I was just digging around for photos of the hotel that was just bombed in Peshawar, Pakistan. I was there in 1998 and it turns out I didn't take any photos of the hotel.
Which isn't surprising, I guess. Who takes photos of hotels?
So you'll have to take my word for it that this was a fine place. I did not stay in the Pearl Continental. I couldn't afford it. The PC sits above one of those have/have not divides, the grand mansion on the hill that one must dress well and carry funds to be admitted to. My friend Nikki and I went to lunch there. The PC was a welcome, air-conditioned vacation from the hubbub of the marketplaces of Peshawar.
There weren't many Internet cafes in 1998 when I was in Pakistan. But the PC had a computer or two. I don't remember the details now but I remember using their e-mail service and sending a note out to my e-mail list. There was no blogger then, of course. I can't even remember if there was a Yahoo mail yet. Hotmail was all the rage. I was still on AOL.
I remember the speed of the dial-up being excruciatingly slow, and I am pretty sure I had a sandwich on toasted sliced bread in the PC cafe. The hotel was an oasis of calm in the middle of a particularly chaotic trip through Nepal, India, and Pakistan.
I've stopped in for coffee, bathrooms, services, and Internet at luxury hotels around the world. They always seem so safe with their fences, security guards, and metal detectors...