Wi-Fi Baby

(Note: If you’re reading this on Facebook, you really ought to hop over to my blog www.minglefreely.com . You’re missing italics, bold, and some photos, how can you stand it? )

I’ve written a 12-bar blues song based on the ubiquitous nature — and need — for wifi on my travels.

I want your wifi, baby
Here’s my phone, type it right in.
I want your wifi, baby
Won’t you please it right in?

I need to check my email,
and tell the Facebook places I’ve been.

(Please feel free to write more couplets)

I start playing ukulele, and the locals come swarming. Every time. This was a random stop to reexamine riding directions. 15 seconds after I get the uke out, people snapping photos, clapping, clowning. It’s pretty good for one’s confidence, gotta admit.

Like lots of travelers, I’m on an endless 
quest for wifi. My phone plan — which AT&T epically over promised and under delivered, but then, after hours on the phone over 3 days, did their all-thumbs best to honor — has no data component. Short meaning: beyond txting (free, unlimited) and actual animal-like phone calling ($1/min. hahaha), I gotta have wifi to do anything. Thus, the quest. The endless quest. 
Fortunately it’s everywhere. 
Hell, I spent a glorious afternoon at a place called Hidden Beach, lolling in the surf and wifi. 
South China Sea, y’all. Near Phường Cam An. Water, wifi, seafood, Seagrams and soda.

But here’s what’s so great. The Viets are so friendly and me no speakie, so anywhere I go, I just go to the wifi screen on my phone and hand it to the nearest employee of any given joint. This seems common, by the way. Without hesitation, they type in the password, smile and hand it back to me. Blam, it’s on again, Internet friends.

So much confusion is avoided and I wish we could adopt this custom in the US. I know — type it yourself, lazy white boy. You may not be familiar with the Viet alphabet. It’s the same letters but they get cray cray crazy.

Using a Viet keyboard (go ahead, a look, your phone will probably install one w/o much effort, my iPhone did. Had no idea it would do that), watching a Vietnamese person type is like some kinda crazy-ass Magic. Their fingers move like mine, but crazy shit winds up showing up on the screen. 

So here, in Vietnam, considering my lameness, it’s totally legit to hand the phone to somebody with a polite and sincere “thank you,” a smile, and slight bow of the head.

So anyway — service sector employees of America — think of the time that could be saved with high maintenance people: “It’s not working. Is that a capital B? Is that a zero or an O?'” It’s possible, quite possible that everybody would be happier if servers, clerks, host and other valued service-industry peeps would just grab our phones out of our dumbass hands and type in the password and hand the phone back. I know I like it.
Best day of my life so far, on and offline.
Oh, your moment of Vietnam Zen:
Ring around the swimming pool. Morning scrubbing. 

Cẩm Phô Cẩm Phô

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