From Tehran With 50.6 KBPS

On this holiday of mine in Tehran, I am reminded how large numbers of people still live with 50.6 kbps. (Don't forget that until a few months ago, more than 1/2 of the Internet users in the U.S. also depended on dial-up networking although their number is fast dwindling.)

Don't get me wrong. There are now many who have xDSL connection in Tehran. Local companies such as Pars-Online offer it but they seem to have exhausted their Local Loop Office capacity. (I called this morning to equip where I'm staying for a month but there was no extra capacity to be devoted to that. Pars-Online, for example, allows such installations to be disconnected after a month.)

Oh well . . . I now sit behind a Pars-Online dial-up network as I write this short blog. This afternoon, I called their office and got two "Internet cards," each worth about $7.50, and each giving me 20 hours of connectivity, delivered to my door-step.

In the meantime, in Tehran, I have had a chance to visit my grand-mother and stay at her house for a couple of days, go to Darband for a hike in the mountains and plan to go to the top of Mount Tochal as height preparation before climbing Mount Sabalan, again, in a couple of weeks. I did this last year but repeating it is not boring at all. I think it is great exercise and a good confidence-building measure for climbing other mountains. It all depends on who else joins you. A few extended family members have already volunteered to join me for Sabalan. It is just high enough and just long enough with which to measure one's endurance. I would also like to go on a partial climb of Mount Damavand if time allows.

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