Tuesday, August 21, 2007

If they could charge for air, they would!

Okay, I know, don't tell me, there are oxygen bars in Tokyo or some such place.

And I've gotten use to the concept of buying bottled water, though if the taps here could come out with something that taste good and was bubbly (say, champagne), you wouldn't hear any complaints from me.

But coming from Oregon, the land of tall trees, glorious mountains, clear streams, lovely beaches and - is anyone listening over here???? - FREE WI-FI - the practice over here is nuts.

I think the computer must be fairly new over here. "Vat, yu kan zirkle to Globe mit Dat? Verdammt!!" Whatever the cause, everyone charges you for it. And it doesn't matter what kind of hotel/motel/b&b/flophouse you're staying at, the only question is whether you want it by the minute - for which the price is "extremely outrageous", a couple of hours - for which the price is "totally outrageous", or 24 hours - for which the price is "is still pretty "verdammt" outrageous".

When a hotel advertises that it "has high-speed internet", what that means is the equivalent of "we have electricity and will charge you by the hour", "we have toilets and will charge you by the flush", "we have doors and will charge you by the . . . " You get the idea.

Of course, the real corker is, the normal folk over here apparently haven't started picking up wireless at their houses so we can piggy-back off their systems.

Almost makes you want to pick up a pen and an old "Par Avion" envelope, if I only remembered how to write.


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