So I recently went to Ljubljana, on my first-ever solo trip. I had a challenging but beautiful weekend, with one good story: my hostel roommate. In my four-bed dorm, the only other person (on the bottom bunk to my top bunk, as it were) was an older European gentleman. How old, you ask? Well, I answer… I have no idea. I’m terrible at telling ages. I’ve best described it as, “If we were dating, he’s the older than me that people would say ‘Whooaaa,’ but not SO old that they would be like ‘WHOAAA!” Make sense?
On the second night, I come bustling in at 9.45 and Grandpa is already asleep. I am initially psyched that he is asleep because a) I feel SO COOL being the last one (of two) in the hostel room, and b) now I can go to bed and not worry about when he is going to roll in and wake me up!
…And then I realize. My locker is a lockable drawer on the bottom of the bunk. All of my clothes and toiletries are in it. And the drawer is DIRECTLY – and I mean DIRECTLY, like three inches – below his sleeping head. If I were to crouch down at the drawer and slightly lean forward on the balls of my feet, we would be making out.
Next image: I’m awkwardly two feet away from my drawer, stretching my arm out and rummaging through blindly, just to avoid the awkward moment of him waking up to find my wonderful face literally three inches from his eyeballs. Thank you and goodnight.
This experience brought to mind some of my more interesting hostelmates throughout the years. And now, a compendium of some of the delights:
The Super Snorer: Oh, this one is commonplace but just fantastic. In the first hostel experience I share with Jenny and Molly, we discover that one of our roommates in Brussels was a strange recluse who spent the ENTIRE day on his bed looking at his phone, and the ENTIRE night snoring loudly. Come on, dude. If you know you’re a snorer, get a single room.
|My delightful traveling partners|
The Weird Couple: At our next hostel in Bruges, J, M, and I had three beds in a four bed hostel. We’re giggling away about something when our roommate comes in with his girlfriend. They are incredibly affronted to realize that they have apparently been put in two separate rooms and keep staring at us for an explanation. Sorry, dudes. There’s one twin bed left. Looks like you’re gonna have to keep it separate for a night since you get to bunk with the three best people you’ve ever met.
When we returned from dinner, it was to discover that he had constructed a little fort around his bed, where he and his girlfriend were sharing a twin bed… in the same room as three other girls. Uhhh whatever dude. Looks like you and your girlfriend BOTH get to enjoy the story about the time Molly lost all her teeth.
The Storer: Someone in Munich stored cheese in her locker. Overnight. That’s all, but isn’t it enough?
The Overly Familiar French Lady: The coup de grace of my strange hostel experiences. J, M, and I were at a hostel in Lyon with one of the least pleasant people on the planet. She was a weirdly old snorer who STILL insisted on staying in a hostel room, went to bed at 8.30pm and got VERY angry when others came in later (seriously – she pulled me aside in the common room to demand to know our schedule because we were being too noisy when we came in at 9.30 and, for some reason, needed the lights on), and was the NOISIEST PERSON in the morning. You know the type. OH and she also accused us of spilling liquid on her sweater. The scene: the window is open on a windy April day. A cup was on the windowsill. Her sweater was directly below that. What do YOU think happened? Yeah.
We finally prepare to roll out of town; after my morning ablutions, I swing by the room to pick up my bag, and she is standing there. Directly in the doorway. I politely try to slip past her, but she grabs my shoulder and says menacingly, ‘Ca va?’ in a very low, almost growling voice. (Now, she really just said it normally, but my friends and I have exaggerated the story so much in the succeeding days that it’s like the devil himself saying it.) I weakly smile in response, but she’s not done. She reaches over and kisses my cheek. I meekly accept it …. but she’s not done. She’s still holding on to me while she exposes her cheek to me and pats it, making it quite clear what she wants (even though I am not that kind of girl). I see no recourse but to kiss her back. It got weird.
Unfortunately for her, I had just rinsed my mouth so my chin was really wet. That’s what you get, lady.*
Lord only knows what kind of people I will come up against in Asia… at least it’s good blog fodder, eh?
|The man’s fort in Bruges, the construction of which upset
Molly very much. You can’t make this stuff up.
*Yep, I stole this almost verbatim from my old blog. I just described it so amusingly the first time around!