Yesterday my girlfriend came by, though she barely had two hours to spend. And one thing she needed to do was go to the local internet cafe to print out a report that was due the next day.
She's been living in a dormitory for two months now, training for her overseas volunteer service, and she's incredibly busy with classes in Spanish, health, and economic development, which was the subject of her report.
The first time she asked about printing out a report, she asked if I had "Japanese fonts" on my computer. So I corrected her, saying she probably wanted to know if I have Microsoft Word, and the answer was no. The only Windows I have is English-language 98SE, and I don't have any Microsoft Word. Yeah, I've got Linux with KDE and OpenOffice and some other MSOffice-compatible office suite, but I didn't have high hopes that they'd handle Japanese Microsoft Word files, especially printing. I do have a Japanese printer, an ALPS MD-2010J.
So I suggested she just bring her computer over. I've got Windows drivers for the printer, I'd install them on her machine, which has Japanese Windows 98 and Japanese Microsoft Word. And it won't cost a thing. But no! I don't want to bring the computer over. It's too heavy.
So twice so far she ended up spending Y600 at the internet cafe, and I had to kill half an hour at the local konbini waiting.
We were walking home yesterday, and she told me, "They charge Y50 per sheet to print! Isn't that expensive?"
I asked her how the other people in the dorm print their documents. "Oh, they use the printer there."
"The printer in the dorm."
You mean there's a printer in the dorm? Why aren't you using it?"
"Oh, I've never tried it before, and other people are always using it, so I wanted to be sure I'd have this report printed out on time. And I like that net café, anyway."
The funny thing is, I think the net café is smelly and full of creeps who are just killing the midnight hours reading manga, checking net auctions, and smoking.
It's a five minute walk from her dorm to the subway station, and five from my station to my place. If she can't even lug a laptop computer for fifteen minutes, how's she going to survive in Bolivia??