Since I did not know until fairly soon before the Feast of Tabernacles that I would be spending two days more in Suriname than I had originally planned, my options were somewhat limited, and I decide to get a hotel room in town through Expedia.com and sign up for a tour through the slaveowning area. Unfortunately, at least as I have seen it so far the would-be tour guides have never replied to my query, which means I have a rather dull (but hopefully peaceful) day planned for tomorrow. At any rate, my being able to check in to the hotel was a bit more dramatic than I had originally planned it to be, and that is a story well worth telling, as it is sort of the inverse of a previous festival experience my family had when we were in Guatemala .
After breakfast and spending a bit of time online, I got my belongings and got in the car of one of our local members who has a great deal of knowledge of how to get through traffic quickly. We made a couple of stops for various ingredients and then it was time for us to reach the hotel so that I could check in. I thought this was likely to be a quick process. It wasn’t. First I went to the hotel, which is opened and operated by a friendly Indian fellow (whose daughter, I later found out, is a student at USF studying pre-med). When attempting to pay the bill for the hotel with my debit card, there was a communications error. We then went to a nearby bank recommended by the hotelier and in both the outside and inside ATM there was the same communications error when attempting to withdraw money for my expenditures these couple of days. The bank we went to recommended another bank and it just so happened that this bank worked and I was able to get the money I needed for the rest of my time here. The country prefers Mastercard for reasons I don’t understand, but it was nice there was at least one place where I could use my Visa debit card, even if the local internet service provider has been a bit dilatory in replacing its lines around the capital.
Other than that, this hotel is not particularly interesting. There is some television, where I watched some Spanish-language music videos, and the restaurant itself had tasty foods that weren’t too expensive. By the time I ate I had a pretty healthy appetite, after all, and was pretty thirsty as well. The hotelier and some of the guests were friendly. One of the guests had moved to Suriname from Guyana and claimed to love this country and not like Guyana so much. There was a mix of clientele that included Indo-Surinamese and local Creoles. People were generally interested in what I did in life and how I enjoyed Suriname and if it was my first time here and that sort of thing, the sort of information one would expect as a traveling tourist of a friendly kind as I am. It would be exciting, of course, if travel was always interesting, but sometimes there are relatively quiet days like this one where the only notable action is the sort of frustration that comes from only being able to use the internet in the restaurant area and not even being able to use it all the time there. Such are scenes from an Indian restaurant, even if they are not as exciting as the songs on listens to from Billy Joel .
It is perhaps worthwhile to briefly examine why it is that a restaurant makes a good idea to organize one’s thoughts in the first place. Restaurants are one of those places where people go to conduct business of one kind or another. Sometimes people go there to discuss matters of business with others. Sometimes people use the place as a location to eat food away from home or to spend time with family or friends or loved ones. There are often conversations to be found in restaurants, where each person or group of people is more or less alone despite being in public. For someone like myself, restaurant experiences are not often exciting, since I am alone with a computer or some books, and otherwise have very little to report of, except when things don’t work out, at which point it becomes difficult to report on anything at all.
 See, for example:
 After all, it was the somewhat obscure Billy Joel song “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” that I referred to with the title of this blog entry, and that song actually did have some pretty exciting scenes, forming a nice organizing concept for the entire song, and one that was a great deal more compelling than efforts like “Allison’s Restaurant” and “Tom’s Diner,” both of which also use the idea of a local restaurant or eatery as an organizing concept for a song.