Today marks the first day of PchumBen, Cambodia’s grandest religious holiday. It’s somewhat analogous to Mexico’s Day of the Dead festival, but without all the cool skeleton paraphernalia. Or tequila.
Pchum Ben — often clipped to just Pchum (p’CHUME) by the locals — lasts 15 days and culminates with a 3-day public holiday. Buffalo racing, wrestling and other pious endeavors are popular. For more than that, though, you will have to wait for Laura’s story.
One of the new high-rises in the area is now partially blocking my line-of-sight, microwave Telesurf connection, and connectivity over the last few days has become painfully slow, although not completely severed. It would probably be better if it was. That would at least be less frustrating.
The good news is that Telesurf will upgrade my 9-year-old Chinese “speedbox” to Wimax today. The technician assures me this is much better than the ancient Chinese oracle that provides access and boils coffee now. We will see.
I first got Telesurf in 2002, when the number of ISPs was still in the single digits. The modem and antennae are holdovers from those early days. While there are many more providers today, my experience with a few of the others — Online, Camnet, Mekong — has been subpar. And nearly all of them would be more expensive than what I pay at Telesurf — about $55 per month for a 128k connection with a 1000mb data allowance.
After working out a few early bugs, Telesurf has been solid over the years. It almost never goes out, dropped connections — the bane of anyone who uses FTP –are rare, and customer service continues to improve. Their policy seems to be that a second complaint to customer service triggers a house call, sometimes in as little as 30 minutes.
So I complained on Saturday. And today, Monday, they will do something about the high-rise problem. I’ll let you know how it goes.