Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Arizona law: "I'll go vacation somewhere the police won't stop me in the street to ask me to prove my citizenship."

Whether or not it is actually accurate, this discussion of the new Arizona law would sound some alarm to anyone considering traveling to Arizona. As a non-US citizen in the US, I'd usually carry my drivers license but not necessarily my Green Card everywhere, as I don't want to misplace my Green Card. Would I have to carry my Green Card around when I am in Arizona? It sounds like I would have to. A drivers license alone doesn't necessarily prove someone is in the US legally. That's an extra pain for me, so given choice, I would take my business travel elsewhere. It's also a pain for tourists who seemingly would have to carry their passports around all the time, which increases the risk of them being lost or stolen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Iraqi Airways to fly to London, starting next week

Iraqi Airways is beginning (resuming?) flights to London, starting next week. Prices are not available right now on its website, but you can call them in their UK office to book. It has to be one of the few airlines which includes a "personal security" page on its website, recommending a security company (Global Strategies Group) "to take you to your final destination".

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rendezvous Observatory Hotel on Scarborough Beach in Perth, Western Australia

I stayed recently at the Rendezvous Observatory Hotel which is right on Scarborough Beach, in the north of Perth, Western Australia. The hotel is your standard resort-style hotel, in terms of architecture:

Outside the hotel is the beach, shown here with people playing volleyball:

In the morning the beach is cleaned:

Here is the view from my hotel room:

And here is the view down Scarborough Beach Road looking towards the hotel, framed by the setting sun. The sunsets are quite amazing there, on the Indian Ocean.

All in all I liked the hotel, but I was amazed to spend $25 AUD a day to connect to the Internet on a poor WiFi connection which didn't work from the room, only from the lobby and bar area. Parking was a reasonably $7 AUD a day. The hotel is near surf shops, car rental, a Subway for sandwiches, a convenience store at a local petrol station, and some restaurants. It's easy to find by car. However, a taxi there from the airport was an amazing $50 AUD [I'd assumed it would be cheaper, and then thought I was being ripped off. But it turns out that is the correct fare].