So as I write this I’m sitting in LA Live’s ESPN Zone, which is basically a sports bar run by the sports broadcasting network. The San Antonio Spurs are currently playing the Miami Heat in an incredibly close basketball game, and I’m drinking with some lovely people.
What I’ve discovered though is a bar in America, or at least in LA, is very different to what we have in the UK. You don’t have to actually go to the bar to get anything to drink, with servers coming to tables to ask you what you’d like. It’s all a lot more restaurant like than English bars are, and the waiters and waitresses are incredible friendly.
It comes as a bit of a shock if you’re used to English style service, but once you get used to it it’s actually pretty nice.
I expect most of you aren’t all that familiar with Los Angeles, so it’s worth noting that LA Live is a kind of entertainment complex that’s right next to the Staples Center and the LA Convention Center. As Sunday has pretty much been a free day for Peter, Alex and I we’ve been hanging out here for most of the afternoon after we failed in our main quest for the day.
You see data charges are absolutely insane if I use my English phone on AT&T’s network. It’s £3.00 a megabyte, so we’ve obviously been avoiding using that. Instead we took a trip to downtown LA today, searching for someone who’d be kind enough to sell us Mifi units.
Peter’s research had shown that Verizon would sell us some pre-paid data units, but when we found a store this turned out to be a lie. I don’t know if perhaps what we wanted was only available online, or if the people in the Verizon store simply didn’t understand his request, but nevertheless we couldn’t get them.
Not beings ones to give up quickly, we decided to try T-Mobile. While we were initially hopeful, both of the stores we tried were shut because it was Sunday. It was all a bit disappointing really.
So, we’re now left in a situation where we’re tracking down free wi-fi if we want to get online. Being unable to use my phone for basic things like Twitter is reasonably annoying, but there’s a reasonable amount of free wi-fi about, so it’s hardly the end of the world.
Fortunately, after our failure in our quest to get online, we decided to do something we knew we could succeed in – pick up our badges for E3 and the press conferences. It was all surprisingly simple, and now we’ve go the various badges and wristbands we need for press conferences as well as the show itself.
I think Pershing Square (THPS3!) has free WiFi if that helps?!
It’s amazing that Internet abroad is still such a pain in the arse to arrange, O2’s bolt ons for data only work in Europe, I guess the rest of the networks are the same.
Heres an idea… If one of you guys had your iPad handy then grab a Yank with an iPhone and chat him/her up a bit, then ask if they can help you out with a personal hotspot on wifi in exchange for a beer. Whenever they’re in range you’ll be able to tweet, make enough friends and you’re sorted!
America > England. Right?