Wednesday, July 9, 2008


It was late, the road was dark, very dark, and it was starting to rain. We’d been driving for more than ten hours and we were exhausted. On our way back to the States from San Pancho, the short cut from Guadalajara to Zacatecas had been a mistake. It had been hours since we’d seen anywhere to stay the night.
Just outside of Saltillo, my husband Bill and I saw the sign flickering in the distance.
“Does that sign say ‘motel’?” he asked me.
“I think it does” I said. “What a relief. And I don’t care what it looks like, we’re stopping!”
I didn’t have to be so emphatic. Bill pulled into the courtyard without hesitation and stopped near the office. We looked around, amazed. The courtyard was softly lit, the music of a fountain, barely audible. We were surrounded by what appeared to be two- story houses, garages on the ground level, apartments above. An office, with large glass window, appeared positioned to provide surveillance similar to air traffic control. A woman from the office approached our car. I got out to greet her.
“Buenas noches, good evening,” I said.
"Buenas noches, good evening Senora.” she replied.
She asked how we were and I asked her as well. She was fine, we were very tired. I asked if she had a room available.
“Por cuanto horas, Senora?” she asked. For how many hours? Hmmm, did I hear that right?
I leaned into the car and repeated the question to Bill. She wants to know how many hours we’d like to have the room. Bill looked at his watch, its 11:00 pm, and did a quick calculation. “Seven or eight, we don’t want to have to leave at dawn,” he said.
Seven or eight hours I suggested.
“Siete o ocho horas, Senora?” she asked in an incredulous tone. I’m puzzled.
“Is this a problem?” I asked.
She shook her head and smiled. No, she assured me and asked for 400 pesos,
“Its forty dollars,” I said.
“Fine, tell her its fine.” He handed me the money.
She pointed to a garage just behind us, number 3, and motioned to us to back up. Signaling to someone in the office, the garage door opened, and we pulled inside. The automatic door slid down silently.
We both got out and looked around as if we had just executed a moon landing. From all indications, we were still earthbound; it was just a garage. We walked toward the spiral staircase that was directly ahead of us and flipped a wall switch which sent soft lighting upward toward the door at the top.
We entered a room which could only be described as a bed with a room around it. It was king-size and then some. Directly across from the bed was a panoramic mirror bordered by light bulbs reminiscent of a Hollywood marquee.
"This is amazing," I said, staring at the furnishings. Bill was wandering around the room. He picked up the menu on the dresser.
"Look, they have snacks, beer and wine." he said. Reading the menu over his shoulder, I noted, "mostly beer and wine."
"And it arrives via this little dumbwaiter," he said, demonstrating the way the order would arrive.
"They've thought of everything,” I added, waving the condoms that I'd discovered were on the night table and in the bathroom.
Admittedly, we were tired. But it took us awhile to put it all together. The room rental by the hour, the closed, secure parking, the mirrored wall and enormous bed, the dumbwaiter; we’d have a good night’s rest in one of Mexico’s famous “no-tell” motels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This story tells of one of the funiest things that ever happened to us. You can only experience this by happenstance! It made me giggle.