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back to article Holiday HELL: Pourquoi, monsieur, why is there no merdique Wi-Fi here?

DAY 1 I arise at 02:00am and clatter about the house noisily. This is my preferred method of waking up the family without the ignobility of knocking on bedroom doors or the inevitable upset that follows from vigorously shaking shoulders or throwing iced water into faces. I have booked a cheapskate pre-dawn flight and I do not …

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Sad

Really sad that people can't go more than a few days without their fix. Rather defeats the whole point of a holiday.

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Mushroom

Re: Sad

It might defeat the point of a holiday to YOU. But it's worth remembering that we aren't all the same.

Take the holiday that you want. Go to the middle of nowhere and have no signal if it makes you happy, but don't criticise someone who likes to be able to stay in touch. It's their holiday they are talking about, not yours.

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Unhappy

Re: Sad

It's a fair point, and would be even fairer if everyone else says 'Oh yes, he's on holiday, so I won't email him".

I'd rather be able to delete all the pointless emails and reply to the odd one that NEEDS a reply, instead of having them all stack up and make the first few days back home a maelstrom of urgent replies to messages that are now a fortnight old and have had three increasingly testy follow-ups because everyone thinks everyone is connected all the time nowadays. Knowing that I'll have that shitstorm to deal with actually spoils the holiday for me.

And the later comment about having a daughter - yes, spot on.

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Re: Sad

My boss is currently on holiday, before he left he said that if we needed any expenses to be approved so that they can be paid this month to send him an SMS and he'd connect and do so. I have some expenses, I didn't send an SMS, he's on holiday. The whole point of holidays is to get away from work. Anybody calls me from work when I'm on holiday and they will know about it when I get back(*).

Later comment about having a daughter. What difference does it make unless you're one of those namby pamby parents who give in to their children at every turn. If you can't handle a tantrum you shouldn't have become a parent.

If you can't cope with a shitstorm as you call it then your problems run deeper. you need to relax. The world isn't going to end or the company go under because you can't cope with your job. When I get a heavy workload I do it at my pace, I'm not going to run myself into the grave for anybody. If that's not good enough for the company then they can either get an extra resource or someone else.

(*)This won't happen for two reasons. Nobody at work has my personal telephone and even if they did I do go on holiday where there isn't any mobile phone coverage unless I walk 1Km up a hill to get a signal.

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Re: Sad

Exactly Chris, the whole point of a holiday is to get away and relax. I'd be very happy with no mobile signal and no Internet.

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Re: Sad

Well, sure, but then what would he write about this Friday?

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Re: Sad

Why is he downrated??

I happen to share his sentiment, i never realized having WiFi is a prerequisite for having good holidays.

If having no WiFi is a holiday-ruining-factor i suggest taking a good hard look at what holidays means.

Ofc everyone is entitled to their opinion, but remember that not so long ago we didn't have WiFi and it didn't ruin our holidays then, did it?

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Re: Sad

Don't tell me what to do on my holiday!

I go on vacation to do WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT! If you want to live like we didn't have telecommunications, you can go right ahead. You can stay in a cave, butcher animals with stone tools, and contact your family back home using smoke signals for all I care! I don't judge - but please return the favor! If I'm traveling, I expect to have reliable internet to stay in touch and have something to do other than pickle my brain with margaritas after the sun goes down. No squalid caves, no "no signal", no stone tools, and no smoke signals (unless I'm going to Amsterdam - but apparently there's wifi there anyway)

I want my vacations to be a break from work, not a break from modern civilization.

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Re: Sad

I agree that not everyone wants to be the same. I also think it's bloody sad when someone can't think of anything else to do while on holiday than get on the wi-fi and do everything they did when they were at home.

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Re: Sad

> I want my vacations to be a break from work, not a break from modern civilization.

The advantage of holidaying in France, at least the French know that WiFi and 3G are not prerequisites for civilization.

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WTF?

Re: Sad

What's really sad is that he couldn't watch a bloody video without a fucking internet connection. I guess the movie industry really wants you to download videos. Since the damn disc won't play there isn't much point in paying money for it in the first place. Seems like a bizarre way to crack down on piracy to me but then it's becoming more typical to punish the folks who follow the rules in an effort to stop the folks who don't.

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Re: Sad @Azzy

>Don't tell me what to do on my holiday!

Tell me exactly where I said what you can or can't do on holiday(*). I merely expressed my opinion that I thought it was sad that some people cannot get away without yearning for what they do everyday.

Having said that, maybe on your next vacation you should learn to comprehend what you have read.

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Re: Sad

The main benefit of being a man is that I CAN monotask! When I'm on holiday, I'm on holiday.

