Hot Spot

PRINCELY DIGS I knew I was going to like the Souvannaphoum Hotel as soon as the rumpled bellboy showed me into its best suite and began pointing out its features. "There's no television," I said, as my eyes adjusted to the crepuscular gloom. "Correct, sir," he replied, beaming. Then he bid me a pleasant stay and turned on his heel, with nary a hint of the smarmy loitering or obsequious entreaties that generally accompany the importuning of tips in expensive hotels.

I had experienced a brief flash of irritation, thinking that for $80 a night, one might reasonably expect a television. But...

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