reference was to Javier Solana, below, a
Spaniard; and a NATO mass-murderer at that. I do
not use milk-toast language about people like
The reference to Asian
hotel-keepers is frank, honest, travel advice to
others, as in: "If you find a hotel in the USA
managed by an Asian, drive on." It is nothing to
do with racism, merely a realistic travel hint.
In my experience -- and I drove 15,000 miles
around the entire United States since November
-- Asian-managed hotels are dirty, poorly
maintained (bugs!), and being slowly run down.
light bulbs have been replaced by 40-watt bulbs
throughout. The coffee machines have been
removed. The soap bars could hide under a
37¢ postage stamp. There will always be
exceptions, true, but I did not find even one,
and I don't believe in mincing my language. When
you go out in the world, on the road, in
farflung towns and cities, as I often do, you
pick up a few worldly-wise tips about hotels
like those above: I pass them on; it is open to
others like yourself, who have perhaps led more
sheltered lives, to ignore them if you want to,
to go out there, and make the same mistakes that
I used to.
Miami used to refuse to put up street signs
diverting tourist traffic away from the city's
unsafe (i.e., Black) areas. It took a couple of
very nasty incidents for them to change that
policy and erect idiot-proof "sunshine" icons to
channel arriving tourists safely to the right
districts. One German family took a wrong
turning from the airport in a rental car (which
in those days were all recognizable by the "Z"
in their license tag) and were dead within five
minutes. As said, overweening political
correctness then took a back seat to realism.
Tourists who've been harrassed do not return;
that German family did not either.
In England they now
say: A Conservative is a Liberal who has been
mugged. I appreciate that political
correctness has a set of rules of its own; but
respect for ones fellow humans does not oblige
us to be quiet about their shortcomings --
particularly when you are a weary traveler, on
Incidentally, since I
wrote those lines about American motel system, I
have received very many letters from others
quietly expressing the same puzzlement about its
gradual collapse. Race does not come into it: if
the common factor were seven-feet tall hotel
managers, or two-headed hotel managers, I would
say just the same about them; in this case, the
common factor is that they are recent Asian
immigrants, and seemingly out of their depth in
the culture of the United States.