"When truth and compassion part ways, follow compassion." ~ Unknown

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ghost hotel

We are in Guatemala City for the next couple of days en route to Costa Rica, staying Hotel Casa Blanca. It's located in a concrete and razor wire ghetto near the airport. Not to worry. Razor wire is a regular design motif in Centroamerica, even in the better neighborhoods. The only other guest in the place is a fellow from India who is in the country to sell parts for textile machines to the Mayans. He cooks his own meals barefoot in the kitchen and seems distinctly disinterested in small talk. Otherwise, the place is a ghost ship manned by the two lowest ranking members of its crew, the cook and her compadre, a kid who drives the shuttle jalopy. Seems they both live here. I think he sleeps in the kitchen. Neither speak English. They are very nice but their stock answer to any question (yes, in Spanish) is "Un momento, por favor." So we waited until 10 o'clock last night for the manager/desk clerk to swing by before we could get permission to print out our boarding passes. Of course, by then the page had expired. There is no phone. They have no maps of the city and, if you want drinking water, you have to go to kitchen and ask for it, if you can find anyone around. Did I mention we will never stay here again? I don't recommend you do either.

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