|A typical "All-American Motel"|
(Image from skianything.com)
However, in a completely different context, I was talking with some friends the other day and I joked that one of them, who was struggling to find summer work, could get a job at his father's motel (the North American kind - i.e. - non-sexual) and he looked at me with one eyebrow cocked and asked, "What would my father have anything to do with a motel?" I was confused, until the others laughed at the notion of my friend's father running brothel. This led me to wonder aloud, "Why would you think that first and not about the standard sleep-while-travelling kind?"
For a little context, motels in South America serve as rather important and common institutions: a fair amount of "dating" takes place in these places. As noted above, when living at home it is hard to bring a date, or even a steady girlfriend or boyfriend, home for a night of intimacy. Something about having to have tea and snacks with mom in front of the TV before heading upstairs seems a little depressing let alone wondering if mom has turned the TV up just to avoid having to hear the muffled sounds from the other side of the bedroom door. Of course, the most awkward moment isn't even getting through the front door to the bedroom, but it's asking mom if the coffee is fresh without looking her in the eye the next morning. In short, whether the notion of living at home until one is married is weird or not, at the very least, knowing that this is a cultural reality in South America makes the existence of motels understandable at the very least.
|The "Hotel" Santa Victoria to the right of the green window|
(my old room)
|Notice the lack of windows (those are TVs) on the entrance |
on the right of this fortress-like motel
(image from moteleiro.com.br)
|A multi-level motel suite in Curitiba|
(image from guidemoteis.com.br)
|Inside a Chilean institution (and invention): a cafe con pierna|
(Image from theworldoffroad.gr)
But the real question here goes back to my original question I posed to my friends: where did this notion of motels only for sex come from outside of South America? Is it common in Canada? North Carolina? Scotland? Spain? Australia? Indonesia? I'm curious, and I'm also curious to know what the quality is in these other locations. I'm not talking about Vegas or Atlantic City, the two cities where I wouldn't be surprised if a South American style motel existed, but within the mainstream community instead. I never knew these places existed like this outside of sleazy Vegas, and when I first learned about them in South America I thought it was a specific cultural thing, which it is. Since kids generally move out when they're 18 in North America, it is significantly less necessary in North America than it is in South America. But there it is, at least three friends had that idea first, and now I'm left wondering, where the hell was I?