I'm back online at home. That didn't take long, did it?
I must not have explained what I needed to the guy at the internet service provider office very well. My Chinese is getting better, but it's not perfect.
So today, I decided to try using the Shanghai Call Center to help me. They have operators who can answer all kinds of questions for you, like "How do you get to the Shanghai Museum?" or "Where can I find good Mexican food?" They will also talk to the taxi driver while you're in the cab, or tell the doctor what's wrong with you. You just dial their number (962288), explain the problem, then hand the phone to the doctor, taxi driver, or internet service provider guy, & they'll tell them in Chinese what you need. They not only speak English, but a variety of other European languages, including French & German. & it's all free. Did I say free? Yep.
Thanks to the amazing Shanghai Call Center operator, I found out that I can pay monthly for internet access. Yippee! So I paid 300 RMB (about US $45) for two months & I'm back in action. Thanks, Shanghai Call Center!