1 Nov 2006 pcolijn   » (Journeyer)


I just spent a delightful weekend with slatepelican in Montréal. We walked around in the ridiculously cold and wet but oh-so-Montréal weather, ate ridiculous quantities of unbelievably unhealthy food and saw some friends. So it was a great time.

But I found it a little odd being back. I remember when I first visited Montréal I thought it was such a big, modern city. And of course it still is a big, modern city. But after New York I feel "dirty" somehow, because the wonder was lost on me this time. Or if not lost, it was at least different. This time Montréal felt like a small, quaint town. Which is not really a bad thing; in some ways that's what Montréal's going for. But I was somewhat stunned with my own changing perception.

Nickel and Diming

In Montréal, slatepelican and I stayed in a fancy hotel. The room was very nice, and we enjoyed it a lot.

However, they charged ridiculously for lots of things. Access to the Internets, for example, would set you back $15 per day. The bottles of water in the room: $8.

Now I find myself in a somewhat less fancy (but still quite nice) hotel in Palo Alto. Fast Internet is included in the room, and the bottled water is free.

andukar and I had a similar experience in Seoul. We stayed at a hostel for a few nights and then moved to a fancy hotel. The hostel had free Internet access, lots of channels on TV (including a Starcraft channel!) and a modest, but free breakfast. The fancy hotel had neither free Internet nor free breakfast, and had a downright awful selection on TV.

Why is it that when you pay more for a place to stay, you get less? In both these cases it is true that the more expensive option had better location and better accomodation, but on the other hand there already is a price premium, so the nickel and diming seems obnoxious.

Random (potentially NY-related) Tangent

Ok, what is it with the giant sunglasses, people? The 70s are calling and asking if we got the memo that giant freakin' glasses are ugly. That is all.

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