Internet Cafes are Weird

IdleRich

IdleRich
Just sat in an internet cafe now and the guy next to me is looking at dating websites - judging by the pictures seems he goes for girls from the Orient. Yesterday I was in one down the road and two Turkish guys (one young and one a generation above) were looking at the same screen and they both started crying - really absolutely bawling their eyes out for about twenty minutes. Makes a change from people just blatantly looking at porn I guess although that always seems a very strange thing to do in a public place - you can't exactly relax can you?
I think that these places have a strange culture of their own, obviously they are for people (such as me) who can't afford the internet at home and in Hackney a price war has forced prices down to fifty pence per hour meaning that people can basically spend their whole day there. They're kind of like a pub or a bookie or a hairdresser in that people have their favourites and they hang around there chatting to the staff although not really to each other. How can they possibly make any money at such low prices though? Are they a front for something else or what?
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
You're not wrong, seemed to be about six dollars for half an hour in NY - I make that approximately sixteen times the price.
Seems to normally be an inverse relationship between the prosperity of an area and the number of internet cafes - when I was in Cambridge I couldn't find one anywhere, think that they reasoned that every single person who lives there will have internet at home if not on their phone.
 

nomadthethird

more issues than Time mag
[/B Are they a front for something else or what?


Sometimes, a business owner will open up a secondary business or two, with no expectation of them making any profit, either to launder money/hide profits, or in order to claim really high losses and cheat on taxes...
 

swears

preppy-kei
I reckon people get up to all kinds of shady dealings at internet cafes... it'd be very hard to trace anything back to you.

I had a friend who travelled across asia a few years back, and forgot to log out of his email account after using it at a web cafe. Everybody in his address book got sent a nice big pic of goatse man :(
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"I reckon people get up to all kinds of shady dealings at internet cafes... it'd be very hard to trace anything back to you."
Yeah, definitely, it's like pay-as-you-go phones - pretty much untraceable if youi do it right. Do you remember the Flaming Ferraris from a few years back? Got busted trying to manipulate the market because they made the dodgy calls from their own phone the dumb cunts - and they claimed to be the best traders in the world.

I had a friend who travelled across asia a few years back, and forgot to log out of his email account after using it at a web cafe. Everybody in his address book got sent a nice big pic of goatse man :(
You're pretty much honour bound to do something like that if someone is dumb enough to leave themself open I reckon. In fact, my brother got into my email account over Christmas and then sent a message from "me" to him and my other brother apologising for "being such a penis all these years".

"Sometimes, a business owner will open up a secondary business or two, with no expectation of them making any profit, either to launder money/hide profits, or in order to claim really high losses and cheat on taxes... "
This is the kind of thing I'm thinking of although they do seem to want to make money because last week the owners of the three cafes got together and all put their price up to an exorbitant £1 an hour presumably 'cause the margin on fifty pence was too small. This week prices have gone back down because of the amount of business they lost... what they didn't know is that there is anothe place around the corner that charges sixty pence an hour and which obviously took all their customers when they forgot to include it in the cartel.
Maybe I've thought about this too much.
 

massrock

Well-known member
I was employed for a while to run a shop owned by some people who had other businesses. It was clear that they weren't interested in it making money and it didn't really matter what I did as long as a vague appearance of operation was maintained by the business, although I didn't know that before I started. Very strange job, easy money but bizarre.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
"It was clear that they weren't interested in it making money and it didn't really matter what I did as long as a vague appearance of operation was maintained by the business."
Reminds me of working at Borders.
 

148 I.Q. Magical Thinker

Bamber Clatscoigne
You're not wrong, seemed to be about six dollars for half an hour in NY - I make that approximately sixteen times the price.
Seems to normally be an inverse relationship between the prosperity of an area and the number of internet cafes - when I was in Cambridge I couldn't find one anywhere, think that they reasoned that every single person who lives there will have internet at home if not on their phone.

The only Internet cafés I've been in more than once are both in Cambridge - one is next door to Barclays near the marketplace, the other is the Arab-run one on Mill Road which also offered good, hot mint tea. Haven't lived there for 4 years though, so they may have gone.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Was in an internet cafe in Lisbon when I was there over Xmas, which was owned by some Chinese people. Seemed ordinarily friendly, until this massive, SCREAMING verbally-violent row broke out one time we were there, to the point that I didn't want to raise my head above the parapet to see what was going on. It was really weird, cos it could have really badly affected their custom (it was a big place, and it did pretty well) - it added to my sense that internet cafes exist in another realm of reality.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Was in an internet cafe in Lisbon when I was there over Xmas, which was owned by some Chinese people. Seemed ordinarily friendly, until this massive, SCREAMING verbally-violent row broke out one time we were there, to the point that I didn't want to raise my head above the parapet to see what was going on. It was really weird, cos it could have really badly affected their custom (it was a big place, and it did pretty well) - it added to my sense that internet cafes exist in another realm of reality.
Oh yeah, forgot about the Chinese owned one at the Old St end of Hackney Road. The guy who runs that is so slow-moving he might actually already be dead. If something goes wrong with one of the terminals it takes him about five minutes to turn his head to the right direction and ten minutes to get out of his chair and come over - I'm afraid to go there any more because I'm worried I might knock into him and kill him or something.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
A Chinese-owned internet cafe? Weird, I don't think I've ever seen one in London that isn't run by Somalis. It's just what they do.

Remember when these places started becoming more common in the late '90s and were called "cyber-cafes"? Pfffft...sounds like a place full of people sipping vat-cultured bio-coffee while reading Gibson. And having purple dreadlocks.
 

massrock

Well-known member
The (supposedly) first internet cafe in the UK was called Cyberia. I DJ'd ambient and electronic music at the little club they had downstairs (Sub Cyberia) a few times. There were people doing smart drinks, brain machines and shiatsu. Now that's what I call 90s.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
The (supposedly) first internet cafe in the UK was called Cyberia. I DJ'd ambient and electronic music at the little club they had downstairs (Sub Cyberia) a few times. There were people doing smart drinks, brain machines and shiatsu. Now that's what I call 90s.

I remember you mentioning this before...I seem to recall one of the shiatsu recipients was DJ Shadow. '90s indeed! :cool:
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I remember you mentioning this before...I seem to recall one of the shiatsu recipients was DJ Shadow. '90s indeed! :cool:

Where is that gig where people are recreating Endtroducing with real instruments? I'm sure I saw a poster for it the other day. Fascinatingly pointless.
 

benjybars

village elder.
A Chinese-owned internet cafe? Weird, I don't think I've ever seen one in London that isn't run by Somalis. It's just what they do.

Remember when these places started becoming more common in the late '90s and were called "cyber-cafes"? Pfffft...sounds like a place full of people sipping vat-cultured bio-coffee while reading Gibson. And having purple dreadlocks.


yeah somalis absolutely run the show in haringey when it comes to interner cafes. no-one else gets a look in.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I heard it's because people in Somalia are used to having to set up their own ad-hoc telecoms networks because the govt is so chronically penniless/useless/unstable/barely even extant that it's the only way they can feasibly communicate with each other - and then when they emigrate they take those skills and contacts with them. Something like that, anyway.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I understand that mobile phone take up and innovations are ahead of the game in Africa for similar reasons. The idea of a kind of phone credit card where you can charge money to your phone and transfer it to other people originated in... er, one African country I believe.
 
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