Sofia, The Hunchback of Lucerne

“Oh, do not worry!” Sofia, the owner of the hotel said, as my friend Aaron and I stepped into her elevator without a door. I reached out and skimmed the interior facade of the building with my hands as we rode upwards. Aaron joked out loud that this elevator would never fly for American hotel safety standards. “Never!” Sofia agreed, throwing us a devilish smile.

The first thing I noticed about Sofia — she was an elderly hunchback. The second thing was how her face lit up with superhuman glee whenever she described things she owned. She had a taste for the odd and unordinary…