It was very late at night, I was tired, and there was only *one* room left in Saginaw. I thought to myself: it's only for a single night. How bad could it be??
I asked the manager if I could take a look at the room before I registered. It was so dirty and looked so generally neglected that I felt a need to check for bedbugs. I didn't find any, but there was a lot of cigarette ash between the mattress and box springs, and btw the mattress and the sheets. Made me really wonder about the quality of housekeeping ...
I brought this to the attention of the manager, but he didn't recognize that it was a problem of cleanliness -- or safety! It was difficult to understand his English, but he gave me to understand that a convention was going to take place in Saginaw in a few days, so all he had available was a smoking room.
The carpet and the upholstery were filthy; I was afraid to set anything down on any surfaces. The hems were pulled out of the drapes. There were stains on the walls.
The price the manager quoted was quite steep -- much more than i had been paying for decent rooms on previous nights of the trip -- I suppose because of the shortage of rooms. I asked the manager for a discount, figuring that he wouldn't be able to rent that wretched room to any other poor sucker at that time of night, but he wouldn't budge.
The next morning, in the light of day, I discovered more evidence of decline. The whole property needed a coat of paint; the lawn needed mowing and weeds needed to be pulled.
On the plus side: there was a working refrigerator in the room, plus a microwave. The room rate included breakfast. Breakfast was nothing special, but it was evident that the manager and his wife were making a lot of effort to please their guests. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they're immigrants. Perhaps they don't really grasp American standards of neatness and cleanliness.
If I had the opportunity to do this experience over, I would definitely have kept driving, no matter how late it was. Or perhaps just slept in the car!
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- Also Known As:
- Saginaw Knights Inn