Hotel hell

So I left my too-cute boutique hotel where I spent the first few days in London — and the first few days of that without internet access — and moved into the Landmark, a luxurious hotel where the Online Publishers Association is being held. I’m enjoying the greater space and faster internet and lovely surroundings when I jump out of my chair with horrendous noise from downstairs: a gawdawful bar mitzvah band or some such strikes up at 11:20 at night. I can hear every damned word and feel every damned beat. The front desk is deluged with complaints. But the music won’t stop. At tomorrow’s meeting, I can imagine there’ll be a lot of grumpy media machers.

  • A few years ago I was asked to speak at a massive BBC gathering called ‘Making It Happen”. We were supposed to address the future for the BBC.
    It was being held just outside London, and the beeb put all of us up in lovely English country estatelike hotels with rambling grounds and fireplaces you could walk into. What it did not have was Internet access. I went to the desk upon arrival and asked if I could get online.
    “Whats that love?” asked the woman at the desk.
    “You know… on line? Internet? Do you have Internet?”
    She and another woman at the desk exchanged uncertain looks.
    I paused.
    Is there an Internet cafe in town? I asked.
    surely, there had to be one….
    They again exchanged looks.
    Then, one of them understood.
    Oh, she said. Internet Cafe. There’s one in Lewisham.
    And where is Lewisham? I asked.
    You have to take the train.. she said.