Odyssey 2006 Day 5 1/2

September 9th, 2006

London, Ontario: We’re staying in the best Motel 6 I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m a big fan of the Motel 6; I like that Tom Bodett will always leave the light on for us, I like that they’re simple and sufficient, I like that I can safely assume without doing any research that they will offer the lowest rate. I’ve come to assume that Motel 6’s across the country will have certain commonalities: they all smell the same, the furniture looks like it’s hanging on from a few decades ago, and if there’s a pool it’s outside in the middle of the parking lot surrounded by a chain link fence. But in Canada, the Motel 6’s are different… this one is brand new, and looks like a hotel. It’s well designed, with aesthetics in mind. Our room has a flat-screen TV, a bathtub with interesting architectural features like little benches and an extra-deep tub, and brand new IKEA hangers – real hangers, not the useless ones with no hook at the top – in the closet. And… there’s a real indoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi that actually look inviting! They’re surrounded by tastefully chosen red tile, smell faintly and pleasantly of cleaning chemicals, and offer the promise of privacy and relaxation. There’s a sign on the front desk promising that if I have any kind of problem during my stay, Motel 6 guarantees that they will find a solution within 30 minutes. What could inspire such confidence?

I notice a similar phenomenon after we leave and continue our drive across Ontario; everything is clean, everything is firmly middle-class, everyone looks like they live in the same income bracket. I’ve visited and even lived in Canada in the past, so while this is not intellectually surprising, it still shocks my eyes and some part of my brain to see such an even distribution of wealth.

Entry Filed under: Odyssey

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