Chapter 3:. Sao Vicente  

In less than 10 minutes we were at the hotel. I almost felt stupid taking a taxi at all. He couldn’t break my bills, so e got a 40% tip. I was too tired to outwit him and argue. There was a cleaning woman at the humble entrance to the hotel.

“Onde recepcao?, “, I asked
Cleaning lady looked in shock as if to say it’s midnight, why are you coming here?
“desculpe, pode me dizer, e recepcao”, I asked again.

She smiled humbly, mumbled something I could not translate, and pointed to the right. I followed her direction to a unnaturally bright, ordinary resort-style front desk.

“Grace”, I said too tired to even attempt any more Creole or Portuguese.
“Ah, pequeno Portuguese. Fala Englais?”
“Sim. Yes. No problem. What was the name?”, he asked. I couldn’t help notice how much he and I looked alike. It was strange to be so far from home and see your likeliness in another person.
“Yes, you are hear for 14 days?”
“Ok. Not a problem. “, he hesitated. He looked at me expectingly.
I had no response.
“Can I have your passport”, he asked.
“Uh, yes.”
“We keep the passport as deposit. “, he explained.
This many hours into my journey I was a little thing bobbing in the sea. I didn’t argue. I didn’t ask. I just wanted a room.
“We must have the money now.”
“You must pay for the room first. This is our policy.”