Intern's Diary #4: WLAN-less in Berlin

Text and pictures by Nathan M.

Do you see that bright red light? When a computer dies, its screen often defaults to a cerulean blue screen affectionately called “the blue screen of death”. Likewise, when the WLAN in my flat fails, our router displays what I like to call “the red light of someone's-going-to-die-soon-if-o2-doesn’t-fix-my-connection-STAT”.

My flat’s been without internet for sixteen days at this point. Luckily, the key to life without a wireless internet connection in your flat is EARLY DIAGNOSIS. As I was (naturally) using the internet when it first disconnected, I was able to diagnose my loss of internet immediately, and begin seeking treatment as soon as possible.


My doctor recommended that I search for alternative internet outlets, such as cafés (my doctor was not consulted; he would probably tell me to go sit in a park or something). For the past two weeks, I have been pseudo-living in the coffee shop across the street from my flat, filling up on three americanos and two chocolate chip cookies daily to justify my frequent visits to the café. Luckily, the employees are friendly, and I like to think they are some of my closer friends (I think they hate me).

Without WLAN connection in my apartment, planning my internet usage is critical! On today’s agenda, I had a prewritten list of things to Google: “fun art articles that people will like” (to post on Facebook); “nearest hardware store” (I needed some new lights); “how to be more popular on Twitter” (if you have any tips, please share).

Once my business at the café is done, I retired to my flat for some internet-free fun! Like making a sandwich! Fifteen minutes later, I’m bloated on tomatoes and smoked gouda and in need of a new task. Obviously, as the clock has finally rolled past 14h, I crack open my bottle of Merlot and load up Rosetta Stone: German on my laptop.

My voice has grown hoarse from shouting “Der Männ und die Frau lesen die Zeitung!!!!”, so I retire to my bedside table. Having recently finished “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, I turn to Lionel Shriver’s “Big Brother”, as I cannot get enough of books with semi-sociopathic female narrators. Full of wine and new knowledge on the inner-workings of Twitter-fame, I fall asleep at approximately 21h, with sweet dreams of working WLAN connection on my mind.


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