Adapting to living in Fort Bragg has been a pleasure. It’s a small town of about 6,000 on the northern California coast. It’s absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. The coast ranges from rocky bluffs to wide stretches of white sand dunes, eucalyptus trees scent the air, and the fog occasionally blankets the town in misty puffs of condensation. People are friendly, and there’s plenty to do outdoors.
There have been two challenges to living in this small piece of nirvana.
Firstly, I’m adapting to being on someone else’s schedule. The stores are open Monday through Friday—or Saturday, on a rare occasion—from 9 am until 5 pm. I’m in class Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, which makes it challenging to mail packages, get a haircut, or buy bread from the baker. Yes, even the baker operates on a limited schedule. She runs a Wednesday through Saturday operation.
Secondly, cell reception is sorely lacking. I can somewhat reliably get service in town, but I live about 6 miles north of town. I don’t get reception in my cottage or anywhere near my cottage (with one exception, see below). To compensate, I’ve done my research on voice over internet (VOI) services, which allow you to make phone calls through your computer. The mac daddy of them all seems to be Ring2Skype. Not only can I make free calls to friends and family through Skype, I also have a phone number where you all can call me. It’s a free service, and the caller only incurs the normal cost of the call. It’s just like having a regular telephone number. Give it a try! My number is 213.325.6994 extension 652. If you’d like to try the service yourself visit Ring2Skype.
The other option is to go to reception dune. Seriously, this is where I can make my calls. It’s about a 5-minute walk from my cottage.