The Tantrum and the Hotel Room

In Uncategorized on February 4, 2014 at 1:25 pm

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The Tantrum and the Hotel Room

By Antonio Graceffo

Just had the worst temper tantrum I have had in years. I was screaming so hard I hurt my throat and my head.

After an 18 hour flight plus layover in Hong Kong, where I didn’t sleep, I checked into a hotel I Phnom Penh, around 10 AM, very exhausted. I asked the receptionist for the WiFi code, but she didn’t know what wi-fi was. We went back and forth, with me describing the internet, email, and the microprocessor, until she figured out what I was talking about. That’s when she told me she didn’t know the password. And I think that’s a totally normal thing. Why would the receptionist at the hotel know the WiFi password? It’s not like people who check in would ever ask about that.

Up to this point, this was all still Asia-normal. I was prepared for these stutter steps and simply went to my room and began unpacking. Eventually, she brought me a password, which didn’t work. When I asked her for a valid password, she explained to me that internet doesn’t really work with laptops. Obviously, it was my fault. This is where I was starting to get a bit heated. I even knew to expect this type of stupid defense “Internet doesn’t exist”, or “It’s bad for your eyes.” But I was tired, and wondered why we had to go through all the steps again. Jumping ahead, I told her to call someone to fix it. But she didn’t know what that was.

You have to understand, I am condensing the events of several hours into a few sentences. By this time, I had already been checked in for four hours. When she finally understood the concept of calling someone, she assured me he would be there in two hours. So, I went out for two and a half hours, completely expecting the internet to NOT be working. It turned out, my expectations matched my reality.

“Did he come yet?” I asked.


“The guy you called about the internet.”

“Guy? Internet? Call?”…. Eventually she said he was coming later. At this point I had been awake for well over 24 hours, so I lay down for a nap.

When I woke up there was a new person at reception. I asked him about the WiFi. He explained to me that WiFi requires a password. Thank goodness, because I had never used internet before. He gave me a different password from the one the girl had given me, and I flipped out. I showed him the two passwords were different, demanding an explanation. But he just kept saying random words like “WiFi, download, Bogota”. OK, Wilson. I typed in this password, but it didn’t work. So, he went and got the master copy of the password, which apparently was laying right on the desk, the whole day, and could have been shown to me at any time. This password was different again. And, once again, it didn’t work.

I started shouting, but I hadn’t completely lost it yet. “Why did you tell me the wrong thing three times?”

And this is when the camel’s back broke with an audible “CRASH” he asked, “Can you try using the WiFi instead?”

“What the f—-?”

That was it, I went insane. It was as if the whole day of questions and attempts to use the WiFi hadn’t happened. It was, what I like to call, the Phnom Penh Groundhog Day effect, where nothing you did, said, planned, negotiated or agreed upon up to that point actually happened. I checked out of the room, on principle, and paid 75% of the overnight price, although I had only been there 6 hours in the middle of the day. Then I paid a tuktuk to move me to another hotel. So, I lost money. Lost time. And nearly ruptured my spleen with anger. Nice day!

Keywords: Phnom,Penh,Cambodia,Brooklyn,Monk,Antonio,Graceffo,travel,antitravel,anti,Asia,adventure


Brooklyn Monk, Antonio Graceffo is a martial arts and adventure author living in Asia. He is the author of the books, “Warrior Odyssey’ and “The Monk from Brooklyn.” He is also the host of the web TV show, “Martial Arts Odyssey,” which traces his ongoing journey through Asia, learning martial arts in various countries.

Warrior Odyssey, the book chronicling Antonio Graceffo’s first six years in Asia is available at The book contains stories about the war in Burma and the Shan State Army. The book is available at

See Antonio’s Destinations video series and find out about his column on




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