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Re: Sad

I remember having a job interview on the phone while on holiday. Needed to happen, how else was I going to pay for the holiday? ;)

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Re: Sad

I'm happy with no phone, but a bit of internet can be useful, if you're trying to work out how to get somewhere for tomorrow's trip[*], or finding a good place to eat for this evening. For security purposes, a few normal, bland and pointless comments on Facebook means that it's not obvious that I'm on holiday apart from the occasional apparent 3am post courtesy of being in a different timezone.

[*] Although I'm quite good at the mystery tours where I miss a turn and then have fun trying to get back on track without having to retrace my steps.

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I miss my Blackberry Bold 9700

It would automatically join unencrypted wireless spots, and the UMA gave me free voice calls over internet while roaming (all encrypted, as per Blackberry stuff. Lovely). I used to take a trip around a foreign town (the week I spent in Menorca springs to mind), leave wifi on, turn mobile network off, and every now and then a pulse of messages would come in. Process my replies, deletions, updates, uploads, whatever, keep walking and eventually they'd sort themselves out.

But yes, it's a shame we can't go without Internet for a few days.

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Meh

A sad inditement on modern society

I like how you managed to avoid all teh usual German stereotypes, well done :-)

However the fact that you can be away from Wi-Fi for a week is very very sad. I usually chose holdiays where can't be reached by phone, let alone where they have WiFi. I am amazed though that you actually took physical discs, rather than ripping them, I thought you were a tech journo

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Re: A sad inditement on modern society

Ripping the Holy Grail Blu-ray remains a challenge too far for me. It is a very fussy disc.

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Re: A sad inditement on modern society

Isn't that exactly one of the reasons that TPB is so popular and I mean for the legit stuff. It is far easier to download a TPB copy than it is to rip legally owned material.

( Obviously without Wifi, TPB is difficult ).

PS : I wonder what "terms" the Germans use for the Brits....

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what “terms” the Germans use for the Brits

Khaptain, Der Spiegel uses “unconcerned”.

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Two-step programme

First - get off Facebook, please!

Second - go to Greece instead. First off, they need the cash more than the French. Second (and especially in the Ionian) they're actually grateful for your custom. Third - everyone's got Wifi.

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Re: Two-step programme

Went to Greece. It was raining. Went for a walk to watch the rain on the beach and sat on a wet sun lounger. Within a minute, a man ran out of a shed and tried to charge me for use of the sun lounger. In the pouring rain. Stuff Greece.

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Facepalm

Re: Two-step programme

Yes, but at least he'd have probably thrown in free WiFi...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Two-step programme

> Stuff Greece

Ever think you might have offended the holiday Gods? Can't imagine how...

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How very sad...

You go on holiday and don't actually want to take a holiday FROM anything. At the end I was a bit embarrassed to be reading a supposedly tech-based publication that posted something from someone so utterly devoid of the capability of getting away and trying new things, or experiencing a life that can't be wiped when the electricity goes off. (Although I suppose Alzheimer's could do it later)

What happened to exploring, sitting out, meeting people, visiting landmarks, taking two or three hours for lunch just because you can, trying shops, visiting museums, etc?

The whole problem with the Mac was your own stupid fault, all you did there was show your own lack of preparedness and foresight.

The whole German thing started out as quite funny, but then it actually DID turn into a Sun-newspaper-type anti-German rant, the first/second paragraph where you rant at them in an obviously pisstaking way had me chuckling, but then you didn't stop. Eventually the whole piece turned out as something you should be ashamed of posting.

I'm sure someone will point out that the whole post was satirical and a look at the way people nowadays are so incapable of getting along with technology. I call bullshit.....or, if it was, it was even worse than I thought.

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Re: How very sad...

Is this post real? Doesn't seem possible.

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Re: How very sad...

You don't have kids do you? Or more specifically you don't have daughters.

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Re: How very sad...

I have 2, and they didn't want to use wi-fi on holiday, when we visited the UK. They were happy to go sight seeing.

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Re: How very sad...

Yes it's real and your stupid attempt at comedy is of a style last seen in 1975.

Would we have had a similar screed if the people upstairs were black?

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Re: How very sad...

Whatever their colour, DON'T MENTION THE WAR!

Or, these days, Allah.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How very sad...

What Susie says of Sally says more of Susie than of Sally.

Nuff said.

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Re: How very sad...

Who's to say they weren't black?

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FAIL

And yet, and yet...

The whole bloody cloud nonsense is predicated on permanent connection...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And yet, and yet...

Internet in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was fast/cheap via MiFi with a £10 tourist SIM, had to buy a new SIM each week, {but they still work great in our OpenBts USRP now I'm back from hols}.

Greece on the other hand, island of Rodos, villa in the middle of nowhere had twelve Wi-Fi in range of a 2011 MacBook Air. All must have been kilometres away! Half were open, eg from local monastery, other villas, half were WEP keys from local cafés, which we broke by buying beer! (Passwords were inevitably "12345..."sometimes up to "9") . When on last day of Greek hols I gave Vodafone permission to roam data on my phone I lost €36 faster than I could switch roaming back off!

