Most people would not choose to go back to El Paso. It’s not that the place is a dump, exactly, but unless you’re really into Mexican border towns there isn’t going to be a lot for you there. I was here in February for the Left Coast Crime conference and, while I had a good time, I didn’t exactly fall in love with the place. But they had an item in the silent auction, two nights in the very nice hotel (the Camino Real) where the conference was held and the bidding only got up to a hundred dollars. So I got it, after all it was on my way and there’s nothing wrong with a nice hotel for fifty dollars a night (I am so stealing the toiletries). I didn’t do anything interesting today- went to the mall, took a bath, read a book- but it was good. For once, I didn’t feel like a tourist, just a person running her errands, and I actually found El Paso kind of interesting. It’s a place where the Anglo and Mexican cultures blur together, not in some cute UNESCO kind of way, but really and practically. Everyone seems to be bilingual, sometimes within the same sentence (at lunch I had fun eavesdropping on the next table over; a father was complaining about the special treatment other children in his daughter’s class were getting, moving seamlessly between Spanish and English as he talked). Tomorrow I start driving (and driving, and driving) across Texas, so I think a day off was something I needed.