So after about three weeks of trying incredibly hard to get internet access in our apartment, I was just told by one of the guys who sits outside to just give up and go straight to the owner. Here’s a summary of what I’ve gone through to get this done.
Two days after moving into the apartment, I went downstairs to the guys that are always sitting outside smoking hookah and playing backgammon and told them that I was interested in getting internet access in the apartment. “No problem!” they all said, “We’ll call a couple people and you’ll have it in a week.” Well I was excited. I had been going to a cafe in Tahrir Sq. (Pottery Cafe, actually a great place with surprisingly good food) every day to use their WiFi. I was sick of that. But according to the nice men outside, I would only have to wait a week.
Two weeks later:
“So, will my internet be installed any time soon?”Man outside: “well we ran into some issues with the phone company, they won’t install it.” Me: “were you going to tell me this?” No response. Me: “well what can we do so I can get internet access?” Man outside: “We will wire you from a man who owns a shop next door.” Me: “great! how long will it take?” Man outside: “two days.”
A week later:
“Where is my internet? This is getting ridiculous.” Man outside: “we need the cable.” Me: “when you told me the internet would be installed in two days, didn’t you know that you needed the cable?” Man outside: “yes, but we didn’t have it. I just sent a boy to get some.” Me: “okay, so the cable will be here tonight and it will all be finished tonight?” Man outside: “yes.”
A week later:
“Will I ever have internet? Or are you scamming me?” Man outside: “you will have it in two days, maximum. I’m sorry, thank you for your patience.” Me: “I hope so…”
This evening, Jen and I were eating some sandwiches on our way to the cafe to use the internet when one of the men who normally sits outside the apartment came up to us and said, “you know they’re scamming you, it will never get done unless you call the owner of the building. I see you running up and down from the fifth floor of the building and I feel really bad, but it will just never get done, this is Egypt.”
At least some people are honest.