Saturday, May 21, 2005



I want to blog a travelogue, but I really want you to understand what life is like when high speed internet access is a precious resource. I'm back at "Cup of Pleasure" this morning, the one place I know of in Warsaw where I can count on reasonably priced wireless internet access -- 11 zlotys (about $4) for an hour. (The hotels charge something like $20 an hour.)

Nina and B approach Cup of Pleasure

Unfortunately, they don't open until 10 on Saturday morning. But the proprietor, though he won't let us have coffee a minute early, has allowed us to log on now, at 9 a.m., out on the front patio deck. They're noisily setting up the chairs, and they're doing some design or repair work out front. In fact, this truck is parked two feet away from my table with its engine running:


I can almost touch the exhaust pipe; the cherry picker is moving up and down, and the workman is handing what seem to be farm implements to a guy standing on the awning. The proprietor explains, "They are putting up flowers."

In this picture, the truck has moved a few feet away.


Meanwhile, Nina somehow can't log on, and B can't even boot up her computer. They return to the hotel. Almost an hour has gone by, and I haven't been able to post yet.

I woke up this morning at 5:30 a.m. in a cold sweat, positively beside myself with anticipation about getting online at Cup of Pleasure. When internet access is something that can’t be taken for granted it is indeed a cup of pleasure.

Yesterday, we – Nina, Madeline, B and I – visited Nina’s sister Elisa.


There was one computer in the apartment, and we all took turns going on line and checking email.


I loved this moment. It completely resonated with my sterotyped notions of an Eastern European experience, a little throwback to the days of communism. This is one of the delights of travel for me: finding the little differences, and realizing how good I have things back home.


Oscar, you're keeping a journal, right? On, you know, paper? Because I'm hoping for a full-fledged travel narrative upon your return to the land where wireless access flows like milk and honey...

So is the cup a pleasure, at Cup of Pleasure?
Dear Phantom,

Maybe I should go back to the old fashioned way of journaling on paper. In my current mode, I journal on the computer; specifically, I'll often blog on my laptop on Word Perfect and then upload onto the blog when I can get on line.

But my internet fugitive status has been applying to some extent to the computer as well. The schedule and the feelings of the travel companions don't always permit firing up the laptop. But I'm trying to make more time from now on.
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