil as the resident here signed the contract, and I paid for the item and a set of pay-as-you-go minutes, which the other store had not offered us. So form then on, I was a proud customer of Tata Indicom - with 121 kbps, anywhere I would go! Great - from now on I could at least update the working blog for this project: http://gujarat-yorkshire.blogspot.com/. However, it turned out that the connection was not always reliable; I had a few drops, and when uploading lots of data (e.g. my pictures onto Flickr), the connection sometimes got interrupted. But I was glad anyway, to have some access from my laptop.