Berlin June 1, 2008
Yesterday I spent more time searching for wifi hotspots than anything else. Hotspot, by the way, is accurate in more ways than one -- we're in the middle of a heat wave, practically nothing is air-conditioned, and the signal is usually not strong enough to sit outside.
The upshot is that I haven't been able to find anything near my "hotel" (more on that below) except one slightly pricey restaurant. At least the service is friendly. There's a cluster of cafes with free Internet across town in the Friedrichshain district -- I'll try to find accommodations there next time if I can't get wireless in my room.
My "hotel" -- Steven's Cool & Cozy Little Backpacker Hostel -- is about what you'd expect from literally the cheapest place in town. (I'm going ultra-cheap because I've got to stretch my funds for two months in Europe.) Imagine a couple of college-age guys with no experience and no money deciding they want to open a party hostel, then arriving for a room when the place is half-finished. I haven't seen any sign of about a third of the "facilities" listed on the website, including breakfast, linens or air conditioning. Luckily there haven't been many other guests while I've been here, so it's quiet aside from street noise. The management is friendly but usually not around. Hey, it's all good.