How common are internet cafes REALLY?

Dec 8th, 2004, 01:43 PM
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My son emailed me regularly from Nepal, he writes to me often from Japan,he has emailed me from Thailand, he has been all over Europe ( really, ALL over Europe) and he emails his mother!
He will be going to India soon, he will email from there too, or so I hear.
Scarlett is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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I've only looked for them in Florence and Assis in 2002, and found them easily. I don't usually need the Internet when I'm on vacagion, unless I need to e-mail people I'm planning to meet later in the trip, as I was on that trip in 2002. Though I wasn't looking, I did see Internet cafes in Antalya, Turkey and in some parts of Cappadocia, Turkey. I think I saw a few, but not many, in Palermo, Bologna, and Venice. I didn't notice any elsewhere in Sicily, but I wasn't looking or expecting to find any. Where I know I didn't see any at all was in Basilicata. Womeone in the small group I was traveling with kept looking ofr one. He finally was able to get on the Internet because some business owner let him use the business computer. Most businesses didn't have Interent acccess either. This was in 2001.
cmt is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 02:25 PM
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I think a practical consideration would be finding an ISP that covered this itinerary, plus, not to mention having to also carry one or more plug adapters and perhaps a converter if the PC is not dual voltage. Don't recall what the phone jacks looked like in CZ or Hungary, so maybe need all sorts of phone cables. Even the wi-fi route is not going to charge the battery or provide a local ISP. Also think would be cheaper to use internet cafes, fairly sure the Starbucks charge.

I sometimes take my powerbook and sometimes not; the internet cafes are so easy seems less and less necessary.
coco is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 02:59 PM
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I took my PDA on my last two European jaunts, and never missed having a PC. See:
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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My first response was - why can't a college age kid make up his own mind about this?
Now that that's out of the way...
Internet cafes are quite plentiful in Europe. Outside major cities, the local post office or library often provides access. Cost varies widely.
This is not the same as having your own machine. I carried a small laptop on a Paris trip, but the apartment we were using had high speed access. It was a bit of a pain to have to look after the machine (be careful where and how you toss that backpack or duffle!) but it was nice to be able to go online for transportation info, local sights, restaurants, events schedules, etc. as well as for email. I also did a bit of journaling. In addition, each day or two I uploaded the photos from my digital camera so had a backup copy, was even able to email some shots while on the road.
I would agree with posters who caution about the potential for theft, and the caveat about not storing sensitive info (SSN, bank or CC accounts, etc) is also a good one. Most hotels offer a safe (some in the room) to store the machine while out, not sure about hostels. Also be sure to check that the machine will work on 220v current.
Seamus is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 05:10 PM
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I would be tormented, traveling four months without my laptop. I carry mine in my backpack - in fact, got a new backpack from this year which has a special padded pouch for the laptop.

I'm sure it would be easier for your son to shoulder a 5 lb laptop than it was for me. The risk of theft is there, of course....
Mary_Fran is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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If availabity to Google or other research sites, or to fire off some emails, were the only reasons, I'd suggest the internet cafe option too. In Hungary, I saw (and sometimes used) them in Budapest, Tokaj, Eger and Nyiregyhaza. Shoot, there were three in Sighisoara, Romania in a five block radius. You have to find a wi-fi place anyway to get on the net, or work out a worldwide list of dial-up numbers with your ISP.

I've spent nearly half my life with a laptop as an appendage. No way would I want to look after one on a trip.
Clifton is offline  
Dec 8th, 2004, 09:59 PM
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Common as muck, to coin a phrase. Take a walk anywhere and he'll literally be tripping over them. Any Tourist Info Centre will help. In UK, public libraries offer free use - although if they're busy you may have to prebook an hour or so ahead. I was fascinated how the keyboards differ in every country - everywhere you go is a whole new learning experience!
twoflower is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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what do Italians and the French call internet their native language?
sandi_travelnut is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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They call them internet cafe or cybercafe.
rex is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 06:53 AM
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In France the most common term I've seen is "point internet."
StCirq is online now  
Dec 9th, 2004, 07:27 AM
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In Italy they were "Internet Point".
ira is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 08:05 AM
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Scarlett, my niece just returned from a 12-week stint in India (Jaipur, Old Delhi, New Delhi, and some others that I can't remember) and emailed quite regularly. Is it for that program that works with kids in India? That's what my niece did--she was teaching kids Spanish, which is bizarre because she speaks French. Shrug.

Let me know if your son needs more information.

Tom, I've been to Europe as recently as a few months ago and found an abundance of internet cafes. The only city so far that seems to have an inadequate amount of internet cafes (with inadequate hours) is Venice.
MelissaHI is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 08:31 AM
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I do not recommend schlepping a laptop around - PocketPC models abound, and they do everything a notebook does, albeit with a smaller screen. You can slip them into a pocket, and connect to the Internet through the hotspots that have popped up everywhere in the world (since tom_h was in Greece three years ago). The WiFi security issues are no more severe than those associated with using someone else's computer in a cafe, and the form factor allows you to take your computer everywhere instead of leaving it at the hotel (you DID bring it to use, didn't you?) I can't imagine walking out of my hotel room without the travel tools in my PDA:

Besides the built-in appointment calendar, contacts etc., I load

Daily news and e-mail when I'm in a hotspot
Flight numbers, times, gates
Train times, platforms
Hotel addresses, phones, confirmation nos.
Restaurant addresses, phones
Maps with GPS
Subway/bus routing program (Métro)
Language dictionaries/phrase books
Reading material (several novels)
Sightseeing possibilities
Currency calculator
Bank, consulate phone numbers
Passport numbers
Credit card numbers, PINs (encrypted)
Travel diary...
Robespierre is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 08:56 AM
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Check out Internet cafes are everywhere. The site I listed will help find a convenient ones along the way.
SharonNRayMc is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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Some hotels also provide free internet access for their customers. This is also true of hostels. And as others have mentioned, libraries, etc.

An essential item I include in my packing list is keyboard map for the country where I will be traveling. You can find these at As wildfire indicated there can be all sorts of problems finding the special characters you seek. I never thought to ask for a US keyboard...I might also try that trick... thanks, Wildfire.

I'm sure he'll have quite an adventure.
SharonNRayMc is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 09:46 AM
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Thanks for the link to the keyboard map site, Sharon! It's bad enough to have to get used to letters being in a different place (like the French keyboard), but when you can't figure out where the @ sign is, you've got a big problem.
Marilyn is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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I answered in some detail above, but just in cae you missed it, I want to emphasize that they are not common ALL over Europe.
cmt is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Oops, Sharon, that link doesn't work. Can you double check it?

Also meant to add that in Italy they are sometimes called Internet Punto (point).
Marilyn is offline  
Dec 9th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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Marilyn, the website that Sharon provided is working for me (many thanks, Sharon!).

Perhaps the problem is that, when you copy the URL, you include the period at the end of Sharon's sentence. I've just tried it both ways, and including the period definitely messes it up.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  

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