March 1st, 2004


(no subject)

Just moved to a new hotel - and most commodious is is too. It's next-door to the offices, but was booked solid last week which is why we were elsewhere. In an added benefit, it has an Irish theme bar that looks uncannily akin to Spinal Tap's stonehenge set, but does serve something much closer to beer than the usual local lager (though that is by no means the worst of its kind I've tried).

One thing I haven't mentioned that's quite noteworthy is that just about every major hotel and office block I've seen in the business/embassy district of Jakarta has a security check on the driveway. Armed police, private security guards, both or somewhere in-between will vaguely gesture with a mirror under your car, and check that there's a couple of buldging black hold-alls in the boot before waving you through.

To be fair, I suspect having westerners in the car counts for a lot in their risk assessment. This hotel has a metal detector in the lobby, which is actually a step toward real security, but as in many places, simply packing whatever dodgy goods you have inside a spare laptop casing would do. Some better airports have asked me to boot the laptop, at least as far as the BIOS screen.