Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Back from the Old DDR

Read this to the tune of "Back in the USSR".

I spent part of last month in eastern Germany (former DDR) where there is a decided lack of internet connectivity (hence, no blog entries), even after west Germany (FDR) has thrown a considerable amount of euros to bring the eastern economy up to speed. Hotels either don't offer internet at all or want an arm and a leg for it, if they do.

As far as I can tell, eastern hotels (most of which really don't have the inclination to understand IT; just like hotels in the USA) have let Deutsche Telecom swoop in monopolitically to set up internet packages whereby they can charge 9 euros (a whopping $14 USD) for just 1 hour online, unless you are a card-carrying DT customer, in which case you are entitled to some kind of discount. After resisting for days, I eventually broke down just to prevent my web mailbox from overflowing. These packages are affectionately termed "Hot Spots"; a term possibly meant to confuse tourists like me who naturally jump to the conclusion that it means New York style free wi-fi. It's wi-fi ("WLan") all right, but at a very hot price.

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