Everybody here assumes that I am Philipino. They talk to me and when I don't immediately respond, they look at me curiously. I almost feel sometimes that they might prod me with a stick just to see if I'm alive.

And many of them do have sticks because there are security checks at all shopping malls and hotels and just about every covered public area. They stand by the door with one of their sticks and then you open your bag to them and they push things aside with their sticks and then they let you through. It's ritualistic and not very effective, I feel.

It's not as if any of them spotted my very-odd looking Alphasmart and I reckon if I just put a bomb into a Ritz cracker box, they wouldn't notice or care about it and just let you in. False security is worse than no security, because you think that you've mitigated risks when you actually haven't done anything at all.

I'm not entirely sure what it is they're looking for. Bombs? Guns? Anti-American literature?

posted on Friday, February 21, 2003 - permalink
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