Saturday, September 29, 2012

Hostile in Chongqing

My girlfriend, by text message, "don't hate the hostel"--Tina's Hostel Chongqing. Good advice, but I will just report the facts. Their English is so miserable that I don't know the name of the company or the direction in which the boat I take later today will go. They wanted to charge me 30RMB, but luckily I printed my receipt which clearly showed that it was 25RMB/night. Really, it is the principle of the damn thing. I do not need to quibble over 30RMB (five yuan more for six nights). I will only stay here three nights now. Last night and Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I think I will be on this boat for the rest of the nights.

They gave me a key to the dorm room, where two American women who prove Texas is the obesity capital of the world and a Chinese student of theirs were also staying. I bent the key trying to open the door because the lock was stripped maybe because the handle for the door was missing. Once inside, I wished to place my things in a locker, but the key for the locker, while less chintzy, would not turn the lock. I went upstairs and they laughingly told me that it was not my fault, the locker key never works for anybody! Nevertheless, they assigned me another locker and gave me a new key, but again it did not work.

The bathroom is customarily revolting. The Western toilets have been plopped down on top of the old squatters so that I am sure all manner of foul smelling expelled matter collects in the seams and grooves.

The directions say that you can easily see the sign from the street. Not only could they not get my can driver to understand, while speaking for five minutes on my phone, that we were right out front, but when the can driver finally brought me back to the location of said phone call, I got out of the car and walked right passed the steep stairs to the hostel, because the sign (at the bottom of the stairs) is totally obscured by a tree. It has been raining, which it always has since time in eternity, in Chongqing which means that it has been raining in the hostel. The whole place smells like a wet, unwashed towel and it brings me back to the after dinner terror of my childhood when mother would chase us about the kitchen with something we referred to as "the rag." (This practice continued years beyond when it should have.)

No breakfast so I am off to wander until 2PM when I must be back here to meet the taxi for the boat down the river, I hope.

But, you know what? The Internet works and the people who work here are pleasant!