09 October 2008

Dialog - The Hotel

In our last dialog “The Road Trip”, we left our two travelers headed for Monterrey, Nuevo León, hoping that they would find a place to stay because one of them forgot to make reservations. Let's listen in now and see how they are doing:

Te dije que debiste hacer reservaciones antes de salir de viaje. Tu nunca me escuchas. Ahora que hay tantas exposiciones en Monterrey probablemente necesitamos dormir en el coche. Ya fuimos a seis hoteles buscando habitaciones y todos están llenos.
I told you that you should make reservations before we left on the trip. You never listen. Now that there are so many conventions in Monterrey we will probably need to sleep in the car. We already went to six hotels looking for rooms and they are all full.

¡Relájate amigo! Despreocúpate. Tengo todo bajo control. Vamos al hotel que mencionó el gasolinero que nos dijo que su cuñado es el gerente. Está muy cerca. Mira, ya llegamos.
Relax, pal. Stop worrying. I have everything under control. Let's go to the hotel that the gas station attendant mentioned where his brother-in-law is the manager. It is very close by. Look, we are already here.

¡Oye! A mi no parece bien ese hotel. Es feo y el barrio no me gusta. ¿Como sabemos que no es peligroso?
Hey! This hotel doesn't look good to me. It is ugly and I don't like the neighborhood. How do we know that it isn't dangerous?

Es solo para una noche. No pasa nada. Vamos adentro y ver si hay unas habitaciones.
It's only for one night. Nothing is going to happen. Let's go inside and see if there are any vacant rooms.

Bueno, pero no me gusta.
Okay, but I don't like it.

(Ellos bajaron del coche y entraron el hotel con precaución.)
(They get out of the car and enter the hotel with caution.)

Buenas tardes.
Good afternoon.

Buenas tardes, caballeros. ¿En qué puedo servirles?
Good afternoon gentlemen. How may I help you?

¿Hay habitaciones disponibles? Queremos dos habitaciones sencillas.
Are there rooms available. We want two singles.

Si señor, hay dos disponibles.
Yes sir, there are two vacancies.

¿Cuánto cuesta cada habitación?
How much does each room cost?

¿Quieren ustedes habitaciones por horas o por toda la noche?
Do you want the rooms by the hour or for the entire night?

Por toda la noche ¡por supuesto!
For the entire night of course!

Cientoveinte pesos señor.
One hundred twenty pesos sir.

¿Incluye desayuno?
Does it include breakfast?

No, señor, solo incluye un baño en cada habitación. Nada más.
No sir, it only includes a private bath in each room. Nothing else.

Nos permite ver los cuartos.
Can you let us see the rooms?

Si, cómo no. Primer piso los dos cuartos a la derecha el 101 y 103. Aquí están las llaves.
Sure, why not. First floor, the two rooms to the right number 101 and 103. Here are the keys.

(Los viajeros subieron las escaleras ante el asombro de ver tantos huéspedes subir y bajar en compañía de algunas chicas.)
The travellers climb the stairs and are surprised to find so many guests going up and down accompanied by young ladies.

Oye mi amigo, hay mucho tráfico aquí ¿ no?
Listen my friend, there's a lot of activity here isn't there?

Ya vez, no es para tanto. Aparentemente el hotel es muy popular.
You see, it's not so bad. Aparently this hotel is very popular.

¿Qué te parece la habitación?
What do you think of the room?

Es muy sencilla pero por lo menos está limpia y no tenemos otra opción.
It is very plain but at least it is clean and we don't have another option.

Bueno, vamos a pagar la noche, y a ver que pasa.
Okay, let's pay for the night and see what happens.

Note: Some additional comments:

¡Oye! A mi no parece bien ese hotel. Es feo y el barrio no me gusta. - The reason that the hotel looked ugly and was in a bad neighborhood is because our two innocent travelers stumbled upon a “hotel de paso” which we might call in English a “no-tell motel”. In other words, it is a hotel that rents rooms by the hour to men and their escorts for “amorous encounters”. That is why the clerk asked them if they wanted rooms by the hour or for the entire night.

Primer piso los dos cuartos a la derecha el 101 y 103. - In Mexico the ground floor is called the “planta baja” and is even labeled in elevators with the letters PB. The “first floor” is the floor directly above the “planta baja” and is what we might call the “second floor” in English.

Los viajeros subieron las escaleras ante el asombro de ver – The phrase “ante el asombro de ver” generally carries the meaning “surprised to find” or “amazed to see”. Our innocents were happy to see that the hotel was popular but they didn't realize why. Perhaps they thought it was because of the room rate is pretty cheap by any standards, especially for Monterrey.

Note the twin peaks of Cerro de la Silla in the photo below. This mountain is a famous symbol of Monterrey.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.