Anti-capitalist internet hosting company

Paula went to her friends university to find out more about that thing being prepared for the eighteenth of June. She went through reception. From then on, she had to pretend she was a student. There were some men on high visibility suits building something next to the entrance. She realised they were workers installing barriers and she guessed it would not be long before she could not come here again without some magnetic and valid pass. She now knew her way to the computer room.

She sat on one of the terminals. She input her friend’s user name and password. She was getting faster with the keyboards. She typed the address. A long one. No-one cool had a short internet address those days. When the page loaded completely, she only found vague directions. Nothing useful. Long texts on why capitalism is bad for you. She already knew that. She wanted to find out where she could meet the people who were planning on “doing something” on that day. She wanted to have the kind of conversations she had been having in the basement shop while volunteering, with Salva, with Jose, with Luna. She wanted to make sense of the world again.

But there was nothing there other than a meeting point on the day. It was the 18th of June. A weekday. Right in the middle of the period where, she was told, it was not allowed to have a holiday because the office was so busy. So she was not going to be able to attend. So she needed more information, where could she find those people that was not on that precise day.

The address was long. Some times, it worked to take off bits of the address, get other associated pages. She took off bits. Blank pages; no one had placed any page on those addresses. Finally, when she got to the “root” of it, she got the hosting company. They accepted volunteers. Great. She found a contact address. With her brand new email address, got with the help of the same people who had granted her access to those computers, she wrote to them. She would volunteer for these people who were assisting those anticapitalists.

She wrote them an email.

The answer arrive a few days later, although Paula could only read it the following week, the next time she could get hold of a computer with an internet connection.

Dear Paula,
You are most to come visit us for an interview, and to volunteer with us should you decide to. Our working hours are 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. Please let us know when would suit you within those hours.

Monday to Friday 9 to 5. Those were Paula’s working hours too. For the first and last time ever, after leaving the types of work she had done in pubs and restaurants, Paula wished she was still in one of them. How could they expect lots of people to volunteer, Paula wondered, if they only accepted volunteers “during office hours”?

No mention of the eighteenth of June, either. That seemed like a dead end. And the website itself continued to give any more information than a meeting point in the city, at a time when Paula did not feel she could be anywhere else than at her own job. She could not afford to loose that job, however alienated she felt in the office every day.

j18 sticker

en castellano original más abajo
this is robotic English

Paula went down the stairs of the underground as usual. He had already got used to the sickening heat that was striking her as soon as she approached the entrance from the cold of the street, to the rush of the morning, to the slowness of the night and to the occasional musicians. Today there were no musicians. The majority of the days there were not any; that’s why whenever she heard them it was a special occasion. Today there was only the murmur of one-to-one conversations [de a dos]; not many. Some work colleagues, some boss teaching his subordinate in the inevitable common trajectory. It always made Paula sad to see those subordinates in those conversations, listening only to intervene briefly occasionally, and was grateful that her boss needed to travel just in the direction opposite to which she was travelling, and that she never saw her going even to the underground. Actually she never saw her boss out of the office. The boss either left earlier than every one else, or later. In any case, Paula was also grateful that the game where subordinates want to progress was not played in the office. She was in putting data, his partners were inputting data, her boss was shouting Paula and her partners, and the boss of the boss was shouting at everybody.
It was not a pleasant place to be, and Paula had wanted already several times to get out of there, but at least she did not have to put up with a boss like that poor boy with the tie it was having to , at the other side of the platform.

Paula started looking at the advertising cartels. Always the same ones. Perhaps there would be twenty, or fifty different ads, but they were repeating themselves from one to another station.

When she read everything what was there for reading she repaired in the sticker. There were no stickers in any place of the underground system. Either there were ads, or signs directing passengers to the exit or to another line, or tiles with nothing. This was the first sticker that Paula ever saw in the underground, although it was not the first one in London. In fact, she had seen a similar one a few days back at a traffic light but she had not been brave enough to stop to read it more thoroughly. Now there was no reason not to stop to read. It was announcing something capitalist for the eighteenth of June.

It had a date, very short text and an internet address. Paula wanted to look up that address but she was not carrying with her anything to write with.

If Paula had seen fifty stickers these days, at least even from afar, she would have missed this and waited to get home to get something to write, but she had not. (Either I get this address now or I’ll never get it) She felt guilty when she ripped off the sticker to get the address – only the address – to be able to consult in some computer with connection Internet one day of that week.

The train came, with its usual roar. The conversations stopped to allow the routines to follow their course. Paula got on the train to get home, if there were no setbacks, within an hour.


Paula bajó las escaleras del metro como de costumbre. Se había acostumbrado ya al calor nauseabundo que la golpeaba en cuanto se acercaba a la entrada desde el frío de la calle, a la prisa de la mañana, a la parsimonia de la noche y a los ocasionales músicos. Hoy no hubo músicos. La mayoría de los días no había; por eso cada vez que los oía constituía una ocasión especial. Hoy solo había el murmullo de conversaciones de a dos; no muchas. Alguna pareja, algún jefe aleccionando a su subordinado en el inevitable trayecto común. A Paula siempre le daba pena el que escuchaba solo para intervenir brevemente de vez en cuando, y agradecía que su jefa necesitase viajar justo en la dirección contraria a la que viajaba ella, y eso que nunca la veía siquiera ir al metro. En realidad nunca la veía salir de la ofician, a su jefa. O salía antes, o salía después. En cualquier caso, también agradecía Paula que en la oficina no se jugase al juego de que los subordinados quieren progresar. Ella metía datos, sus compañeras metían datos, su jefa gritaba a Paula y a sus compañeras, y la jefa de la jefa gritaba a todo el mundo. No era un sitio agradable para estar, y Paula había deseado ya varias veces salir de allí, pero al menos no tenía que aguantar a un jefe como aquel pobre chico de la corbata estaba haciendo al otro lado del andén.

Paula se puso a mirar los carteles publicitarios. Siempre los mismos. Quizás habría veinte, o cincuenta anuncios diferentes, pero se repetían de una a otra estación.

Cuando leyó todo lo que había por leer reparó en la pegatina. No había pegatinas en ningún sitio del metro. O había anuncios, o carteles dirigiendo a la salida o a otra línea, o azulejos sin nada. Esta era la primera pegatina que veía Paula, aunque no la primera en Londres. De hecho, hacía unos días que había visto una parecida en un semáforo pero le había dado vergüenza pararse a leerla más detenidamente. Ahora no había razón para no pararse a leer. Anunciaba algo capitalista para un dieciocho de junio.

Tenía una fecha, muy poca letra y una dirección de internet. Paula quiso apuntar la dirección pero no llevaba con ella nada para escribir. Si Paula hubiese visto cincuenta pegatinas esos días, siquiera de lejos, habría dejado pasar esta y esperado a llegar a casa a coger algo para escribir, pero , Se sintió culpable al arrancar la dirección – solo la dirección – para poder consultarla en algún ordenador con conexión a internet un día de esa semana.

Llegó el tren, con su estruendo habitual. Las conversaciones se detuvieron para permitir que las rutinas siguieran su curso. La de Paula era montarse en ese tren para llegar a casa, si no había contratiempos, al cabo de una hora.