The initial signs were not good: as the manager led me in to the hotel he didn’t feel it necessary to comment on the unconscious figure sprawled in the lobby. Checking to see if the first room was available we obviously disrupted a prostitute and her client, judging by the noises coming from within but the next room with a dusty motorcycle parked outside in the corridor was deemed suitable.
I was welcomed by the death throes of cockroach in the doorway, which surprising as it may seem can be a good sign, in that it can indicate that they have sprayed the place and the chemicals are doing their work. Alas this was not to the case as I had to kill three more of his oversized friends in the next few minutes. The room’s ceiling was, like in the rest of the building a fine tableau of brown stains and paint peeled from the crumbling walls. The edge of the door was black with years of accumulated hand goo.
The shower enclosure, unencumbered by plumbing did have a bucket but the walls had an almost uninterrupted layer of dark green mould and the outflow through the wall provided an ideal transit route for any wildlife up to the size of a cat to get in from the sewage filled ditch outside.
The dangling wires that passed for an electrical system made it clear that nothing had flowed through them in years.
The single toilet facility was at the far end of a yard decorated with rubble and a generous portion of varied rubbish. Being open onto the street it was also home to a number of dubious drunkards who didn’t feel it was worth the effort of hiking all the way to the toilet, as the side wall of the hotel was far more preferable. Returning to my room I passed a charming young lady who said, “bonsoir”, the used condom at her feet ample evidence to her profession. Eyes down I mumbled a response and kept walking.
So, if you happen to be in Macenta near the Liberian border in Guinea you may want to opt for something other than Hotel Le Magnetic, despite its bargain rate of $4.50 per night, hourly rates also available.