15 February 2011
Clinton Stayed Here?????
Ready to sit down and write, I was jolted out of my chair by music blasting at nine million decibels. I thought that maybe there was a nightclub nearby. It turned out to be the small kiosk next to the school, or at least I think it was. I couldn’t even see any people. It was so loud I could feel the reverberation in the floor. This simply was not going to work as a place to relax and write. I needed a view of rice paddies or jungle.
This morning I told the young man at reception about the problem with the noise and that I didn’t think I would be able to stay here much longer. He assured me that it only happened on Monday. Not being 100% convinced of that, I spent a good part of today searching for different accommodation. I made a list of the places I had found online before coming here and searched through sites like TripAdvisor for recommendations. I marked places off on my little map and hit the road.
Nothing is that far away, but the hotel-provided maps leave off a whole bunch of streets making things much farther than expected. It seemed I had walked forever before I got to the Phuoc An Hotel. They had very nice rooms listed online for $20 a night and I was hoping to get a discount for a longer stay. Guest reviews seemed to speak well of their establishment.
As I walked into the hotel I was greeted by a young man inquiring how he could help me. I asked what the price for a room was. He said, “$200.” I figured there was some language miscommunication so restated the question. I got the same answer. This time I asked if he meant $20, not $200. At this point he began to get rather agitated and wrote out “200”. I said something about that not being possible and did a quick check to make sure I was not at the Hilton. The 30-somethings walking down the stairs with backpacks assured me I was in the right place.
“Oh”, he said, as if understanding for the first time, “you want a different room?” I nodded my head. “We don’t have any others.” A bit more questioning and I finally was told that
the rooms started at $30. It was time to leave.
All told, I spent about four hours walking around looking at hotels. They were either more expensive than the one I am in, (and of a far inferior standard), or slightly less costly but of a way lower standard. So bum knee throbbing, I hoofed it back to the river, found an upstairs café with a view and ate cake and ice cream.