The little hotel that couldn’t

21 December 2004
Quito, Ecuador

I awake after a good nights sleep, and I’m feeling pretty good about my expensive hotel room. Then I try to get a shower. The shower just isn’t working, and I figure that maybe I’m doing something wrong (but it is, after all, only a shower.) The front desk sends up a maid, then a repair guy, and thank goodness, it’s not me.

But how hard is it to have a working shower in a hotel room? It starts the day on a bad foot, but I think I’m grumpy for my five days of not sleeping (even though I slept well, I still only am getting 6 hours of sleep a night. on a good night) Downstairs I tell them that I want a discount, or I’m going to change hotels. They take $12 off the room, which is enough to keep me here. They are going to put me another room so they can fix the shower, and I agree to move my stuff when I get back from doing that voodoo that I do.

One thing that was really odd about this hotel is they had a waterpick built into the wall, right by the toilet. It was nice because there was a way to adjust the temperature, but not the flow. It never got the high powered jet they have on the waterpicks I’m used to. This one was OK for getting back at the molars, but it was pretty large – it didn’t fit in my mouth that well.

I head towards a museum (Museo del Banco Central) that is supposed to be fantastic. On the way there, I stop at a somewhat busy sidewalk cafe and get a Shwarma, which is something like a Gyro, but with chicken that is roasted on one of those spits where they cut off a bit when it’s cooked. When I get it, I notice that it’s got lettuce and tomato on it. Screw food poisoning, it looks like I’m going all out for E-Coli. At least I avoided the mayonnaise. I’m still feeling the effects of my sickness. When I eat, I get kind of burpy, which is about as pleasant as it sounds. Afterwards, I head to the above mentioned museum, which was great. It had an odd layout – normal museums tend to direct you from exhibit to exhibit, on this one you’ve got to backtrack, go to dead ends, and wander quite a bit to see everything. There is some amazing pottery and gold working around here. I didn’t see much of the post spanish art, as I was a little burnt out and didn’t really care about spanish colonial/religious art as much. Seeing just the pre hispanic stuff took a pretty long time. I’m getting my overdose much earlier than I did in my last Motorcycle travels.

I go back to my hotel to change my stuff from room to room, and I end up with a suite – it’s a LOT larger than my other room, not that I really care, but more importantly the shower works (there is a huge hot tub in the bathroom) AND, I’ve got a bidet. The TV doesn’t. Most of the channels that are in english aren’t coming in. When I leave I mention it, and ask them to fix it. They don’t. As expensive as it is, they don’t really make it worthwhile. I don’t say anything when I it doesn’t work – I’m tired of complaining.

For dinner I find a place that serves Cuy (Guinea Pig.) On the flyer for the restaurant, they show the dish. it looks just like a de-furred, roasted guinea pig, on it’s back, legs splayed, looking right at you. For some reason they didn’t have it that night, which I was disappointed in. The water thought I was cute, and very attentive, and I didn’t like that. Flattered, but wrong.

I’m up late watching Castaway with Tom Hanks. I think Wilson (the beachball) was to him what my laptop is to me. And once again I sleep very well, just not much.