Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Haiti, Hotel Oloffson, April 2008

The hotel is famous from a book called the “The Comedians”, written in 1966 by Graham Greene - which is probably the last time the place was actually nice. It’s dilapidated, the doors to the rooms bearing the alarming remnants of being kicked in numerous times, with splintered and broken wood and locks that, after they are breached, are simply moved to a new portion of door frame. There is no hot water, and is illuminated by dim fluorescent bulbs, that when they work, splash dirty blue light across the withered landscape of the room, revealing mismatched furniture, dirty sheets, broken windows and torn curtains - all this for $80 a night. Dinner and transmit some images from the lobby. As I’m sitting on the couch, the party that had been going on outside, for a doctor from Medicens Sans Fronteirs who was leaving Haiti, was going on outside around the pool – which had arguably the cleanest water in the place. It’s a well attended affair, that moves its way inside when the rain begins, so that the quiet lobby where I am sending pictures has now turned into the nucleus of the party, people wandering in with their drinks, soaked from the downpour that caught everyone by surprise. There is a couple next to me, that I am talking to, and someone brings me a cocktail. Coke and Barbancourt. The rain stops, and RAM, the house band headed by the owner of the hotel begins to play outside. Now I begin to understand the draw of the Oloffson...

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