Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Things you can learn traveling...

The hotel I stayed in last night has three prices 160, 200 and one room for 220 (local currency) per night. I grabbed the 220 (If my math is right that would be U.S. $9.) Notwithstanding the high end claim that the highest price room ought to fulfill, it was frightening. The mold on the shower ceiling which is quickly growing to more than just the ceiling is almost scientifically interesting. The two towels were the size of kitchen hand towels and when I went down to ask for a third "management" said "only two towels per room". I insisted and got them to give me a third. But the best part came when I turned off my light to realize that there is an internal window above the bed that opens onto the hallway. Of course the hallway light stays on all night and sufficiently lights up the room for the occupant to be able to read in bed (which in a way is good since there is no bedside table lamp). When I mentioned this to management the next morning they did agree with my suggestion that a curtain might be a good idea but said that is one of the details that they have not gotten around to because it is always so busy. (I seriously question the too busy argument but thought better of challenging the assertion). I could go on with other details, like the fact that the main desk does not even have a local phone book (which would have come in handy when looking for certain supplies) or that after I had checked out but had come back to pick up my bags I asked if I could use their bathroom and they said it is only for staff; but you get the idea. Remind me to send a letter to the Lonely Planet folks to ask them what kind of tequila their reviewer was drinking when he wrote that "despite the price the rooms (at said hotel) sparkle". (Maybe that sparkle was the light from the hall way reflecting off the glow-in-the-dark mold growing in the bathroom?)

1. That much of the world is zoned seemingly exclusively commercial.

2. That in way too many places outside the U.S. Kellogg's products are ubiquitous and sort of jarring.

3. That any hotel that costs under $15 per night will be horrible notwithstanding the Lonely Planet's claim (of said hotel) that "despite the price the rooms sparkle".

4. That staying in a horrible hotel can be really fun.

5. That the NY TImes travel suggestions of things to see and do and places to stay and eat are all pretty obvious and/or lame but somehow about right if that is what you are into.

6. That many young men look a bit like Mark Wahlberg.

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