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[at-l] Mr. Patel's Motel

This is definitely trail related because I've stayed in many motels along the AT and the FT that were Indian-owned.  If fact, if we go in and the office smells like curry, I know it's gonna be cheap enough for us to stay there.

Somewhere I read (so long ago the details are very hazy) that one of the African countries taken over by a dictator in the 70's or so had a large merchant class of Indian/Pakistani immigrants.  The dictator kicked them out of the country.  They had some modest accumulated wealth and looked around for businesses to buy and run in a more receptive country.  The business needed to be one that would give emmployment to many family members the Indians/Pakistani's wanted to be able to help to get out of said country (or their home country).

At the same time the big chain motels and interstates were driving the old Mom & Pop motels out of business.  And some chain motels weren't profitable enough for the large corporations, so they were on the market too.  The Indians/Pakistani's bought up the motels as a solution to their problem.  You'll note that most of the small ones are family businesses with everyone chipping in on the maid service, office, laundry, lawn work, etc.  Most of the time the family lives on site.

Now will someone explain why the owner's last name is almost always Patel?  Is Patel like Smith?

Joan--who really likes Indian food