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

Recruitment Genius: Management Trainer

£30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Exciting career opportunity to join East...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Scientist / Research Assistant

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious start-up company b...

Reach Volunteering: Chair of Trustees

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Do you love the Engl...

Day In a Page

Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

The last Christians in Iraq

After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

Britain braced for Black Friday
Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

From America's dad to date-rape drugs

Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

Flogging vlogging

First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

US channels wage comedy star wars
When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

Look what's mushrooming now!

Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

Oeuf quake

Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin