My Week: Jorge Silva, hotelier in Mexico City

As the number of swine flu cases rises, a hotelier in Mexico City describes how he and his guests have been coping in this rapidly emptying capital


Monday


I wake up, have some coffee and go to the office in my small hotel that I run in Colonia Condesa in Mexico City. I receive a lot of emails with concerns about the swine flu and people cancelling their trips. I tell them that I understand the situation and we are happy to refund their deposits.

We have about 25 guests staying. As all the restaurants are closed, including ours, we allow the guests to bring back food from the supermarket and cook the food in our restaurant's kitchen. We try to make all the guests feel welcome and comfortable. We play music and games and we all have a drink. Some of the guests put on masks when they leave the hotel but we're certainly not wearing them here. A lot of our guests' flights are being cancelled.

Tuesday

I go to the market and buy all the flowers, fruit and meat for the house. The city is a lot quieter: there's less traffic, fewer people on the streets. My friends come over after work and we order pizza, open a bottle of wine and all chat and entertain the guests. We talk about the flu virus; it's affected everyone's lives but everyone is very cool about it. No one feels in danger. Despite living in Mexico City I don't know anyone who has actually got the flu, so I don't feel worried about it.



Wednesday

I serve breakfast to all the guests. I haven't changed my routine. The only thing is every day we get less and less busy. I'm a bit worried about business. Last week we were in the process of hiring a manager, but I wondered if I should wait. I hire him anyway; it's a good time to reorganise the hotel and it's so quiet he can learn how to run the place. We will be ready to go when people come back to Mexico. As everything is closed, people are spending more time at the hotel so we have to entertain our guests. The precautions the government has taken is creating a little paranoia. Of course the government would rather do too much than too little, but sometimes I feel that closing the museums and restaurants is definitely scaring people. The tourists are disappointed too.



Thursday

We only have three guests left now. I have to tell the cleaning lady that as we're getting so few customers she should take some time off and see what happens. We cook a pasta dinner for the final guests and we have some wine and a chat.



Friday

I wake up early and watch the news to see what's going on but it's pretty much the same. My last three guests leave today. The new manager is starting so I show him the ropes. We think we might throw a party tomorrow night as the place will be empty. Besides, there's nowhere to go – everything's been closed down. I think it will take a couple of months to get tourists coming back to Mexico. But I'm not worried about the situation; it will all be over soon.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - Bristol - £350 - £400 per ...

HR Manager - HR Generalist / Sole in HR

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - HR Generalis...

Business Analyst - Banking - London - £350-£400

£350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Banking - People Change - Lond...

HR Manager - Milton Keynes - £50,000 + package

£48000 - £50000 per annum + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Shared...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment