It is always such a relief when the hotel room safe not only opens on the dimly remembered code but also still contains everything you put in it on arrival. I do sometimes wonder, though, what the point is. I suppose to make it more difficult to steal things. Doh! But every place I've ever stayed specifically states that they are not liable for the loss of anything, even if things are in the safe. So all it is doing is making it harder to get hold of one's stuff than leaving it in the bedside drawer. Then again, I've never before stayed in a place that had iron barred gates outside each room's front door, equipped with a separate padlock. I wondered what the form was. Padlock myself in, to discourage visitors in the night, and run the risk of immolation? Or leave myself open to nighttime intruders, and be free to make a run for it in case of fire? Either way, I made it through the night.

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