anatomy of a dump

Here is my palatial $US8 a night room in Mytho, a smallish river town in the Mekong delta region of Southern Vietnam. No doubt once the grandest and most modern hotel in town, now it looks a little worse for wear. I prefer staying in such dumps for the character and atmosphere they afford. Although far from the most basic and sleaziest place I've ever stayed in, this was superb example of one. Just look at that gorgeous blue wall! Everywhere I look in this room, there seemed to be a still-life just waiting to be photographed. Just look at the composition created by the simple wooden chair, bottles of drinking water (boiled I hope), that aqua table cloth and the bright red plastic rubbish bin beneath. Pasted up on the back of the door were the Hotel's regulations in badly written English. These mainly pertained to rules about having 'guests' in the room after 10pm. It must be just the foreigners who get up to some hanky panky. Just inside the door is the electronic control centre for the room. A plastic box with a large knob gives one nine levels of comfort via the ceiling fan above the bed. Sometimes these controllers don't work and are permanently fixed to the 'hurricane' setting. I've often gone to bed watching the blades of an unbalanced ceiling fan slice drunkenly through the air wondering if I'll be mince meat by morning. On the wall directly above the little table was a small red light that couldn't be turned off. It gave the room a pleasantly arousing red glow at night. Plenty of sleeping area for a single traveler. The bed sheets were clean although well-used. Above each bed was a wooden frame which swung out from the wall to support those pretty blue mosquito nets. The door at the end of the room leads to a private balcony which overlooks a tributary of the mighty Mekong river. The room was on the eighth floor so the $200 a night view was superb. Simple flimsy furniture like this wardrobe in the corner in the norm for places like this. Sometimes you get something with a lock on it, but you can practically jimmy a door open with your finger tips. The snake-like object on my bed is in fact a chain and lock which I sometimes use to thread through the door handles of such rickety cupboards. Ahh, the toilet. Who isn't curious about this necessity. Above the bathroom door was scratched into the blue plaster "The throne of dolly the sheep goddess". Many a decision has been made on the basis of the cleanliness of this part of cheap-end accommodation. Do you want to inspect this facility in close-up so that you can make your own decision whether you'll like to stay here? Of course you would! Oh, there's that beautiful blue wall again with its rich patina. I'm in love.
a hotel in Hanoi?