I tried to type on the dusty keyboard. The internet cafe was about 4 blocks from our house and I had been meaning to take the short walk so I could reconnect with home, send an email or two, post a brief comment on this blog. But though I managed to negotiate the price and get online, I realized as soon as I started typing that the keyboard was laid out in the French way, with the Q and W and T all in different places.
So even that. Even typing, which comes so naturally to me now, even that was foreign. Required careful, slow, hunt and peck to circumvent the wiring in my brain that said that a 'T' should go there and a 'Q' belonged over here.
I had paid for 30 minutes. I assumed that would be more than enough time, even with the ancient computer on old fashioned dial up. But by the end of the 30 minutes, I had barely managed to type a paragraph or two.
As I was walking back to the house I realized I had nothing to say anyway.