Hotel Horror Stories
Following a restful and peaceful trip to the Oregon coast we planned a single long-haul return from Eugene to Tucson, Arizona. Our old Toyota Tercel looked great from the outside, but the engine had its issues. So, we came prepared with extra screws and a screwdriver to repair the fan belt as necessary.
Thinking it would save us time we took Highway 99 down through California. This was our first mistake. Unless you are interested in seeing the longest oleander hedge in the world, and stopping in every town in eastern California this is definitely not a good choice. And now we know.
Around dusk our fan belt started making the tell-tale signs of the connecting bolts having broken (again.) Pulling over to the side we replaced the bolts, grateful that this had happened while there was still some sunlight. With only a few more hours of driving we were certain we would be able to make it home without any further car maintenance.
Driving down 99 was like driving across a world map, passing through different countries every 20 miles or so. Around 8:00 p.m. we hit India, first going through Jaipur, and then heading towards New Delhi. By this time it was pitch dark, and the crowds of eyes staring at our car as we drove through each town was putting us increasingly ill at ease. And then our fan belt bolts broke again.
As we entered New Delhi we pulled into a gas station on the left closed and pitch dark. Without enough light to work by anywhere in town we were stranded for the night. Fortunately, or so we thought, there was a hotel next door and we felt we had little chose but to spend the night.
Walking through the front door to the management office we were greeted by the smell of Indian spices. The night worker examined us carefully, perhaps preparing himself to ask the proper question. What type of room would you like?
“What type of room?” we repeated somewhat puzzled.
Impatiently he replied , “Yes, what type of room? One with a water bed, a vibrating bed, a king bed?”
“Uh king bed sounds good. How about one with a bathtub?”
Frowning he said, “I think we have one of those.”
The room did indeed have a king bed, though with somewhat disheveled dingy sheets. And there was indeed a bathtub that clearly showed signs of having been scrubbed sometime in the last year, though there was no hot water to go with it.
Daylight came none too soon, and found us quickly making the repairs on our Tercel. And so we drove happily off into the sunrise hoping never to have a hotel horror story that would surpass this one.