Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Last night I watched Biutiful, a 2010 movie starring Javier Bardem on Netflix.  I brought with me from the States a list of movies I had wanted to watch on DVD.  A few nights ago I was going through the list trying to find them on Netflix.   Most couldn’t be found or it would say it was not available for streaming.  I had removed a few from my list when I got to the movie Biutiful.  They had it, I started playing it but it was in Spanish.  There was a language option but the only other choice was Portuguese.  And there were no subtitles.  That’s when I remembered about IP Addresses.  I always knew each computer has a unique address (IP address) that identifies it but there’s more:
IP (Internet Protocol) address is “a unique string of numbers separated by periods that identifies each computer using the Internet Protocol to communicate over a network.”
In more detail, per Wikipedia: “An Internet Protocol address (IP address) is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.[1] An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing. Its role has been characterized as follows: "A name indicates what we seek. An address indicates where it is. A route indicates how to get there."[2]
So, in some instances, companies make decisions (like what language to use) based upon where a computer is.  The subject came up some time ago on the Colombia Expat forum where someone recommended to use an IP changer so companies will think you are still in the US.  I successfully downloaded the software a couple nights ago and then The Company Men which had been unavailable suddenly became available.  And last night Biutiful, while still in Spanish at least now was with English subtitles.  Yeah!

I went to bed at 11:45 (with earplugs), got up once during the night, woke up at 7:55 and got up at 8:15.

I had a cup of coffee at the Tinto store and called MBE to make sure they were open.  They recognized my voice right away (or more likely my lack of skill in the Spanish language) and I asked them what time they close today and they said 6pm.  After that I edited their number in my cell phone and added the 034 prefix.

I followed that with a slab of pineapple from across the street.

At 11:40 I boarded a Circular Sur 302 bus.  This time I noticed the golf course – El Rodeo.  My notes from back in the States say:
“$8,000,000 to join, $790,000 annual dues.
Will waive joining fee for 1 year, then join and get a $2,400 discount on membership.
Doesn't say how much a round of golf is.
So I’m guessing it costs about $4000 to join with almost $400 annual dues.  Not for me; especially the way I play golf.

I got off at Monterrey CC and walked up the hill to FFSS.  They have a new offering on their lunch menu – a pork sandwich.  I asked for it but they said it isn’t available today (Chris probably hasn’t caught the pig yet!  Lol) so I ordered the chicken salad sandwich which comes with potato chips and a Coke for 10mil ($5.26) and I left the waitress a 2mil tip.

Chris showed up a few minutes later and I asked him 2 questions:
1.  What’s the cheapest way to get from Medellin to the airport and visa versa?  1st option is for 8mil ($4.21) take a bus from behind the Nutibara Hotel to the airport; they leave every 20-30 minutes.  The hotel is very near Parque Berrio which is where I get off when I take the Simon Bolivar bus from my apartment to downtown.  (So, I could walk 1 block, take the Simon Bolivar bus to Parque Berrio; walk about 2 blocks, and take the bus to the airport to meet my brother.  Total cost, one way 9,800 pesos ($5.16).  2nd option is to take a shared taxi for 15mil from San Diego CC to the airport.

2.  From this list of places which would you recommend for a visit? Guatape, Santafe, Copacabana, Jardin.
Copacabana is just north of Medellin and people don’t really go there unless they have a finca.
Jardin is 4 hours away by bus.
Santafe is a 45minute bus ride.
Guatape is a 1 ¾ hour bus ride.
Come to think of it I didn’t really get any recommendations one way or the other did I?

After lunch I walked down to Mail Boxes Etc. and they gave me 3 packages.  I asked the lady if I owed more money and she replied “next month” so I’m not sure if she’s referring to their monthly fee (which I already paid for January) or an additional fee yet to come.  One package was the book I ordered – Chess Strategy for the Tournament Player.  The 2nd was a Priority Mail package with the September thru November issues of Chess Life magazine and the 3rd was the December issue of Chess Life and their 2014 Annual Buying Guide.  (One of the packages came with the mailing code correctly in front of my name and the other came with it as the 1st line of my address.)  The issues of Chess Life I had ordered on November 21st so they took about 5 weeks to arrive.  The book I ordered back on November 14th from Amazon took about 6 weeks to arrive.  It had the MBE mailing code correctly in front of my name. Per Jhon’s recommendation I had put the wrong address on it for a UPS delivery.  I believe the USPS location in Miami changed it to the correct address on the package.  But next time I order from Amazon I need to change the address.  At least now I know I can get my mail here!  With all this reading material I think my Nook book reading is going to slow way down!
On the bus ride back I’m pretty sure I saw the entrance to the golf course.

I was back at my apartment by 2:10pm.

The family across the street is definitely back from wherever they were.

I had mentioned I wash my underwear, t-shirts, socks and jeans myself in my laundry room.  I’ve noticed when I first turn on the water it’s lukewarm.  If I let it run awhile it then turns hot for a while (probably drawing from the water lines close to the surface of the street) then changes to very cold (as it draws from deeper water lines).  I decided I wanted a cold glass of water so I was washing and rinsing some t-shirts when a pretty lady pushing a stroller up the street asked me something about the upstairs apartment.  After my usual disclaimer I think I was successful in informing her about the status of the apartment for rent.  Right behind her was a young man pushing a cart selling ice cream so I asked him to wait.  I grabbed a little money and my keys and headed downstairs.  The containers all appeared to be the same size and he had strawberry, vanilla, arequipe, mango, and something mixed with arequipe, so I bought a 220gram container of strawberry ice cream for 2mil ($1.05).  It was already starting to melt but tasted good especially with my little wooden spoon.  As I was back working on the t-shirts, I heard some people exit my building: 2 men and an attractive 30 something woman got into a car.  Very pretty!  I wonder if she lives upstairs.  J  Perhaps she’s just visiting.  L  To be continued.  Lol.

Dinner was a Double Steak burger (with coupon) at Burger King and a small strawberry shake for a total of 13,300 ($7).

Afterwards I sat outside Exito for a while and read my Nook book.  At one point a girl walked by with a t-shirt that read “I need you… I think”.  And she wondered why I was smiling at her.   Lol.

About 8pm the intermittent firecrackers started.

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