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in search of a golden treadmill

Muriam and I hit the Sheraton yesterday looking for a gym for the month, something accessible and well-equipped that won't limit the days or hours she can go (my aerobics class was a little outside the city limits, and only two days a week).

The Oran Sheraton is a stupidly nice building - all glass, in a city of concrete buildings, and about twice as many stories as the second tallest building here. It's up on a hill, sort of isolated, with concrete security walls (and security guards who stop and examine all vehicles approaching the compound) separating the super-elite luxuriousness of the hotel and conference center from the rest of the city. It's known for its prohibitively priced rooms, and for a ritzy nightclub frequented on weekends by rich Oranais. And it's the only place in the city I've seen that has a bellhop dressed up as a desert-arabian-ali baba character: gold-embroidered pantaloons and vest and little cap (Morocco has lots of these, because Morocco has tourists who want to see this kind of thing. Algeria doesn't do tourists. Or at least it doesn't dress up for them).

It also has a gym. We think. We didn't see the gym - we saw the gym reception area, club-med fancy and smelling slightly of mineral baths. And we saw the price of membership: 30,000 Algerian Dinars, or a little over $400. For a month. We laughed this off over some overpriced coffee in the lobby and then asked the bellhop to hail us a cab downtown. And we didn't look back.

So yes, Sheraton Oran. Not a fan.


Celine Dion?


Need more blog posts!

Nora, more posting!

February 2007

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