Connection Lost

In the words of Victor Meldrew ” I don’t believe it” I must have uttered that phrase an hundred times over this weekend as I tried without success to access the internet.

Now I wouldn’t mind but I have two systems here at the house so normally when one plays up the other is useable but not this weekend. Neither worked or if they did they lasted about 5 minutes and then down they went again.

I am hoping that there was a problem with a shared mast nearby and that as always no technician would turn to over a weekend to fix it. But there is quite a lot of me that is saying that this could be the pattern for the summer. One only has to look at the number of smart phones being brandished by virtually everyone down here these days to realise that without upgrading the systems the phone companies can’t cope and such an upgrade is probably a long way off. It seems that none of the mobile companies operating here in Italy can turn in a profit. I don’t really understand why as the charges are some of the highest in Europe. it is sobering that it is cheaper for me to use my UK phone to phone the UK from Italy than use my Italian phone as the EU stipulate what can be charged when you use a foreign phone in another country.

Anyway today fingers crossed things have got back to normal and so all those users have had their weekend in the country and gone back to their own town. If of course it is bad next weekend then the house will again reverberate with the famous  four words !

There is lots of talk about a two speed Europe and there is most certainly a two speed Italy as far as the internet is concerned. It is as if a line has been drawn from Naples to Pescara and below the line the internet is still part of the Dark Ages.

Change is resisted anyway in the South. The place has an history of resisting it and change is normally associated with Rome and therefore isn’t going to be good. All the locals want is to be left alone to their own devices which for some things is a nobel cause but decent internet can hardly be considered bad can it ? But for most people over 35 years of age down here it clearly is just something not worth worrying about. They don’t use smart phones in the main nor would they know what surfing was apart from at the beach .

We had some Italians for lunch yesterday and whilst the twenty something year old girls were desperate for high speed internet their parents were not. Anything that requires you to give out information is viewed with suspicion and the idea of buying on line a complete anathema by them especially if they have to put home addresses etc into the order.


The papers on Saturday almost echoed this fear of change. Easter is late this year and so clashes with other Italian holidays. Traders are therefore faced with being closed on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday then April 25th and finally May 1st. In an area where thousands of shops are going out of business every day such a prospect is clearly worrisome. The solution of the larger Malls is to open on a few of those days to keep the tills ringing and maybe keep the creditors at bay.

However, shock horror drama they chose as one of the days to open May 1st “the workers day” that is celebrated as an holiday here. The outcry from unions and the newspapers as well as many of the locals ( who will of course go shopping if it is allowed ) has been fairly predictable and shows the uphill fight Wheel of Fortune Renzi has to bring especially Southern Italy into the 21st century. The shops have told the papers that staff are all volunteers and will get double pay and two days off in lieu and that indeed demand to work that day has been very high. But this is dismissed. What about the workers is the cry

It is odd in that Italy is still a country where people shop everyday rather than once or twice a week. Indeed down here in Puglia many of our neighbours shop twice or a few thrice a day driving the 6 kms each way into Martina Franca and yet a change to allow them to do this more easily is resisted. Maybe they picked it up form the Greeks who used to populate this area

I’m personally quite relaxed about the shopping issue all I want is internet please Mr Renzi .


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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