Friday, 1997-06-13                                Trip Report #6

The "Towers" section of the Windsor Manor hotel is arranged sort of

	- - - - - 
	|       |
	|       |
	| open  |
	|       |
	|       |

(looking from an elevator on ground floor)

Where "-" and "|" are rooms, "open" means that there's a large 
open-air atrium for all 4 stories, and "e" are elevators.
(If the ground floor is floor 0, I'm on floor 3)

The hotel has live music in the atrium in the evening.  I found
this out when I was in my room, and heard "Somewhere, over the rainbow"
playing, so I came out to see what was going on.  It was a duo,
with a saxophone and a guitar.

Well, I was hoping to avoid gastro-intestinal problems, but
I'm SOL.  It hit at 4 AM this morning.  I can report that
liquid Imodium tastes, despite the label, like neither cherry
nor mint.  After a two hours, I couldn't tell if it was
actually working, or if I was just LOS.    

At least it gave me the opportunity to hear that some night watchman
in the surrounding neighborhood was making his rounds ... blowing on
his whistle every 4 or 5 seconds.  The theory is that this scares
away burglars.  I think it's a way for his employers to keep track
of the fact that he's on the job, and not hanging around a single
house too long.  After all, if I was a burglar, I'd *love* to have
the guards advertise where they are!

Despite being somewhat weak from the night's adventures, I've come in
to do my teaching.  Partially, perhaps, because I've already come up
with the line to use should the worst happen while I'm teaching, say,
Low Level I/O:  Sorry, Low Level I/O brings out the worst in me.

A note on dining.  Most people seem to eat without utensils, using
a piece of naan to pick up food/gravy, so I've been doing the same.
At the end of the meal, you're given a small bowl of hot water, with
a piece of lime floating in it.  That's used for washing your eating hand.

For dinner last night, I went back to the Kebab Festival (running
through Saturday night).  I can't tell if it's a success or not, but
there weren't a lot of people there at 8 PM.  Maybe more people come
later.  The festival is held outdoors, by the pool.  Most of the
tables have umbrellas.  Rain started just as I was finishing, good timing.

For dessert, I had something that sounded like "jellybees" ... a wheat
batter that looked somewhat like pancake batter, ladled into a cloth.
The cloth was twisted into a sort of dispenser (like for icing cakes),
and a thin stream of batter was squeezed into a wok full of hot oil.
This created lacey swirls of semi-transparent crispy stuff, which was
removed from the oil, and dropped into a bowl of sweet liquid.  Then,
it was transferred to the plate.  If you've seen "sirop wafers" from
Europe, and make them lighter and semi-transparent, then you've got
a good picture.  [For a recipe, ask Wayne Holt.]

Back in the room, I decided to check the bill again, and noticed a
number of small charges that weren't well explained.  So, a quick trip
to the cashier elicited the information that they were tax, another tax,
and some other kind of tax.  Further, the room tax seemed quite high,
on the order of 1/3 the room price.  They tried to explain that the
government requires them to tax on the rack rate of the room, even
though I'm not paying that rate ... and that they'd refund the
difference at checkout time.  Normally, I'd say that was crazy.  Here,
I'd just think it was crazy, and quite believable!

I noticed that a bottle of water (for sale) that had been on top of 
the mini-bar was no longer there.  That reminded me that there was
no list of prices for mini-bar items.  So, I found the butler
and asked: (1) what happened to the bottle [I didn't want to be charged
an unknown price for it], and (2) could I get a price list.
He basically said: we put the bottles in the rooms, and we removed
the bottles from the room.  I was unable to determine *why*.
As for the price list?  "Don't worry sir, we have a price list."

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