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Dear easyInternetCafé

OK baby, I know you’re easy; you’re open 24 hours a day for god’s sake, and in all my life I’ve never even met a woman so easy (if I had I’d be married by now), so as far as internet convenience stores go you’re as easy as they come. Easy is your first name (even though it isn’t capitalized… which makes me suspect you’re a Java function), and until 7–Eleven hops the pond and offers 24–hour internet access right next to the Slurpee machine you’re pretty much the queen of European internet cafés, so love it while it lasts. All I have to do is pop a couple of euro into your slot and you print me a note with a passcode on it; then I sit at one of your nicely–specced XP PCs with a 15" LCD and enter that passcode to be given timed access to the internet. I like how you operate.

But you know who I like to see operate even more? My laptop. She’s been sitting in my backpack crying her eyes out since I arrived in Europe because you and your buddies just don’t believe in Wi–Fi. I had my way with you in Amsterdam and Munich, but I ached for something more; knowing that if I wanted to write a really long email from one of your terminals I could just buy more time, but why the fuck would I? Webmail sucks! I have a laptop, and because of that simple fact I’m prone to drafting my longwinded emails as I sit on boring and webless train rides between coutries… whiling away the time with words. But you don’t have Wi–Fi (even though it’d be trivial to add a wireless router to your setup with the same login/logout web interface that services the rest of your network) and you probably never will. Heck, that gigantic room of yours in Munich with its 200+ PCs had access to a wireless network… it just wasn’t yours!

But hey, I can understand why you might resent my little PowerBook. You hate her because I write my emails and blog posts with her before I even walk through your door… and in the end I only spend five minutes transmitting with you until our next meeting. You’re the mistress and she’s the wife, I get my love from her and my satisfaction from you, she’s the eggs and you’re the bacon, she rocks the cradle while you rock the party… OK, that’s enough.

So what’s with the USB?

My first instinct was to write up my emails and posts on the lappy and then transfer them via thumbdrive —much as I did in Thailand— to use and abuse the USB port you offered by cutting and pasting into various web interfaces, minimizing my time online. But no, that big ol’ USB port doesn’t help me one bit; it was a trick. I can’t get to it because you’ve locked down access to all the mounted volumes. With brains like that, I’m guessing your next upgrade will offer customers optical drives… just without the means to read or write anything to CD. You tease me with your universal serial bus and then you just shut it off? What kind of person does that? That’s like going out of your way to avoid offering wireless because you’re trying to get back at me for… oh. You’re pissed about the laptop, aren’t you? OK then. Well I guess this is it then. Goodbye, have a nice life, thanks for ensuring my readers and email correspondents receive all their shit with a nice three–week delay, guaranteeing the blog posts from New York, Paris, Amsterdam, and Munich all get posted on the same day, basically voiding the whole experience of travel–blogging. Bitch. It’s over.