We received the first sign checking into the Hotel Perez Rosales. Bellboys immediately descended, stripping the dusty packs from our backs and whisking them off to our room. There we found a whole world of forgotten pleasures: toilet paper, clean sheets, white towels, hot showers and — God forbid — cable TV. A regular den of sin.
From there it was off to the dining room, where we were indoctrinated into the routine of appetizers and cocktails, steaks and salads, wine and desserts. A small change from our previous diet of polenta, rice, rice and polenta, and tuna. How quickly those callouses turn to flab.
All that's come to an end now. All too briefly our parents' visit has come and gone. Already the skies were clouding as they boarded the plane. The promise of rain sat on the horizon. We had missed lunch. Our world was falling apart.