I learn to love these business hotels. They are almost all the same, green carpets with traces of former guests, a coffee machine, a big TV set with additional offerings of mature audience content. You won’t be able to guess where you are until leaving the hotel again.



And there are some places where even this is more difficult than one could expect, at the airport of Phoenix, Arizona, for example. Still some hotels offer a very unique experience.

When I finally managed to arrive at the hotel after having called them three times to find the way to this cut off neighbourhood it was after ten pm. Leaving the car I first see a young Asian woman in a long glittery white dress running out of the hotel and screaming. She is obviously not part of a greeting committee for new guests but escaping a too pleasant or too unpleasant party at the hotel. After having entered the hall I see what happens: it is the night of a prom – these strange high school parties where girls are taken to by boys they hope to get to know better during that night and vice versa. There are crowds of young men and women in the hall, dressed like a group of flamingos (the women) and penguins (the men). And there is screaming and shouting and hysterical laughing all over the place. I have to escape to my room immediately.

That room offers further surprises: Standing in the clearly arranged bathroom I see a sign right next to the shower that says “shower” pointing to the left. Oh man, there it is! I would have never found it without this helpful sign. So I step in and try to calm down with hot water pouring over my skin.

When I want to go to bed I find a little present on the sheets. A small bag with some anti wrinkle cream (thank you for having known in advance) and a small bag with earplugs. The inscription on the bag says: “Crown Plaza – a place to meet”. I dim the light and start thinking about that. A place to meet with ear plugs? Why is that? Am I supposed to meet people and use the ear plugs not to hear what they are saying to me? Are the other people supposed to use them so that they won’t be bothered by my yackety-yak? Or do I get something wrong?

After a while I fall asleep just to wake up again a bit later. I listen to a loud and interesting conversation in the room next door between a guy and a girl trying to pave their way into some collective moves on a bed that as far as I can make out by listening to the sounds trough the wall behind my head is always moving in the wrong direction.

I got it! I am the one to use the earplugs because other people use this place for some practice in a very specific sort of “meeting”. Thank you for this foresighted implicit advice and have a good night.