Lost post: Blogging from 41A

Just found a post I wrote on my transatlantic flight last Friday, June 2, that was never posted, and thought it still was worth reading:

Interesting that on a Lufthansa flight, on an Airbus plane, I am using an in-flight Internet service from Boeing. Somewhat less interesting but more frustrating is that it is as slow as molasses. I am currently experiencing the joy of synchronizing my corporate Outlook account over this slow connection and it’s excruciating. It’s like giving yourself a paper cut and waiting until you bleed to death.

I had an uneventful last night in Munich. My business for the last two days had me at the Munich airport hotel, the Kapinsky, a nice if expensive facility (in room Internet: 20 euros/day; free WiFi provided by what must have been a single router with approximately the same range in coverage distance as your average American Idol pop singer shows in emotion. It was slow in the morning and impossible by the afternoon. Why is it that an $89/night hotel in rural Ohio provides free wireless Internet that works, while a luxury hotel anywhere in the world provides sub-par service and makes you pay for the privilege? Is there a theme emerging here? Am I turning into a Johnny One-Note? Maybe so, but over the last ten years the Internet has inched closer to being an indispensable utility for me, like electricity or conventional telephones, while at the same time hotels and the companies that provide their services remain in the dark ages. At least Lufthansa and the Boeing Connexion service have a technical excuse–they are providing their Internet service over a satellite connection where the base receiver is moving at 600 mph. (Though I should note that conventional satellite-based high speed Internet services provide speeds as much as 100 times greater.)

At any rate, I did something shameful last night. For the first time in eight years of international travel, I had an American fast food meal in a foreign country. (The horror.) My excuse is that our conference wrapped up at 4:30 and I spent the following two hours resolving last minute discussions with our business partners, then had to climb onto back to back one hour calls with the US at 7 pm. With the half hour before the first call, I had to find food quickly, so I took the path of least resistance and grabbed a chicken sandwich from the Burger King outside.

At least I made up for it the previous two nights. My first day in Munich I spent the afternoon at our corporate offices downtown, then headed back to the Marienplatz and a meal of wursts, kraut, and Dunkelweiss at the small Augusteinerbräu beerkellar in the shadow of the Frauenkirche. And the food on Wednesday night was quite good, if absurdly filling.

I’m always torn when I come to Munich. I would love to be able to stay another few days to explore the countryside and the city and practice the language, but at the same time I cannot wait to return home.