|I've stayed in hotels in which the time there remains so strongly remembered
and so fucking cool: my experiences in these places will always pump zee
ego larger than those of primadonna/demanding petty celebrities obsessed
with how hotels reflect stature. Whereas their sense of self glows and
dims along with the spotlight, my ego will be amped, always, since I'll
never again know hotel rooms as luxurious as those described below: probably
I've stayed in hotels in which the bathrooms were all shitsprayed and I had bronchitis and diarrhea and was about to die and had no choice but to find a way to make the World's Most Impossibly Nasty Toilet into something functional. Location: Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Price per night: $4.
I've stayed in hotels in which there were toads and mice. Big mice, and much bigger toads which supposedly spit a neurotoxic venom if threatened. Location: Honduras, in Trujillo, in the Barrio Cristales, a Garifuna village right on the Caribbean that's all black and loaded with crack and reefer and thatched huts, reggae thumps all-night, big momma's with baskets of pan de coco on their heads, big dudes who look Straight Outta Compton and say yo yo what's up (they'd all been to the Bronx) and then speak Garifuna . . . They all took me under their wings cuz i'm from Jersey, yo. Price per night: $3.
I've stayed in hotels in which there were bats in the walls, you could hear them scratching around sunset and around sunrise they'd fly through the wideopened windows and sleep through the day behind the walls. Location: Isla del Tigre, Honduras, a small volcanic island in the Gulf of Fonseca, a wartorn body of water where El Salvador and Honduras sometimes have naval clashes and daring American Yachtsmen get pirated. When you climb the volcano you can see, to the west, three massive volcanos in El Salvador, and to the southeast, seven or so all down Nicaragua.
Spent a week with three atypical Hondurans, one a gunrunner who worked on an oilplatform off the coast of New Orleans and smuggled guns back for profit and fun; his wife who always said "regalame tus ojos" (let me have your eyes) and had a huge scar on her thigh from a worm; and a gym teacher philospher who advised me on proper action and all things necssary to know to be a man. Every morning they woke me up early, offered a beer and made me chug it, all in order to share my room's balcony that looked over the harbor. When the fishermen were coming back, we'd whistle down and they'd sell us a dozen fish for a dollar. They drank constantly: the gunrunner fell off the pier at low tide and separated his shoulder; she almost drowned one day. The room itself had high ceilings, peeling newspaper painted-over white on the wood-planked walls, three huge comfortable beds, the aforementioned balcony with a desk where I wrote and a hammock where we all lazed, not to mention a maid who'd cook the aforementioned fish for 50 cents. Price per night: $2.50.
I've stayed in a "Balienero Obrero" or "Worker's Spa" along the coast of El Salvador in La Libertad. I went with the woman I was traveling with to San Salvador to get permission from the State to stay at this place. No one was there, totally empty besides the caretakers: despite bug-infested mattresses stained with all flavors of excrement, there was a clean swimming pool, a basketball court, well-maintained grounds, right on the Pacific Ocean, volcanic blacksand beaches. We'd go to this restaurant shack next door and drink the national beer and eat fresh fried fish for nearly nothing and watch the sun set right over the water. Met an American woman (and her Salvadoran husband) who told us about shooting an M-16 into the new year's nightsky over San Salvador. Her husband asked, "Did you close your eyes when you fired the M-16?" She responded, "Do I close my eyes when I have an orgasm?" Stories they told are gathered here. Oh, yeah . . . Price per night: NOTHING.
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