Recently I was hanging out at a coffee shop when a European tourist approached me and asked, “Excuse me, is there a wireless signal here?” I said “Yes.” After a little hesitation, due to her lack of fluency in English, she asked, “Free?”, and I said “Yes” again.

It occurred to me that she might not be that fluent in English, but knew how to ask if there was a wireless signal. It’s an important thing to learn, because an Internet connection is one of the most important tools for travelers (for me it comes only behind clothing, money, and identification).

My, how the world changes.