My first hours in Honduras were spent at the maximum security correctional facility known as Villa Nuria. I arrived thirsty and starving at one a.m. and began my stay by enduring a seemingly endless accounting of every fork and teacup in the spartan kitchen-equipped room. The irony was I was leaving in a matter of hours for Santa Rosa De Copan and just wanted a bottle of drinkable water and a banana or a bag of pretzels or something to put in my stomach. After the clipboard spoon review I went to the front desk to ask about getting some water and something to eat. The clerk told me no. Just no. I had seen a open convenience store a few hundred yards away, so I asked if i could get a cab and go to the store. No, he said. That would be impossible. I have spent a lot of time in Latin America and I know there is no such thing as impossible. He told me there were no cabs and there was no water or food available. Exhausted and aghast, i sarcastically asked him if HE had anything to drink or eat. I got the same smug denial. I went to the room and boiled water do drink and brush my teeth. Imagine my surprise when at daybreak I discover a whole dining spectacular with bottled beverages and fruit and juices and baked goods and on and on...
The dude at the desk would have happily let me starve when I was clearly desperate. He later charged my card for the refundable $100 deposit, and it too three irate phone calls to get the money returned. Some kitchen and waitstaff smiled at me the next day and I wanted to hug them, as abused as I had felt. Maybe it was just the surly sadist at the night desk, but this place was about as welcoming as a dentist's office in Dante's Inferno.
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