The blackened ambassador came to a halt in a deserted street which would have been in total darkness without the dim light bulb that hung outside the Homely hotel. The only sign of life in the street apart from the 3 mangy looking dogs that were already barking at the Taxi were several fistfuls of flying insects that circled the light bulb, trying desperately to find a way inside. ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ was the first thought as Taylor opened the door of the taxi and carefully placed his left leg into the blackness. He handed the payment slip to the driver and shouldering his bag walked under the light bulb and entered through the stained glass door, to the Homely hotel.
A rather lean looking man in his early forties with a neatly trimmed moustache looked up: “Welcome to India” he said and without looking at Taylor’s passport... seemed to know that he had just arrived.
Taylor stared at the paint on the man’s forehead but said nothing while watching him painstakingly fill out the register and double check the information before turning the book around for him to sign. Taylor signed the register and glanced at the clock that hung on the wall which looked too big for the room; it was 10 minutes to 1 in the morning and taking the key, Taylor climbed the stone staircase to the room on the 2nd floor.
The room was secured by a flimsy padlock and inside looked as though it hadn’t been painted for 10 years. Too tired to give it any more thought other than checking out Taylor dropped his bag by the side of the bed and placed his jacket on the back of a chair (that looked lost without a table) and went to the bathroom. He used the bathroom and couldn’t imagine using it again and as he undressed and went to sleep the mosquitoes started work. Taylor drifted into slumber and the mosquitoes were delighted and spared no efforts in welcoming a new guest in their home and whispered in Taylor’s ear until beyond the dawn. Finally, with their bellies full of Taylor’s blood they flew to shadiest corner of the room to wait for their next meal. Taylor’s sleep started at that point and when he woke up he found himself in the complete darkness of a room without a window. The only sign of light came from under the bathroom door (where the bulb was still burning) which was rotten with water damage. It didn’t feel very homely somehow.