Where else than in Belgium would the first chip shop with Internet connections be arriving? Chips and surfing on Internet by John's Fritshop in Deinze. Greasy-surfing.|
Belgium counts approximately 9,000 different chip shops. Most of them are boring, old-fashioned and a bit run-down. Well, a bit like disconsolated greasy temples. Except in the little town of Deinze. Not far from the Brielpoort and almost next to the station of Deinze, stands John's Fritshop with John behind the counter and almost in front of him his computer monitor. This way, not only can you eat your delicious chips but also at the same time experience a free ride on Internet. Surfing between bites of crunchy chips, hot curry sausages and lots more. While baking the heavenly chips, John takes his clients at the same time along the most popular WWW-sites. Obviously, Playboy and Penthouse are places high on the list of demands of his customers.
Via E-mail, the Internet Society can get an answer on all questions about chips and the chip's culture. 'I answer every question,' swears John the chipmaker. And John wants to go further and deeper in cyberspace. The chip culture must have a permanent spot on Internet, so he reasons. A Chip Page? Yep. So that the world can enjoy with us a greasy bite of the first homely-made chip.
Chips and Internet are going hand in hand. John's chip shop is in the news, and not only because of the best greasy bites. Internet seems to bring people together from all walks of life. A journalist is leaving, curry sausage in hand. A few men from the railways who've just finished their shift, are clicking happily away in search for the 'XXX-JPEG' from the last Playmate. 'Whooow!'
One morning, minutes before opening time. "Would you like to surf once," John asked when I entered the shop. In the large chip shop from John and Katie, you can find a computer permanently linked to Internet. We've heard a lot about it, but could not imagine the reality of Internet and the possibility to even surf on it. |
Through an Internet server, Ping and Electro Line (Allan Soreyn) (HARD en SOFTWARE) John had the opportunity to make this an addition to his business.
My intention is to give all my clients the opportunity to explore the wonderful world of Internet and all that for free. People interested in this venture can get hold of all the details needed for buying their own or receive more information on how to subscribe to Internet. The server from John is named PING (Personal Internet Gate), located in Waregem.
John is very enthousiastic about his system. With the slogan 'The First Cyber Chip Shop in Belgium', he became a local star. His name was all over the newspapers and magazines, and you could hear him on the radio. People came to his shop and were introduced to Internet. And all of this free of charge, as an additional service to his clients. In some pubs and cafˇs nearby, surfing on Internet is also possible, but at a cost. At John's shop however, it's completely free of charge.
John doesn't know yet for sure if he will keep the system forever. Anyway, he certainly has made history in this peaceful town. For a while it looked as if Deinze had become the centre of the East of Flanders.
At the end of my visit, a local policeman walked in. 'Do you like to surf?'
Thanks for the interview