Friday, September 16, 2005

Getting in the city

My advice for getting into the city remains the same: Don't try it lightly. Its getting tougher and tougher to get into the city. Not only must you have an official pass, but the pass must say EXACTLY who you are and WHERE YOU ARE GOING. This does not allow ANY joy riding or sight seeing. I have been fortunate thus far to get in and see what I have seen, but today was tougher getting through checkpoints than yesterday and yesterday was very tough. I still highly reccomend an armed police escort, not because of crime, but because the city is still under heavy military presence and a police escort erases all doubts in the minds of the military that you are up to no good. Once Uptown and the CDB open up this will no doubt get tougher. The streets are eerily silent, save for some work crews and military checkpoints.

One word of advice, though. If you do get an official pass AND you get into the city AND you do something foolish like venture away from the instructions on your pass then bring a carton of cigarettes with you. A few packs of cigarettes to a Private in the Army manning the corner of Carrollton and Claiborne, for example, goes a long way to letting you take the long way in. Or so I've been told. However, don't try anything funny in the city. Not now, its not worth trying to fake your way in, or worse, sneak your way in. If you get stopped without a proper pass (particularly with a carload full of stuff) then you will be arrested.