Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ode To My VPN

I’m normally not much of a poet
But I feel inspired, don’t you know it
To write an ode to something
That has proved to be quite the blessing

I finally caved in a few months ago
And dropped $75 on something intangible
Virtual Private Network – VPN for short
Has proved to be my splendidly fantastic new cohort

When you leave the US, sometimes you can’t see
All of the fabulous shows on American TV
There are patents and copyrights and even trademarks
That render completely useless all your browser’s bookmarks

For those who don’t know exactly what a VPN does
It basically restores an expat’s internet buzz
Not only in China to get Googled and Facebooked
It works in Oz too so I can stay hooked
On all of my shows and favourite news sites
Which sadly won’t let me view them day or night

The VPN connects you to a server overseas
To trick your computer quicker than a sneeze
One minute all content is blocked, the next it’s available
This VPN I purchased is truly a marvel

My IP address shows different but of course I’m still in Sydney
Though my computer thinks it’s in Dallas or Miami or Philly
Today, Honolulu or tomorrow, Nebraska
I can connect to any server I want, even one in Alaska

“This video is not available in your region” Ugh! That’s so annoying
With the push of a button, it’s suddenly going
The error is gone and my video displayed
And I can watch as many times as I want in any given day

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart – gosh he’s so fine
I couldn’t watch him before but today he’s all mine
Don’t forget Glee and my favourite South Park
No longer for these shows is my viewing in the dark
I can watch them from my computer on normal websites
And not some bootleg virus-ridden one which might cause a plight

The Onion once limited content for those in other countries
But now they have no idea that I’m overseas
Articles and videos which all make me laugh
Are back at my fingertips without any gaffe

All the major networks only work in the States
The same goes for Hulu – I’m in dire straits!
But now I can watch them all when I want
And that stupid error message can no longer taunt

Clips from the Oscars and Grammys are my rewards
And now I can even watch the Country Music Awards
Don’t forget shopping – if you do it’s a sin
Now I can get the same prices as my American kin

You have to be local to buy music on
But in Australia it’s so much more for the same damn song
So turn on the network and let’s do some shopping
The savings I find online are just whopping
Macklemore’s album was 17 dollars on iTunes
Only 4 dollars on Amazon – it’s a savings monsoon!

Lonely Planet directs you to your country’s local online store
But at American prices I can totally buy more
I turn on the network and the website just changes
The little flag at the top suddenly rearranges

All of the prices are now in USD
And they’re cheaper than Australia and that brings me glee
Last but not least I must tell you a story
About a horrible week when I finally found glory

I was ordering some chocolate from my favourite company
Theo of course, and I was ordering plenty
To ship to my sister who’s coming to visit
With a big carry-on bag full of my chocolate

The website said no, the bank has declined
But I called up Chase and they said it was fine
I tried and I tried but it just wouldn’t work
I was pulling out hair, I was going berserk
I used a US address and my US credit card
And I just couldn’t figure out why this was so hard

When a little light bulb went on in my head
I tried turning on my VPN instead
I then hit submit and the order went through
I smiled and I cheered and was no longer blue

All of it was thanks to my trusty VPN
It’s saved me frustration again and again
It may be a bit slower than normal internet
But it brings me Jon Stewart, so I’m not upset

For a few minutes it sometimes needs to buffer
But life without it would certainly be tougher
So if you are an expat and you hem and you haw
About dropping some money to skirt copyright laws

Just take my advice, I’ve been there before
It’s totally worth it – I’d even pay more
To get these sites and all of this content
When you think about it, it’s a drop in the bucket
Sign up today, you surely won’t regret it
And then thank me later with the gift of Theo Chocolate

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