I can't imagine not being able to communicate with friends and family without the internet and my mobile phone through SMS. I have met some really wonderful friends on the internet (you know who you are).
I am so grateful for having DSL here in Cairo. It keeps me in touch with so many people, and yet it amazes me how "invisible" people can be when it comes to chatting online. I leave my messenger open sometimes 24 hours at a time, and while I know this is not ideal -- many times it happens by mistake because I fall asleep. I am so surprised though how I can send 'offline messages' and get no response in return.
As for downloads, the music is awesome. I don't know how I lived here without listening to the music I miss so much. Anyone who knows me knows the important part music plays in my life - it always has. I have my Dad to thank for that because we always used to sing together. He introduced me to so many different types of music; although I must admit his easy listening phase was quite a challenge for me when I would ride with him in the car -- it would always give me a headache. Imagine that.
I have been downloading an obscene amount of music lately. Mira and I drive through the streets of Cairo listening to Heart's "Crazy on You" which she absolutely loves to play air guitar to, the Dixie Chicks "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice", and of course the immortal Janis Joplin's "Me and Bobbie McGee." Sometimes we talk about the music we're listening to: how Heart's song is just a great song to sing along to and play rock and roll star, the real meaning of "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice" and how I remember "Me and Bobbie McGee" as the first song Valerie learned on her guitar so many years ago when she started taking guitar lessons.
And then there's the Egyptian Arabic music. I like to listen to Tamer Hosny and Moustafa Amr among others. Even though I can't pronounce the words I fake it as best I can - to the point of making the kids in the car laugh at my lack of Arabic. Oh well, at least we're having fun.
There are so many memories with music. It picks me up when I'm down, and gets me through the low times too. When I'm down I think of the movie "Adventures in Babysitting" where someone says "No one leaves here without singing the blues." I understand that -- at that point I put on Bonnie Raitt.