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Infinite Country by Patricia Engel | Thoughts

   Published : 2021   ||    Format : print   ||    Location : Colombia ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆   What was it about the country that kept everyone hostage to its fantasy? The previous month, on its own soil, an American man went to his job at a plant and gunned down fourteen coworkers, and last spring alone there were four different school shootings. A nation at war with itself, yet people still spoke of it as some kind of paradise.. Thoughts : Infinite Country follows two characters - young Talia, who at the beginning of this book, escapes a girl’s reform school in North Colombia so that she can make her previously booked flight to the US. Before she can do that, she needs to travel many miles to reach her father and get her ticket to the rest of her family. As we follow Talia’s treacherous journey south, we learn about how she ended up in the reform school in the first place and why half her family resides in the US. Infinite Country tells the story of her family through the other protagonist, El

The Sunday Salon (Internet over the years) -- Apr 04, 2010

The Sunday

Another Sunday is here, and I am thinking the same thing - where did the week go? I literally camped at my lab this week - there was so much work. While I like that kick of adrenaline that usually comes in before a deadline, it also means a casualty - reading.

It's April already and with a jolt, I realized today that some of my friends are just a month and a half from graduation! I myself will graduate in August. So I'm starting to feel the beginnings of the sorrows that will consume me within the next few months. Partings are something I am so poor at handling, in spite of having been through it five times already, and I'm only yet 25! The first time I went through it, was after my 10th grade. I didn't even have an email address then, nor did any of my friends. (I had a PC at home, but my dad used it mainly. Only he had an email address in my house then.) So you can imagine how my friends and I exchanged postal addresses and forget-me-not notes. (I still have them in my home in India.) Over the next few years, I managed to be in touch with two friends of mine by post. Meanwhile, I had taken an internet connection soon after my 10th grade - the connection was shaky and pricey! The computer was the latest HCL model that I wouldn't sit in front of today without scoffing at it. It was plugged to an unreliable electric power that went off whenever it wished. I used it mainly to play Solitaire. :-)

That was 10 years ago! Today, I have 3 email accounts that I check every minute and 2 others that I don't. I have one Facebook and 2 Twitter profiles. I have 2 blogs and right now I am connected to so many bloggers like you, which wasn't even possible 5 years ago? 10 years ago? There's even Yahoo messenger, Gtalk, and Skype. My postal address? Puh-leez! If you are sending me a book, I'm happy. :-) Funny how times have changed, right? And I can't even comprehend how 10 years could change the world so much! I recently connected with all my high-school friends on Facebook. Some have married, some have kids. Some are still studying and dreaming higher. Some are so different from how they were 10 years ago. It never fails to surprise me.

When I see how we connect today, it always makes me wonder how people did it in the past. And then I remember that I didn't grow up with the Internet either and I survived fine. Maybe I did even better then, considering I didn't have to faint at the sight of my Google Reader (Good news on this - I tamed it finally last week!) or worry about missing updates in Facebook and Twitter. I even had more reading time and more television time. And, more family time and more fun with friends that didn't involve any kind of computers. Working at a job and doing a course that needs the computer 24x7 is more of a detriment too, since I have all my networking windows open before opening my work documents. Being connected is a very powerful feeling - to know that you are networked with millions of people the world over who are separated from you by buildings, state borders, continents and oceans, gives an idea of the enormity of this revolution.

Those of you who grew up like me - introduced to the internet much later - do you remember how life was for you before this amazing thing came?

And those of you who used the internet for as long as you remember - do you ever imagine not having it?

While I leave you to think about that, let me mention a couple of awards I received which I'm not passing.


I received the Humane Award from Marce @ Tea Time with Marce and Nadia @ A Bookish Way of Life! Thanks so much!! Makes me feel like a great person today! :)

Also, Aleksandra over @ Aleksandra's Corner gave me the Over the Top Award! I know it involves listing one word answers to some great questions, but since I am running out of time, I will give that up for now. Thanks anyways! :)

That's it for now! Happy Easter and happy wonderful Sunday/Monday depending on which side of the world you are! Missing my lovely neighbors from 10 years ago, who used to feed me yummy food on Easter!

Happy Reading and Happy Blogging!


susan said…
I'm 45. I remember when kids were first allowed to use calculators. I remember Atari and microwaves and digital watches. My sister and I were the first kids I knew to have phones of our own(we had a separate lines just for us).

