As it turns out, today is Father’s Day in Spain. I heard that most establishments would be closed, but it’s quite the contrary. Families are out and about, soaking up the sunshine. It’s only 75 degrees here, but it feels like 85 to me. That makes me slightly nervous, considering the temperatures in Boise/Madrid don’t vary much in the summer. But I think the buildings, pavements, cars and people heat up, causing 95 to feel more like 120. Ugh!
Anyway, I went on the daily adventure of finding wifi. It’s pretty easy to find wifi, the only thing to keep in mind is that usually there is a time limit on wifi usage (typically an hour.) And, most of the places that offer wifi use something called Socialbox, where you basically have to give them full access to your Facebook page and are required to like the establishment’s Facebook page. I thought that wasn’t legal, Facebook. Well, when you don’t have a choice, you end up liking a bunch of random crap on Facebook. That’s terrible marketing.
Okay, I’m done with that rant!
As I wander the streets of Madrid trying to find wifi, I end up at my tried and true Toma Cafe, which I will say (and have heard from others) is one of the best coffee shops around here. Aside from having great coffee and a cool, hipster atmosphere (the English-speaking baristas are the icing), I also enjoy this shop because there’s no limit on the wifi.
But today, they approached me as I sat quietly at my table, and asked me if I’ll be having anything else (after about 1.5 – 2 hours.) They kindly asked me to leave because there were paying customers who wanted my table.
I head over to Cafe Federale, another cafe nearby. This one does have limited wifi, but I think they give you two hours. As I get ready to get comfortable, opening up my bag to retrieve my laptop, and the server looks a little alarmed. He tells me that because today is a national holiday, they don’t allow computers inside.
Yup, because it’s a ‘fiesta’ or a ‘national holiday,’ no computers allowed! He checked with his manager to see if they’d allow computers on their patio… Sure don’t!
Well, that’s interesting. I kind of like it in a way that it requires you to unplug… But then again, I like having my own say as to when I can unplug. I guess it’s fine if they want to turn down paying customers.
I ended up stumbling on a cool little place called Los Espetinhos who offered free wifi and delicious Caipirinhas. Yes, I upgraded to alcohol after not being able to have coffee.
Their kitchen was closed, but I could have eaten a horse. The bartender/owner was kind enough to fire up the grill and make me some meat tapas. Yum.
Funny how much more you appreciate the little things when they’re harder to come by.