After struggling with the language barrier for a while, I finally broke through and got a room on the forth floor of a mid-range hotel near the Monterey bus station. $210 pesos ($1USD == $9peso) gone, I walked up the stairs to the second floor. Very clean, recently refurbished. Lookin' good. Level three looks the same. However, as I make it to the fourth floor, it looks like they ran out of renovation money. The stair is cracked cement with dingy corners, the lights hang out of the bare ceiling without finishing, and the entire place looks like a vacant floor -- and it would be, were it not for my room being there. So I walked amongst the crack-house looking place, half of the lights broken, the tiles chipped, the walls peeling, to my room. I slip the key in and turn... no effect. I turn the other way, same deal. Hm... I have a bit of experience with tricky locks as only someone with an inordinate amount of training can enter the house in San Jose in which I lived for two years. So, I pulled on the door a bit, slid the key 90% into the socket, wiggled right then left. The bolt slid, the door opened. I was in.
The room itself was much better than the hallway -- they did the smart thing and put the money where it was most needed. Not that the room was that nice, but at least it was reasonably clean, had white sheets, and looked somewhat reminicient of a hotel room. Of course, the toilet had no seat and the windows were broken but hey, you can't get everything.
Oh, the picture is what I saw out of my room's window: Mexico has an amazing variety of fruit and juice stands, this being just one of a hundred within throwing range.