September 25th, 2013

Now that our wifi is running smoothly, maybe the most prudent course is to just never, ever mention the word wifi ever again. The only thing that’s real, after all, is the present moment and in this present moment we have a rock solid wireless internet connection that you, our guests, can access with very little trouble. We can act like it’s always been that way and maybe someday we’ll all forget and believe that that’s the truth. In the meantime, who cares because you can get online when and how you want to when you’re here and that’s all that really matters.

Still, though, the memory of that unconnected time lingers. For so long we could not figure out how a technology that was fast becoming ubiquitous, stayed unattainable to our little hotel. It was shameful and we hung our heads and apologized to every one of your derisive comments. You accused us of trapping you in the stone age and we wrung our hands and agreed and couldn’t figure out how to fix it. All of us believed that everyone, everywhere else in the world, had a fast easy wireless connection.

Last week I was in Hamburg, Germany. I stayed in a large hotel, directly across the street from the hauptbahnhof. It was nice and also very commercial. I brought my iPhone and my iPad, thinking what a relief it is to not have to lug my laptop around on trips like these anymore, and because of that choice I did not go online once in the week I stayed there. In this large, bustling hotel in the center of one of the major cities in one of the most powerful countries in Europe, the only way to get online was via Ethernet. I brought nothing that would plug into it, so no connection for me. Luckily it was the kind of a trip where that wasn’t such a big deal, luckily I could take it as a vacation from obsessive connectivity. A week without words with friends and facebook was pretty nice, actually. Still, though, I thought it would be nice for all of us, from all sides of the shame of this hotel’s former wireless troubles, to acknowledge what’s going on over in Hamburg.

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