Call a jack a jack. Call a spade a spade. But always call a whore a lady.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

It was a long stretch from Cochbalms to Santa Cruz. 


It was dark long before I had made it into town. I had the address of the hostel and a photo of a map of town printed out. I knew that finding the hostel would be difficult. When I caught a large neon light that read "motel," I didn't think twice about heading down the small lane on the outskirts of town. 


I pulled into what looked to be a crappy highway single story hotel-- the kind you see on the american slasher videos. I pulled up the front security/reception stall. The girl looked at me up and down like I was truly an alien. I was tired, covered in mud, bugs and who knows what else, so I wasn't too surprised. Using my limited Spanish, I picked up that she kept asking for how many hours I wanted the room. Thinking it must cater for the truckies that work strange hours, I said ten (much to her surprise) then paid $20 and started to look around while she radioed a few people. I thought $20 was pretty steep for such a shitty hotel in Bolivia, but whatever, I was tired and just needed to crash. 


She pointed me towards my room. I was midway through unloading the bike when I noticed that the staff carrying the linen to the rooms were dressed like hookers. A washed up hooker was now walking towards me. 


The trucks parked in the yard, the surprise at the 10-hour time request, the attractive front desk girl and the staff member beckoning me towards the room all made sense.  I had booked in and paid for 10 hours at brothel.


I wish I had handled the situation better. I wish I had a more rock and roll story to go with it. I wish that instead of undertaking services paid for, we had spent the night practicing Spanish or playing cards. Sharing stories and chatting to a prostitute wouldn't be such a bad outcome. Given the rate of rather serious STDs (the kind that don't go away after a course of antibiotics), I had no intention of further goods.. I shook my head at my stupidity loaded my bike and rode off. The girl had a strange look on her face -- almost anger --as I rode out $20 poorer. I just hope she still got paid.