Yep, you’re right that this is not the place where you would take your mistress for some extra-marital hanky panky. It’s more like the place where a career criminal or some other noir anti-hero on the run would hole up for a short while. If F1 accept cash payment, that is. I spent two nights in the one outside Strasbourg this summer, once going south and then going back to Scandinavia, and it certainly struck me as the kind of place where shady characters would hole up and whatnot. The anonymity is definitely there. Someone should definitely write a novel.
Weird thing was that while you might think that the border control between Germany and France has been totally abolished by now, it really has not. While me and my friend were approaching Strasbourg from the German side at around 10 p.m. we were stopped at some insignificant countryside roundabout by two French customs officers with inspector Closeau accents. Dialogue as follows:
- Do you have any hashish or LSD?
- OK, then.
And that was it! Really! Ah, border patrol! While going the other way a week later we just drove through an obviously abandoned customs checkpoint. We might as well have passed the border without even noticing. I really haven’t figured out modern Europe yet. There is a modern Euro noir/HB novel to be written somewhere, somehow. Just a thought.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of Steve Novak
Sent: den 16 juli 2009 23:05
Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:Motel noir...
I stayed in one near the Orly airport a bunch of years ago and it was
exactly as you describe it...cheap, yet clean and cold (I’m talking about
the look), functional...but not funky/trashy/dirty in any way...but I’m sure
something can be arranged...They don’t look like motels, at least the French
ones I have seen, more like a 20 story block of concrete...
I give you some info found on the net below and you can also check the wicki
which explains that there are F1 hotels across the globe from Brazil to
Japan, from Oz to Africa... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Formule_1
For some reason I think that French F1champion Alain Prost was involved in
this at the start...maybe as a personality for ads...???
For some other reason I think one of the French crime writers talks about it
in one or two novels, maybe Manchette...?...Maybe Lebrun...I can’t remember.
On 7/16/09 3:32 PM, "Anders Engwall" <firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:anders.engwall%40comhem.se> > wrote:
> By almost Woolrichian coincidence I just finished "Badge of Evil" - or at
> least the Swedish translation thereof. Nope, the creepy motel scene from the
> movie is not in the novel. The only motel in the novel is very peripheral
> and only serves as the alibi for the initial suspects that makes the
> assistant D.A. suspect that these two veteran homicide detectives are
> somewhat suspect themselves. Great great novel, but Welles nevertheless
> managed to improve on it.
> Not really motels, but are any of our French contributors familiar with the
> French hotel chain F1? Seems to me they could serve as setting for some
> interesting literature of the RARA-AVIAN kind. Ultra cheap, only providing
> the most basic of accommodations, catering mainly to truck drivers or people
> only interested in an overnight stay, and usually located in some run down
> industrial outskirt of town.
> There is a national chain of hotels in France (373 of them) called Formule 1
> that aims to provide you with "a good sleep" in a "pleasant and practical
> room". The Formula 1 hotel rooms are very modern and are designed in a clever
> way that maximizes the use of space. There is therefore room for a double bed
> with a bunk over, a washbasin and mirror, and a corner table. Other facilities
> that they provide include an alarm clock (essential for those of you
> travelling on business) and a television which has all the national channels,
> plus Canal + and Sports +. In close proximity to the room is a
> generously-proportioned shower area and WC. Due to some legislation set in
> 1980, Formule 1 hotel rooms can only accommodate up to three people.
> To book directly visit their website - www.hotelformule1.com
> As well as providing comfortable accommodation, Formula 1 hotels in France
> furnish their guests with a decent breakfast to help them kick start the day.
> The breakfast takes the form of an 'all you can eat' buffet and comprises
> orange juice, tea, coffee or hot chocolate, freshly-baked bread, a selection
> of jams, and butter. Breakfast is served on weekdays from 6.30 to 9.30, and
> from 7.30 to 10.30 on weekends and public holidays (jours de congés). The
> price of breakfast is very reasonable and costs less than €4. The hotelFormule
> 1 chain has also got a deal where you can dine out in the local area, in one
> of a selected group of other hotels and restaurants, and you get a starter,
> main dish and dessert for under ten euros.
> Another advantage of the Formule 1 hotels in France is that you can pre-pay
> for your room on credit card and then use the 24-hour automatic check-in so
> you can arrive any time and book in as long as you have the credit card with
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