I just did a ten day trip to Europe and visited three great cities – Berlin, Amsterdam, and Rome. But let me tell you one thing. Europe seems to be in the past century when it comes to technology. One can clearly see where the priorities are – its history, have-a-good-time and don’t work hard, who cares about the customer?, and pay through your nose for everything.
I certainly enjoyed the architecture and history. But it’s almost impossible to get to the Internet. The hotels that let you do so, charge a lot. Try to use your iPhone from there and they do charge a hefty amount for roaming. Every time, I looked up my email, I was reminded that data rates are excessive while roaming internationally. It seems you hit technology roadblocks everywhere. Europe certainly does not want you to communicate.
While Berlin and Amsterdam were tolerable, Rome was another story. After paying $300 a night for the hotel, there was no Internet availability in the rooms. It reminded me of Bangalore where I paid $60 a night and had free Internet plus an elaborate breakfast. It tells you where the technology progress is happening. And if the hotel runs out of hot water, the receptionist shrugs his shoulder and smilingly answers, “What can I do?” That speaks a lot about customer service.
Then you travel to Asia like Korea, Japan, Singapore, etc. Broadband is everywhere and free internet access is the norm. While I love traveling in Europe, I was frustrated for lack of easy access to Internet. It is so good to be back in Silicon Valley. You don’t realize how good it is until you travel elsewhere.