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During my holidays the internet connection was very patchy, much to my relief. I did manage to get a message through to some students: don't bug me, I am on vacation. Bliss.

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Schiphol

Schiphol has the free wifi attached to your MAC address, enjoy the unlimited free wifi ;)

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Re: Schiphol

Jeez, even Manchester Airport has free* Wifi these days. North/South divide I guess.

As regards Schiphol, why do they have security right at the gate, so any drink you've bought in the lounge for the flight has to be binned when you go to board?

*30 mins, but there's obviously ways round that if you want longer

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Re: Schiphol

The security at Schiphol was so laid back, I can't honestly remember it. Did they check anything? Oh yes, they had one of those Total Recall full body X-ray scanners. I was itching for them to ask me how long I'd been staying just so I could say "Two weeks... t... tw... two weeeeeeks..."

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Re: Schiphol

Unless my eyes deceive me, she got to reprise the lines again in the remake. (but without the head exploding this time).

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Re: Schiphol

Advice for you: don't follow it up with 'Get ready for a surprise!'

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It always annoys me how complicated it is to pay for wifi, I'd obviously prefer if it was free but at least make it simple to sign up and pay for it. I'm reluctant about giving out my personal information given the number of security breaches we see these days, especially if is to a wifi provider I haven't heard of.

What about simpler options like pay by SMS where the only personal details it would need is a mobile number to send a verification text? Even The Cloud wants personal information from you despite it being free.

(Although, PROTIP: The Cloud doesn't need you to confirm the email or details you supply. As it is owned by BSkyB I signed up as Rupert Murdoch).

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Facepalm

Going to la bell France?

You obviously have forgotten France 101.

1) Things in France ONLY ever work for French Nationals

2) Your Wi-Fi card/devices obviously do not speak French

3) Shouting only makes it worse and the Gallic shrug gets bigger.

4) The Germans were trying to get WiFi just like you. Their shouting is even louder than ours

5) French Police only ever give tickets to us Brits. (Not got that breathalyser? that will be 200 Euros in cash now)

6) The rural/coastal French think that people from Paris are from a different planet and behave totally differently between 14th July and 1st Sep when Paris is on Holiday. They might have switched off all the WiFi to stop those parisienne freloaders...

7) Many coastal resorts virtually close down in the 1st week of Sept. The whole place is much nicer.

8) Still 1) applies even if you are a resident foreigner.

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Coat

Why not quit the freeloading?

Buy a local SIM and some airtime/data - it's not rocket science.

Mine's the one with a stack of SIMs from many nations in it.

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Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

Except that there was clearly no signal from any local networks or else the phone would have roamed onto one, albeit at an extortionate rate.

Personally, although on holiday I like to switch off from email and such like, it is really handy to be able to just check up on a phone or whatever (ideally without requiring a second mortgage) for ideas on restaurants and the like. I'm not someone who just stays by the pool and eats in the hotel for a week, or who meticulously plans ahead to have organised where to go, so it's good to be able to check up on places and so on as the mood takes me.

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Unhappy

Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

Have you tried that in (non-Parisian) France? Only the operator shops in big cities could sell you a SIM, and then only after much paperwork and muttering. I gave up in an SFR shop aftder 20 minutes where no sales assistant even looked up from their paperwork. Oh, and the Orange France shop more or less told me to go away and enable roaming on my UK SIM.

So, OK, for international jet-setters flying through CDG, less good for holidays in the pretty bits.

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Stop

Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

Couldn't you buy a SIM in Leclerc? http://www.leclercmobile.fr/

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Mushroom

Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

It so happens I want to keep up with my personal e-mail while on holiday and I can't be arsed with wifi spot nonsense. So I had it all planned beforehand...

1. Buy local prepay SIM, activate, top up, activate data subscription. All of 10 euros.

2. Bring old candybar Nokia with JoikuSpot installed to share said prepay SIM mobile data connection via wifi to other kit I've got wherever I may be without having to faff about swapping SIMs.

So far so good. Then...

3. Discover yet another artificial limitation of Android on my other kit, this one being it doesn't find ad hoc networks. Probably because that would mean Google would be deprived of four fucking K of fucking targeted advertising data if people decided to use ad hoc networks instead of a direct connection. Fuck Google and fuck Android.

I think I have expressed my feelings adequately on this subject.

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Re: Why not quit the freeloading?

That might work in Paris, but in most places in France they'll only sell that SIM to a resident. The same applies to all of Luxembourg (you need a services bill or other proof of residence) and to Italy (you need a codice fiscale card).

Apart from that, you're forced either to "freeload" or pay extorsion roaming rates.

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re. switching off the cable modem

If you switch off your cable modem for a long time, you risk having a new IP address when you switch it on again. I use my consistent IP address for convenient access to my little home FTP server. It's very useful for saving those 'irreplaceable' holiday photographs, etc.

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