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April 15, 2006

The blog that's written in caffs

(with apologies to Dexy's Midnight Runners for the title)

With our flat still unconnected to the phone network, I am having to go into town each day to use internet cafes to edit my websites, look for work, and check out the football scores. Not necessarily in that particular order you understand. There are quite a few internet cafes in Hania, but I've been using two in particular.

Vranas is in the side-streets by the Orthodox Cathedral near the old harbour. It is very well appointed with about 20 machines - most of which have webcam facilities and headsets for making video calls. I generally take my iPod to avoid having to listen to everybody else's chitter-chatter. They let you connect USB devices, and it also has a bar. Access is €3 per hour, and controlled by credit cards which are inserted into the machines. There are also two hour cards for €6 and a six hour card which at €15 represents on €3 saving on buying the hours there individually. Not all of the machines have Firefox installed however, which can be a pain.

Notos My new favourite though is Notos Cafe on the harbour's edge. When we first arrived in Hania I was gutted to see that this self-styled "Internet Sports Bar" was shut, but it reopened for summer just before we left the Ifigenia apartments. It has a large TV screen outside for showing the football, and wi-fi access, so you can sit there watching footie whilst being connected to the web and drinking beer. So just like how home will be eventually! Internet access is the same price as Vranas, but unlike Vranas you can't really get away with not buying a drink, so I only go there as a treat now and again as with the drink it works out more expensive.

There are a couple of other places to get internet access around the old harbour. One of the bars we frequent, Aroma, has a PC set up at the back, and Santé also has a bank of computers, although we haven't used either.

Another place caused us much hilarity in the first couple days we were in Hania. Manos Internet Cafe looks really nice, but whenever the door was open I'd go in and say "Can I use the internet?" and the woman there would say "Internet? No" as if she'd never heard of such a thing. And I'd look around at the banks of switched on computers and wonder what on earth was going on. This happened twice, but eventually we realised that she was just the cleaner, who used to open it up to sweep it each day. It is now open for business for the summer, and I'm sure I'll pop back to see what it is like.

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