Yes, I remember the early days of the Internet. I connected socially in the early 90s. First we had listserves (email groups), them IM chat and message boards.

My online life dwarfs my real life interactions. Sometimes I miss getting out. Other times, I'm glad for my online life because of my limited transportation and limited time. Connecting online gives me interaction I might not have otherwise.

We did get along without the technology. While my online life is my primary social life. I never embraced the cell phone (I have one; I leave or lose it constantly), iphones and the multiple applications each provide. I don't like online games or Wii.

When I'm online I still want to connect with a person. Some things have changed and other things haven't.
Ana S. said…
It really is amazing how much things have changed in 10 years. Sometimes I think that because I watched it happen gradually, I don't really get the impact of these changes. I've been online since I was 13 and I'm 26 that's literally half of my life. It's hard to imagine a world without it at this point.
Harvee said…
I remember being very happy to chat online for the first time, with Canadians who wanted or did not want Quebec to secede, separate from the rest of Canada. It was an awesome experience! My Sunday Salon.
Aths....Happy Easter to you as well. I new gadget for me when I was about 12 was a "transister radio" that operated on batteries, and you could take outside...WOW.

That was 0ver 40 years ago. Now I'm guessing you never heard of this?

Times certainly have changed. We used typewriters in school and college for assignments too (manual ones).
When I was born, the internet was at its early stages and computers weren't nearly as advanced as they are now. So, I've basically been exposed to all this my whole life, and (sadly) can't imagine my life without it!

P.S. What are you studying? It sounds cool!
bermudaonion said…
I certainly remember the days before the internet. In some ways, they were simpler, in other ways less convenient. I guess everything's a trade off.

Congratulations on your awards!

My son graduates in August, too, and I think he's feeling the same way as you. Happy to be through with that part of his life, but sad to be saying good-bye to it at the same time.

Happy Easter!
Dana said…
Interesting post! I think I first started using the internet sometime around middle school, and it's definitely hard to imagine life before it!
No tv...everything was quite different when I was little.

I'm happy to have the net and my computer. I feel connected to readers all around the world.

Today is the last chance to become a follower at my blog and leave a comment to try to win one of two $10 Amazon gift certificates. Stop in today!
I am older than you so definitely remember pre-internet/email life. I still have the hand-written letters from college friends and relatives, which I love looking at every once in a while.

But, like you I now have multiple emails, twitters, and a facebook presence. I skype with my brother and his family who live in England. I cannot imagine my life without all of this!
Anonymous said…
I was born when the internet was now starting to catch on and for my folks it was still taboo to use it. And life was definitely simpler. I didn't have an email address and didn't even care to have one and chatting online was a novelty. Back then we used internet cafes to hang out with friends not so much to actually use the internet. What can i say, it was considered cool to be

I can't say i miss those days though. I like being connected through Face book, skype and Google talk. I have not yet mastered Twitter and i think i'll keep it that way. Thanks for passing by bookventures.
Tales of Whimsy said…
When I was growing up - the home computer was for the grown ups :)

I love to tell people that the photo snapped on my 21st birthday shows a beeper (pre cell phones) on my hip.

I love the computer but I still love to write handwritten notes and cards. I wish more people did them.
Tales of Whimsy said…
Fun discussion. Hope you had a beautiful weekend :)
Ash said…
I'm 20 and I didn't get the Internet until I was 13. I'm really glad I didn't have the Internet when I was a kid because it was such a simpler time haha. I was talking with one of my professors about how life is so much more DIFFICULT when you have to check ten email accounts and read your Google reader and keep up with your favorite websites and friends on Facebook and Twitter. Gah, it's exhausting.

But I kind of love it.
Lisa said…
If someone your age is shocked by how much the world as changed in 10 years, I don't feel so badly about my thoughts on the subject!
Athira said…
Thank you everyone for your comments! Really appreciate it. Helped me get a bearing on mine too!
Anonymous said…
I'm 43 and I well remember life before the internet. I remember owning actual stationery so that I could write letters to grandma and grandpa. I remember punch cards, and computer paper that had those strips of holes on both sides. I remember modems where you had to stick an actual phone receiver into a receptacle. The first Macs came out when I was a junior in college and I thought they were the most amazing thing EVER. Man, this makes me feel old!
Marg said…
It is amazing when you stop and think about how things have changed in such a short time isn't it!
Athira said…
Marg, totally! I can't imagine my life 10 years back, considering how connected I am to the online life!