Too much information


They say knowledge is power. But knowledge is also a bother.

All I want to do is book a hotel in NYC. Not the cheapest one, but hardly the most expensive, either. There’s dozens and dozens of them on websites such as Hotels.com with all the info you could want, which, in the best tradition of the online age, includes some user reviews. These reviews mess with your head. Some of them liked the hotel, some hated it. It’s usually very subjective. So what am I supposed to get from these review? That John from Ireland had a blast but Jane from Arkansas hated every minute of it? All I need is a place to stay for a few days while I sort out some little things like, I don’t know, FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE, for example.

Now, I don’t mean the Hilton, folks, I mean those cheap little hotels like Super 8 or Howard Johnson. As a matter of fact, what I’ve come to learn is that there are no CHEAP hotels in NYC, just good expensive hotels and crappy expensive hotels.

Case in point: I spent almost three hours until 3 in the morning trying to find a suitable hotel, but failed miserably The next morning, my modem went dead. With no Internet, I thought it was a perfect opportunity to hop down to the travel agency, maybe they could find me a decent hotel. After all, it’s what they do.

After some checking, and with a strong endorsement from the travel agent (“It’s a great deal”) I decided to go for it and even pay a bit more than I planned, as long as I find something already.

I left there with a sense of relief. I had a place to stay. I won’t be living on a bench. When I got home, I took the computer to the lab in order to fix it (“You just had to push this button”) and then got back home, went online, and googled the hotel I just paid 600 dollars for because it was such a great fucking deal. And this is what I saw.

Now, I don’t think I’m that finicky. I can weather some tough conditions if there’s no other choice or if the end justifies the means, but I also want to be somewhat comfortable, and I hate, absolutely hate, ugly, dirty places (except for my apartment).

It could be that they all got it wrong somehow. It could be it’s a great place. But after reading this, I just couldn’t do it. I phoned the travel agent and asked her to cancel the reservation. Now I need to find another hotel for those 600 dollars, I guess. I could take a more pricey one, and stay for a shorter period, but then I’m afraid I wouldn’t have enough time to find a more permanent residence. This is such a bother, that I even considered to skip NY altogether and just go to LA. Did you know that in LA you can get a decent three star hotel for 150 bucks a night and in NY it will buy you a rat infested crib? I think that’s very interesting. Nevertheless, finding an apartment in LA isn’t easy, and I would be stuck in hotel probably for a long time, and the hole in my pocket will get wider and wider.

I guess it’s a good thing. I guess it’s a positive thing. But sometimes I feel that If only I didn’t have all this information. If only I didn’t feel the need to read all these user comments about all these hotels, I would be blissfully unaware of anything and perhaps decide much faster. I mean, all this information is supposed to help me decide faster, but it causes the exact opposite. Because I don’t think there’s an ultimate truth. Now, of course if EVERYONE says that a certain place is crappy it probably is, but what about those places where some say it’s crap and some say it’s awesome?

There’s just too much information these days. And you know what’s really irritating? That yes, sometimes you can absorb all that information, and make good use of it, make an informed decision, feel like you’ve beaten the system, feel like the king of the world…

And still get fucked.

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2 comments so far

  1. David Mckenna on

    Sounds about right ;o|

  2. Atalanta on

    What you need, my friend, is a New-Yorker. 🙂 Assumption: They know their own city.
    I happen to have some friends that qualify for that. I’ll ask around and let you know if I come up with something…

    Lior: Hey, thanks, honey! As a matter of fact, I’m departing on the 16th and time is running out. I think I’m gonna go to a hostel for the first few days and I hope I’ll soon find something more permanent. By the way, I DO know a New Yorker, but, well… It didn’t really help in that department. Living there and staying there as tourists are two different worlds.


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