Internet Cafe Standoff
Mooching Internet Abroad: a game of chicken.
*For the purpose of this MicroBlog, and out of respect for my current region’s pronunciation, “Wifi” shall henceforth be referred to as “WeeFee”
The Airbnb’s Weefee will barely connect, let alone load a damn page. So I do what I have to and hop on Old Faithful (AKA Google), to start my search of restaurants, cafes, and bars with good/free Weefee. Here we find your humble narrator in a modern-day Vietnamese standoff.
The search leads me to a cozy little spot with lightening fast WeeFee and smiling faces. I order one of the strongest coffees I’ve ever had (seriously, Vietnamese coffee is a different breed: 1 cup of this stuff and I’m on the verge of a small panic attack). I do the only thing I can do and channel all this energy into 9 straight hours of working on my laptop.
A couple hours in, I can feel impatient eyes on me as they refill my glass of water. Two more hours, and the vultures are circling. As the place starts to fill up, I glance around to make sure there’s at least one unoccupied table, so no one is waiting to be seated on my account. There’s still room, so I’m not “that asshole”, and I continue working.
At this point I feel like I really should keep spending money to justify my presence (and WeeFee usage). The problem is they don’t offer much variety, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to order another one of those cocaine coffees. Instead I decide to test the limits and see when these smiling faces will break.
Many more hours pass and still nothing. We get to closing time. I pack my things and pay my full-day tab of 1 whole coffee (where I’m still greeted with a smile). A bit confused, but satisfied with all the work I finished for a small price, I venture back out into the world with a realization: I was alone in this game of chicken all along.
TL;DR - You might be surprised at how long you can bum a cafe’s internet after ordering a single cup of coffee.