The Internet was down all day yesterday。Doesn't seem to have been any particular reason for it; it's just one of the commonplace occasional outages here: The other day my water was off for a couple of hours, and Delia mentioned that her electricity had been off the better part of the day recently.
Not that I needed the reminder, but my severance from the outside world really drove home just how dependent I am on the Net over here—even more than at home. It's not just the e-mail lifeline with Ling and everyone else, or the news updates I get from the New York Times and other websites I check regularly, but the sense of normalcy that's offered by being able to keep up with the same sites that I've got bookmarked back in Chicago. It's hard to imagine what an extended stay in China would have been like even a few years ago, before Internet access was as readily available—at least to academics—as it's become just recently. It certainly would have been a more exotic experience, but I don't think that would have been worth the trade-off.