People are barbecuing at the motel. In fact, there is a whole row of people hanging out (including no shirt, beer belly guts), leaning on the railing drinking – I think they may actually live here. And they all stared at me as I drove around the corner to my room – thank goodness it’s not near them! (Finally realized what they reminded me of: Toby Keith’s Trailerhood video!)
It’s amazing how different a place seems when you’re alone vs. with someone. When Seth and I stayed here the other night it seemed rundown but fine. I mean, it has free WiFi and a bed – what more do I need? But then when I just checked in solo, there were two young men at the desk. One was overly friendly asking me if I live around here, what I’m doing in this neck of the woods, and then started commenting on my car. He first asked if it was a BMW, then whistled when he heard it was a Volvo. It was the first time I’ve felt really uncomfortable checking in somewhere alone. And it made me wish I was driving a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer – no one would be whistling or even commenting – on that. It would fly below the radar, which is what I want me and my car to do. At least I didn’t buy the Mustang!
I went to my room, and it is definitely worse than the one the other night. In fact, I considered going to my car to get my own toilet paper (yes, I have that in my trunk, too). My grandmother’s voice rang in my head, ‘Don’t forget to check for bedbugs!’
So while I know I really need to budget and stay in cheap places if I’m going to be able to sustain myself for the next few months on the road, I need to balance it with being safe and smart – two things I’m always imploring my son to be. I’m just not sure exactly what else I can do. Any tips? Suggestions?