Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’m back online.
Which essentially means I have no excuse for not better keeping you in the loop of my Edinburgh adventures, aside from the nights when I’m studying the brachio-something-alis muscle and the like 1,000 different bones that make up the skull. Yipes. There are quite a few.
In true Erin fashion, I got back online in the most economic way possible. Spending money on “necessities” is nowhere near as fun as spending money on fantastic soaps or Chanel perfume or other such real necessities.
Still, it’s funny how being a full time student has changed my behavior. I have a small jar of cinnamon I purchased for a pound (approx. $1.50) only to find out that there was no safety seal on it. Of course, I assume there is a crazed killer putting arsenic in ground cinnamon and I shouldn’t use it. Instead of tossing the jar though, I saved the receipt and will be exchanging it for a new jar. I just want what I paid for: ground cinnamon sans arsenic.
In a way, my internet connection is like that one pound jar of cinnamon. Cheap. After calculating out the price of iPhones alone and the price of a phone plan where you get the phone vs. a SIM only plan, I found the cheapest possible iPhone 4 on e-Bay UK and signed up for a 15 pound a month plan (about $23) which includes unlimited data. Now, I can turn my iPhone into a hotspot and enjoy internet at home on my MacBook Pro. Even though my flat is wired for broadband, I can deal with the less than instant internet speeds and still effectively stream British Netflix. Watching shows that have already aired vs live television saves me from paying the 150 pound t.v. license. So, now I can catch up on Arrested Development from the comfort of my starched Vera Wang sheets. Can you see how the champagne taste and beer budget are always at odds?
Another recent beer-budget kick to the posterior aspect of my gluteals is my search for the perfect free texting application. I’m not going to pay international rates to text with friends back home, especially not when there are free options! I like VIBER, but it only works if my friends have the viber ap on their phone as well. I have a magic jack US number attached to my phone and that’s great for calling, but with the time zone difference, texting is so much more convenient.
Of course there are options like letters and e-mails…but this isn’t about those, this is about text messages!
I very recently tried an ap called “textnow.” A friend at school was using it and really enjoyed it. I downloaded the ap and started texting from the start of my phone book. By my third text to B-, I had to delete the application.
I’d received a spam text from a man in a large, frightening cat-head shaped mask. His user name was displayed “You’re Next” and the message preview said, “Did you lock the door….”
Without the Guard Beagle handy, I panicked.
After my initial panic, I decided to keep panicking and called J so I could externally manifest my internal FREAK OUT. Even though it was the middle of the night, she stayed on the phone with me until I no longer felt paralyzed with fear and I worked up the courage to walk around my flat and turn on every single light…well, technically the TWO other lights….in it. I knew the message was spam and not to open it because I’d just end up with a virus on my phone or something. I knew the threat wasn’t real. However, the fear was very, very real. I didn’t sleep at all the whole night.
I also restored my phone to a previous back-up, one without the application on it. Even though I hadn’t opened it, I didn’t want to take any chances. My understanding of such techie things is very limited. But I know there are real dangers and people get their bank accounts emptied and all sorts of terrible things can happen. I’ve had location services on in my phone since I’ve been living by GoogleMaps the past few days. I know all sorts of dangers exist. I know I did not want to tempt fate.
I missed the Guard Beagle more than anything.
I’m still looking into texting, but I think I’ll be back to writing letters for a bit. I don’t want to accidentally connect with any of the wrong people.