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Stuttgart, Tuesday

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?

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

25 replies on “Stuttgart, Tuesday”

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. :-)

Carsten:

But that means GOING TO STARBUCKS.

Stefankindle:

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

John:
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.

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