The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

The Ladies of Wifi

In the Italian restaurant overlooking a busy bus station and the remarkable Hungarian parliament building, three women exclaim, “Hotspot? Hotspot?” in unison. The waiter gives them the password and they double-check it loudly and slowly. When my friends and I glance over, the women give us haughty looks and hold up their phones as shields from curious neighboring tables of kids-these-days (My friends and I take this as a compliment).

The ladies all have gray hair with various wisps of black or brown. They took the booth while their male companions took the chairs. The ladies clutch their smartphones under their fingernails. There is a distinction when it comes to the three pairs of reading glasses–one set of frames is black, one set is red, and another has hers hanging from a chain around her neck. Nonetheless, they are hunting for something, checking in at their location, or planning to snap photos of their dishes. The men chat and look at the menus. The waiter buzzes around and interrupts the stares into their screens so he can take drink orders. Yet, the women are busily tapping away, highly entertained, texting in a labored fashion, demonstrating how they remain hip, and how they have their priorities straight.

–Budapest, Hungary

I found this extremely creepy somethingorother at a Budapest Shopping Mall. :)

I found this extremely creepy somethingorother at a Budapest Shopping Mall. 🙂

8 comments on “The Ladies of Wifi

  1. I’m getting so tired of nobody communicating in social settings. This is really going to be the downfall of civilization or it already is.

    • It was amazing to see how it was a sort of bonding experience for these women, though. I liked that they wanted to show off a bit. My friends and I were having dinner and the chorus of “Hotspot?” made us all sit up straight. 🙂

  2. markbialczak
    March 5, 2015

    Interesting oberservations, Paige, how the status symbol spreads across cultures and generations inch by year. Also, I agree with you regarding point two. What is the purpose of the mall mural?

    • Lol, Mark, I suppose we get to feel what it’s like to be a part of this group. There was also one for children and a group of sassy young professionals, but naturally I took note of the faceless oldsters. 🙂

      • markbialczak
        March 5, 2015

        Aren’t you sassy in a good way, Paige? 🙂

      • Hehe, I think a case could be made for it. 🙂 Thank you, Mark! You made my afternoon.

      • markbialczak
        March 5, 2015

        The pleasure and honor has been mine, Paige. You’re most welcome. 🙂

  3. Toad
    March 5, 2015

    My grandmother, on the other hand, panicked when her credit card company told her she could now pay online, because she thought it was now the only way they would let her. Definitely a digital foreigner…

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