Monday, September 14, 2015

The ugly American


In my Twenties I went to Brazil with my friend. We bought some package that included airfare and a 4 star hotel. I think it might have been my first time staying at a hotel. My friend wanted to go because she liked latin guys, but upon arriving, she decided that she was not attracted to the guys there. She had smuggled hallucinogenics onto the plane and we tripped for the 10 hour plane ride and then again walking around the city. She was from eastern Europe and we went to see a film from her country, which was translated into Portuguese. I spoke neither language but it did not matter. We did not know you had to pay for the minibar and ate and drank all of the “free” contents. We had a good week.

The last day of the trip we had a 5pm flight so we went to the beach for the day and when we got back to our hotel at 3pm to get ready to pack and go to the airport, the hotel staff was frantic, as we were supposed to have checked out at noon. This made absolutely no sense to me. Why would we have to check out at noon if our package had us on a flight for 5pm. What were we supposed to do, sit in the lobby for 4 hours? I had no idea of hotel rules and that the package had nothing to do with the hotel. I thought we were taken care of till we had to leave. So did she.

We were called into the depths of the hotel, a basement office. Someone who had a very organized crime air about him gave us a bill that we could not pay. I did not have a credit card, I paid cash for everything and I guess my friend did too. We were too taken by the absurdity to be scared. We argued with the guy for a long time, because of the overpriced items that we thought were free-we questioned why the hotel put the food in the room without a sign saying a price. The guy had no idea what to do with us.

Eventually he saw that he was fighting a losing battle. He actually agreed to let us go to the store and replace the items we ate and had us pay a minimal late checkout fee. Before we left he called us fucking Americans. We waved our hands in disgust at him. I was the only American, an unentitled working class weirdo, the other fucking American was from communist eastern Europe. We were just young, brash, and unworldly, we were women who argued back, and we had a few good points. But looking back at the hilarity, I can see how he could have thought that.

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