Fleabag hotels and internet

In this day and age, pretty much every hotel has free wifi. Woo hoo. However, there is a nasty nasty trend. Shitty free wireless that sucks just enough to make you want to pay for the faster service.

Yes, the standard wifi is free, but it is so often bandwidth capped, and metered, so that surfing the web is painful. There are long resets and time outs, that will drive you bonkers.

And your corporate VPN? fuggedaboutit. It will fail. Either it will never handshake, or it will stall and you will never get your email.

Of course for a few bucks ($5 – $15) you can upgrade to the pro class of internet.

Sigh. We are camped out at Extended Stay America, and yes indeedy, they have this same ploy.

Travel Log – Europe

This is going to be a tough expense report. We are supposed to use our corporate cards for everything. And some places that works well. In the US for example, it is getting rare to find a vendor that doesn’t take plastic. No problemo.

However, get outside the US, and it becomes more sketchy. In Europe (where I have been for the last 9 days) most places take cards, but they prefer the cards with chip’s and an associated PIN. But us in ‘Murika don’t get those cards. Often these vendors can’t or won’t fall back to mag stripe. Grrrr. So you have to use cash.

Then in England, for the last three days, and several cab rides, not one of which took plastic. Gulp. Add to that the fact that in London, cabs are expensive, (hell, even riding the trains/subway is expensive), and the pounds sterling have been flying out of my wallet.

Oh, and while I have in general found that internet is free in business hotels, that is NOT the case here in Europe. Every one of the hotels I have stayed in has required payment for internet (or, their “free” internet was SO bad that it was truly a travesty). Sigh. I have had better luck in public here.

I know that our expense policy is tight, and I know that they will likely badger me (and my boss) with all the cash expenses. Not looking forward to that.

I am here in Oxford, a bit to the north of the city and the campus, waiting for our seminar tomorrow.  I will be working on my slides, and preparing for the session.