Thursday, August 05, 2004

My Encounter with the Honduran Mafia

The following is a segment from the epic email I am writing of my adventures in Honduras. I call this, "My Encounter with the Honduran Mafia." Enjoy!

We finished our lunch and made a game plan for finding a hotel. We thought that it would be best if we decided upfront to visit at least 3 hotels and decide where to stay after looking at all of them. We picked some out of the holy handbook that met our standards (private room for four and bathroom) and we were off. We started trekking down the street and suddenly there was a woman standing in front of a very nice hotel calling to us. We walked over to speak with her, then suddenly she switched from speaking in Spanish to speaking in English. We realized that she must be the Dutch owner of a hotel there in Omoa, which we had seen mentioned in our book. She was very kind and was very eager to show us her hotel. However, she shared a lot of information that was quite disconcerting. She began her speech:
Yes, you should stay here with me. I have very nice rooms that you can come up and look at. But, you cannot tell people that you are staying in my hotel. You need to tell everyone that you are my friends and you are staying here with me for free. But you will not stay for free, you will pay. You see, it 's all Roli (the Swiss owner of another hotel in town). Roli is working with the Honduran mafia, and he wants to buy my house because it is on the beach, so he had the Honduran government take my husband's hotel license away, so right now we do not have a license. Please don't tell Roli that you are my customers. Just tell him you are my friends.
Now, let me just tell you some of the key things going through my mind at this point. First of all, do I want to get involved with anything having to do with the Honduran mafia? Second of all, do I really want to tell an active member of the Honduran mafia that I am friends with one of their enemies? Third of all, am I going to be arrested and thrown in a Honduran prison for aiding and abetting someone looking to run an illegal motel?
At this point, I truly thought that I was the only member of my little foursome that saw anything wrong with this. Amber piped in and said, "Well can we go see the room?" Pia (the hotel owner woman) had taken us up the balcony of her hotel and left us out there while she went inside to open the door. While we were waiting, we heard a voice with another thick (Swiss) accent yelling from behind, "Hey!" We all turned around, and as we did we saw a European looking man on a bicycle taking our picture. Roli. He shouted, "I take your picture because she is keeping you illegally!" Then he rode off on his bicycle. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
At about that time Pia came back to the door and let us in. She showed us the rooms, that were really exceptionally nice. Amber told her that we liked what we saw, but we wanted to look around first. Alarmed that we were going to check out Roli's Place, Pia quickly dropped her price. We assured her that it wasn't the price and that we weren't going to go snitch to Roli; we just wanted to look around. She believed us, and wished us well on our journey in case she didn't see us again. As we walked off the grounds, my eyes wide as saucers, I was like, "Guys, I do not want to stay there. I will not wakeup with a horse-head in my bed." Thankfully, the rest of my group had the same idea and we quickly went off to find another hotel. Posted by Hello

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

He shouted, "I take your picture because she is keeping you illegally!" Then he rode off on his bicycle. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

I seriously laughed out loud for approximately thirty seconds when I read that. Sorry it's been so long without much of a peep from me, but dadgummit, I'm going to fix that.

Anyway, you may receive more comments from me as I make my trek through the journey that is a month's worth of your journal.

Love much,