You’ve just driven into Standardstown. It’s getting late and you need a place to stay. Your GPS navigation system has five listings under “accommodations”, with the following descriptions:
This campground provides well-equipped tents (free wi-fi throughout the camp). It has the most developed community feeling of all nearby accommodations. Every evening residents gather around a bonfire and the camp elders sing cryptic songs. At the end, the elders nod in approval of the moral of the song. Most campers don’t understand the lyrics but they like the melody. There is a recurring argument about how much soap the campground management should provide to guests. Old timers want to do away with this practice, but management is afraid that business travelers won’t patronize the camp if they are not provided with plenty of soap. The camp is located along a river, downstream from a large factory. When stuff floats down from the factory and lands on the shore of the camp, they call it a submission and thank for factory. So far, the attempts to build a clubhouse from the factory rubbish has mainly created eyesores.
OASIS housing development
This housing development is an option for accommodation because its management will give a plot of land to almost anyone who asks. More specifically, there needs to be at least three of you in the car. If you’re on your own, a common trick is to go pick up the village drunk (offer him a drink) and the village idiot (tell him you want his advice). They can usually be found on the main plaza, arguing about the requirements of imaginary users. Once you have your plot of land, the OASIS management maintains electric power, water and sewer but you can do pretty much what you want otherwise. If you just need temporary housing, you can just pitch a tent. As a result of this approach, there are several houses abandoned half-way through construction. This can make it hard to find your way to the house you are looking for. Residents typically don’t know anything about what’s going on in the house next door. You’ll find nice families living next to a crack house.
This motel is hard to find because it hides behind high walls. Even once you’re inside, there are segregated areas. Chances are your room card will give you access to the pool deck but not the clubhouse. Make a mental note of the way to the emergency exits, because there is no evacuation map on the wall (the map exists, but it’s considered confidential). We’ve heard that the best suites have a special door for direct access to the management office. After you leave, you can’t tell your friends what happened there. This review itself probably breaks some confidentiality rule.
This time-share resort is the newest development in town. By the time it got built, all the good land was taken so they had to build on land fragments leased from other hotels. The facilities are new and nice, but the owners association is dysfunctional. We’ve been told the feud started when a co-owner tried to organize a private mime show on shared land. Whatever the origin of the disagreement it has resulted in veto rules being commonly invoked, stopping most of the activities that the resort was originally planning to offer. But it remains a good option if you just need a place to sleep. The resort marketing has been pretty efficient: before doing business with you, many local companies will demand to see a receipt to show that you slept there.
Just getting a reservation there is a month-long process, so this is not an option if you’re already in town. Unfortunately, if you plan to do business with the local government you are expected to patronize this hotel. If that’s your case, the solution is to sleep in one of the other places in town and just go to this hotel for breakfast. Once there, order their breakfast special (called the “fast-track ruber stamp” which, unfortunately, tastes as bad as it sounds) and staple the breakfast receipt to your hotel bill. That should satisfy the city hall staff that they can do business with you.