Posted on October 18, 2011 Posted by John Scalzi 25 Comments
Guten tag, alles. I am now in Stuttgart, which for those of you with an automotive bent, is the home town of Mercedes Benz. It’s a very industrious city from what I can see.
Yesterday, I was in Saarbrücken and had my second event of the trip. It was the first one at which I had an actor reading one my German texts, so I was nervous about how that might go. I shouldn’t have worried; the actor, a woman named Julia, did a fantastic reading of the text. If each of the other actors do as well, each of these events is going to be tremendous.
My only problem with Saarbrücken is that I had no Internet connection of any real sort; my hotel appeared to blank out my mobile hotspot, and the hotel’s idea of connectivity was a USB stick with 30MB of bandwith, which equal to about ten e-mails and a couple of Twitter updates. Madness, I tell you. Madness! Here in Stuttgart the hotel has Internet, but they throttle it to 56kbps, which was slow a dozen years ago. Oh, Germany. Why do you hate the Internet? The Internet only wants to love you. And show you cat videos. Lots of cat videos. With cats!
Anyway. I’m loving Germany, except for its Internet. How are you?
This lack of internet connectivity is yet one more reason why you should come to Sweden instead! We also have lots of cat videos. Allegedly.
I am from Germany, and i have a 100 mb/s internet connectivity.
They must throttle it for the tourists, to keep them from uploading cat videos.
Public internet access is still not easy in Germany. I advise to try a coffee shop. Starbucks will allow 1 or 2 hours of free internet access for a coffee even in Germany. :-)
But that means GOING TO STARBUCKS.
So you won’t mind if I show up at your house to use your Internet?
In all honesty it’s not THAT bad, since I’m intentionally avoiding news this week, and otherwise mostly using the Internet for e-mail and Twitter. But on the other hand I would like to use Skype occasionally to talk to my wife and child when I’m here, and that needs a little bit more than 56kbps.
But if you want to Stärbücks, you could order a Läärgë Cääfë Lätté in Saarbrücken! (Brought to you by the American Friends Of The Umlat Society)
When my daughter was studying abroad last summer in Germany, I made sure she had a good mobile hotspot (Tmobile actually) and we Skyped frequently, even video (from her end since I still don’t own a web cam). She spent five weeks in Leipzig.
Thing is, public internet here is still something of a legal trap. There have been a few rulings that people who set up public internet access are responsible for crimes accomplished over – something few people want to deal with.
Well, the Saarland is kind of at the back end of nowhere, just tucked off in their own little corner. But the hotel in Stuttgart is rather surprising. I suspect they’re just being cheap bastards. It’s obviously not a high-end business hotel. Or at least not one with any business savvy.
Due to the self-imposed news blackout, you must not know about the llamas’ ultimatum. I’ve already said too much.
I know you don’t like coffee, but Starbucks has tea as well. The Chai Lattes are actually pretty good :)
If you do want to come over and use my internet, it’s cool.
You could use my internet, but unfortunately I’m on the other side of Germany
I’m just realizing how much of a terribly brainwashed consumer I am. I can’t see the name Saarbrücken without thinking it must be the German name for Starbucks.
You mean it’s not! Wow, I did the same thing and would have continued to think that way if not for your post.
Yay, Stuttgart! My family comes from Pforzheim (im Schwarzwald), not too far from Stuttgart. It’s a gorgeous part of the country, and I am terribly jealous of you right now! I miss Germany so much!
It sounds like you’re having a great time, and I’m glad.
Poor internet connectivity (and thus less productive time spent watching cat videos) seems likely to be a reason that Germany is doing good during this economic kerfluffle and everyone else is doing bad. Maybe we should cut Greece’s internet entirely.
so much for thinking Europe was on the leading edge of internet tech
To answer your question, doing just fine, thanks. It’s a beautiful sunny day, destined to hit about 72, light breeze, the garden is looking great, am reading a great SF classic – FIRST COMMAND by A. Bertram Chandler, bagging a few rays and digging living in Portland OR. Hope you get a chance to get some rays on your face, John.
Speaking of cats, no actually Tygres, is there any plans for Cascadia in print and I missed it due to my own deadlines? Any new Meta works in progress? I just re-listened to them both and want more. So bandwidth is low but plenty of non-digital beer and brats to enjoy .
“…Stuttgard, home of Mercedes…”
and, more importantly, Porsche. I know you won’t have time, but the Porsche Museaum is well worth a visit. Ah well, next time…
Of course, since we are John’s favourite fans he could take the time to personally send each of us a postcard updating us on his progress.
DavidH: I’m personally a big fan of the Hot Caramel Apple Cider. I’m not entirely certain if it’s seasonal-only, or if the smaller (i e inside a grocery store/bookstore/etc) establishments don’t have it, although I’ve been told that the smaller establishments will happily make you a Starbucks item even if it’s not on their specific menu. Haven’t tried that approach yet, though.
I got taken by a German colleague to the McCafe in Munich airport – a McDonalds cafe. He was surprised I;d never heard of them. I have to admit the coffee was not terrible (better than sharbucks I think) and the free internet was good.
Additionally, Munich has a passable brewery INSIDE THE AIRPORT!!!! I had dinner there recently before a late flight and the pleasant beer plus bavarian food certainly improved the 20 hour working day.
Thank you for reading in Stuttgart. It was an enjoyable evening. Now I know how a drunken lemur sounds :-).
I was disappointed that you closed the Q&A already after four questions. Even with your elaborate answers I think it the Q&A part was too short. At least I had the honour to ask the last question.