Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hotels versus Motels

In Mexico (as in Brazil, and as in most of Latin America, I suspect), hotels are for sleeping and motels are for, well....illicit dalliance. The buzz around Patzcuaro has been that the gringos have discovered motels. But the word is not that they are using them for clandestine assignations, but rather for very practical purposes.
Motels have some very specific features. They are enclosed by high walls with an attendant at the entrance. One pays first, usually at a drive-through window, then drives straight into a garage with a garage door. One gets out of the car inside the garage, closes the door, and enters directly into the bedroom--seeing no one and not being seen, except by the attendant inside the compound. No friends or neighbors will see your car to recognize it. And there is an abundance of newly built, nice motels everywhere.
The advantage of all this privacy for gringos coming back from the U.S. with border orders, or traveling with a car full of gifts to take north, is that overnight parking is very secure. The accommodations are also very cheap.
We have now been initiated. It was late on a Sunday afternoon and we were tired. We saw no one inside, it was very quiet and we heard only one car. Family meals are traditionally scheduled on Sunday afternoons, so that apparently is not rush hour at motels. I think we paid about US$20 for the night. The room was comfortable and the cable TV was good (there was one surprising channel). And I must say we had the best reading lights and mirrors ever on our cross country travels.
Caveat: There is no in and out. Once you are in, you are in. Eat first.

1 comment:

Felipe said...

Black floor, interesting touch. Who´s the wicked woman reflected in the mirror? Don´t tell me. I think I know.