Accessing the internet will hopefully be much easier next week because our leaders are trying to set up a workroom for us with wireless, so once that gets put into place things should be better. As it is now, most of the internet bars require a Chinese identification card to use, and the places that offer wireless are crippling slow, which coupled with problems loading western websites already, makes it extremely frustrasting. Apparently the PRC is limiting access to gmail, so sometimes you can manage to get on, and sometimes you can’t.
Thankfully, I’ve got my Kindle!! It’s got 3g capabilities, so I can just sit in the hotel and surf the web (very slowly). More importantly, the 3g on the kindle somehow circumvents the Great Firewall, so I’m able to access gmail (and even facebook!). I’m so happy I can email people, even if typing on the kindle is extremely challenging. Most of my emails have turned into a “Thanks for writing! You’re awesome!! But I gotta go because writing this took about 15 minutes.” Apart from the length, every single message I’ve sent has been riddled with spelling errors because they’re hard to avoid when writing on the kindle, and backtracking to fix them is so time consuming that I’ve just given up on it.
Apart from basically saving my life with its 3g, the kindle has been really awesome for reading. The screen is great, and I’m happy that I’ll be able to get access to good books when they come out (GRRM, Jim Butcher, WoT) because otherwise I’d be devastated. It can even handle pdfs (somewhat poorly) which means I can do my reading for class on the kindle rather than on my laptop screen