Friday, September 21, 2012

Postcard From Paris

Moving to France to live this week has taught me two things: 1) I am an internet addict; 2) the EU is a total waste of time. And the two are not unrelated.

I've largely been without internet all week. Mainly because the cost ranges from 11p/min with Skype (yes they do a mobile internet service with Boingo) to 69p/MB with my UK Orange phone.

So, to my second point. I thought that the whole point of the EU was to create something called a 'single market'. How come you have to pay between £160 and £500 a day to go online when you're already paying for this service within the EU ?

Of course, the consequences become laughable - you cannot contact a service provider to sign for a local service since, er, you don't have connectivity, so the whole thing becomes a useless downward spiral.

Of course, when I am able to grasp a connection at a random internet cafe, I can't access any of the UK services I pay for, such as Sky Go, or the iPlayer, despite being in this mythical 'single market'.

I remember talking to friends when I was quite young about the EU and Britain's membership (yes, I'm old enough to remember us joining) and we all seemed to agree that the real sign of a unified market would be to have the same plugs in each country. But that hasn't happened either (and if it did, Apple and other manufacturers would surely find a way of buggering up any move to compatibility).

So, I am a twitching, panicking wreck, unable to find my way around without Google maps, not able to find stores or restaurants to meet with friends. How the heck did we get by in a world without the mobile internet?

So, instead of a blog post, I am going to write this on a postcard and mail it to the internet..