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telecommuting from sardinia
by Sid Heaton

Crunch time at work was drawing nigh and I was going to need uninterrupted access to phone lines for long stretches of time to get my work in. "So," we asked the tour operator, "does the Village Green Park have private telephones with outside lines in the rooms?" You bet they do, step right up, sign on the dotted line, come on down. Not quite convinced, we looked in the Village Green Park's handsome brochure for mentions of telephones. Whaddyaknow, there they are! One per room, outside line, the works. Just like something from the 20th century! We're there.

Alas, in Italy, things are often not quite as they seem. Or, to paraphrase Frances Mayes, author of bestselling travel book, Under the Tuscan Sun:

"Italy's essence distills from a thousand crushed grapes and the tiniest sprig of wild mint clasped in a young girl's virginal hands. It's timelessness echoes in the soil and in the simple peasant garb of the wizened woman who gazes into my eyes with a look that bespeaks the secret knowledge of the ancients. So blessedly free of the guiles of the "modern" world! So attuned to the mysteries of beauty! A bell tolls, a cow lows, and suddenly I'm seven again, pigtailed and playing with dolls at my Father's bended knee. Ah, la bella Toscana!"
Hmm. I'm not quite sure Frances is really getting it there. Perhaps we should just paraphrase what I said when I picked up the phone and cradled its lifeless receiver to my ear. "Crap on toast! The stupid phones don't work!"

Yes, I do believe that's more like it. Sorry, Frances.

This was extraordinarily bad. Laboring as I was under a workload that would crush Job's back into jelly (question -- did Job ever have a job? What was Job's job?), I desperately needed unfettered telephone access. I needed to download, upload, bridge the communications gap. I needed copper wires, optical fibers, coaxial cables. This stupid hotel didn't even have two tin cans and a piece of string.

"I've discovered that it's important not to let calm and clear-headed logic get in the way of throwing a total hissy fit"
What to do? During times of crisis, I've discovered that it's important not to let calm and clear-headed logic get in the way of throwing a total hissy fit. There will be a time for rational analysis later. First, break something. Nothing big, maybe just a coffee cup or a hotel clerk's arm. Next, you'll want to move into bemoaning your wretched fate with keening howls of despair. If things still don't seem to be going your way, try setting something on fire, like maybe a couch or just a scooter. Burn clean your despair in a catharsis of purifying flame.

Kristanne, however, is not as avid a proponent of this system of crisis-management as I am. So, while I attempted to get the hotel desk clerk in my patented Grim Faced Hammerlock so as to squeeze some sense into his nattering skull (on crutches, no less!), Kristanne calmly apprised the hotel manager of the direness of our plight, informing him that she expected him to pay for us to stay at a hotel with a telephone until they fixed their own.

And that was all it took. The hotel manager, after peeling the desk clerk from my icy clutches, politely directed us to a back office with a working telephone where I could merrily tranfer my bits and bytes back to the waiting computers in California.

see also...
*Direct from Sardinia
*Takin' care of business
*Extreme Sardinia
*Wind & ice cream
*Sardinia quiz
*A Sard Feast
*Sardinia region
*Travel Forum
The only down side to this arrangement was that the hotel office with the telephone resided on an outcropping of alpine rock soaring high above the valley where our little room was nestled. So, twice a day, I crutched me and my laptop up a staircase of positively Himalayan proportions so as to get my work done. I did this with neither bottled oxygen nor Sherpa support (though I did have a small cache of salami laid in at a base camp about halfway up). Sir Edmund Hillary ain't got nothing on me.

The above is an excerpt from the Extreme Telecommuting Web site, where travelogues bear absolutely no resemblance to any you've ever read before. Sid and his wife Kristanne believe that the Digital Age facilitates telecommuting and that if one is going to telecommute, one might as well do it from places one has always wanted to go! They are living this philosophy and have the travel writing to show for it. We at are completely in love with their site, which offers no-holds-barred impressions of Italy and a marvelously refreshing writing style. To read more about Sid and Kristanne's trip to Sardinia, visit this page.

Many thanks to Sid and Kristanne for their kind permission in letting us offer this excerpt to readers!


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