Sitting Room

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Motels in Foz do Iguaçu

Is there a little price war here? Photos show the cheap end of motels.

Motel – Love Hotel. A motel in Brazil is not a roadside cheap hotel. It is a legal tax-paying business establishment with duties and rights, normally secluded, well hidden, surrounded by gardens, offering apartments for couples who need a quiet place to make love. It is not a whorehouse. Husbands take their wives to motels when they want to please them or celebrate something. A motel apartment is charged by the hour and the good ones offer double rooms with round beds, mirrored ceiling, different kinds of lighting, music, jacuzzis, pools, drinks, breakfast, lunch and even souvenirs. It is also a place where many a married man will take their girlfriends, married women will take their lovers and sometimes, accidentally, couples meet there – than normally there is a scene but you know how it is, it is all part of modern living. There are all kinds of motels, though. Some are so bad that they are used simply as “matadouro” a word that means “slaughterhouse” – because people bring their victims just to kill and eat – I am not speakng litterally, you know what I mean. Another word, even though we have special places for love-making, isn’t that, cute? – it does not mean that Brazil is a sex paradise, a democracy, heaven on earth. As of lately Brazilians have been forced to adapt to laws that tend to change deep-rooted behaviors. One of them is the infant, adolescent, minor sexual exploitation. Brazil is a party to international protocols and conventions against human trafficking and exploitation. So being caught with a person under 18 in a motel, bar, beach is a very bad idea. Unfortunately I have to say that if you are a foreign-born person, the situation may be worse. It is because, even though illegally, nationalism may feel invited to get on the bandwagon and may add ideas like: this is Brazil, you come from I-don’t-know-where and think that you can just go about doing anything you want. There is always a judge, a policeman, a delegado, ready to go for your neck and use you as a proof that someone is working. Same for drugs! So be careful!

Going back to motels and the like, in the case of Foz do Iguaçu we may even talk about a Motel Avenue or a Motel district in town – which is located at Avenida Costa e Silva – not far from the Rodoviária. Two things: Costa e Silva is ironically the name of a former Brazilian Military strong man and ex-president – good for him! Second don’t show up at a motel reception alone. That is bad for your reputation! OK?

Never beat a woman: if you beat a woman – yours or somebody else’s, or a woman of her own, Brazilian or Nepalese, no matter, in the way that you would beat or hit a man, blindly, no sex consideration you would be in trouble. In trouble with the Brazilian Penal Code, Criminal Code to be judged locally in the state aparatus which means you would be an offender treated locally etc. You might be taken to the local Police Station, talk to the local delegado, be put in a normal local jail built originally to accomodate 10 people – but now having an excess of 150, 200 people. You might be raped there so that you learn not be a macho (in Brazil there is no rape for man – it is an “atentado violento ao pudor” which roughly means a “Violent attack to one’s shame, modesty, reserve” (that is a preciosity), you know, so people may disturb your shame or perturb your “reserve” whilw waiting to see te Judge. That is bad but that is local.

On the other hand if you delibaretaly hit or beat a woman because she is a woman, because of her gender or because you are taking advantage of the gender differences – like I am going to teach you a lesson about a woman’s place and so on, then you are in very deep sh... sorry, trouble. That is a federal crime (Maria da Penha Law) and depending on the situation you might be charged of something very close to terrorism. I say this because – I have seen men from the “civilized world” beating wives, children in hotels down here – so it happens. And so be careful and forget gender differences we are just one people.

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