Hostel Life Part 1
Hostel Life Part 1: Excuse me Sir, You Left Your Drugs on the Table
Have you ever wondered what it’s like living in a backpackers’ hostel? I never did, but somehow I ended up living in one, and now, in a series of weekly journal posts, I’m going to tell you exactly how it is.
Every day of hostel life brings new surprises. Last night, when I went upstairs to get ready for bed, there was a man snoring on the kitchen floor. He seemed to be in pretty good health. His granddad cap hadn’t even fallen off his head when he had keeled over off of the pink plastic kitchen chair, but I felt like something should be done. The man had been in the process of rolling a joint when he passed out, and there was a giant bag of weed on the table. My biggest worry was that someone might take it while he was sleeping, and he would go on a big rampage in the morning trying to find the drug thief. Then I thought about taking it myself, but I don’t smoke weed so there wasn’t much point—unless I would sell it of course, but I’ve smoked weed so little in my life that I don’t even know how much it’s supposed to cost. Anyway, having an unconscious man and a bag of drugs in the kitchen could reflect badly on us as an establishment. We wouldn’t want anyone writing about this on Tripadvisor so I decided to wake the man up.
Literally waking the man up was easy enough, but he wasn’t showing much signs of moving until I told him he had left his drugs on the table. At the word “drugs”, he opened his eyes, sat half upright and said “And you are?!” I guess he was worried I was some kind of authority or something (which I am, a bit, seeing as I sort of work at the hostel in a very informal way). I didn’t want to confuse him with the truth though, so I just said “I’m staying here”, which is true as well. With a spectacular lack of coordination, he got up off the floor and sat back down on the plastic chair. Wanting to help him get to his room, I foolishly asked “Can I give you a hand?” which he found to be an amusing sexual double entendre, and although he would have taken me up on my unintended offer, he declined my support in moving himself. “As you were”, he said. I explained I had been on my way to the bathroom, and although he had apparently been heading there too, he said I should go first, being a lady, so I did. When I came out of the bathroom, he was gone. To bed, hopefully. I didn’t see him the next day.
During the summer, the hostel was full of international backpackers, vacationing Canadians, and random nomadic males. Now it’s fall and the first two groups have trailed off to almost zero in number while the third group have become more frequent if anything. Rarely do we get random nomadic females, although there have been a handful over the months I’ve been here, and I am one myself, so I can verify we do exist. Having said that, I’ve been here a long time, so I don’t know if I’m still considered nomadic any more. Is there a time limit for staying in one place before you get disqualified from nomadism?
There are currently four random nomadic males at the hostel, including the kitchen floor sleeper. One is a grumpy old man who keeps himself to himself. Another is a very pleasant guy who recently asked me out for dinner once. I had to give him a lame excuse about that being a nice thought and maybe another day, then avoided him. The fourth is a frequent returner who sometimes fails to pay for his room, and always fails to realize when I would rather write my emails than listen to him talk about himself for hours. I am considering posting hostel rules for conversation on the wall, as follows:
Hostel Rules for Conversation
This is a backpackers’ hostel. Friendliness is the convention here. Smalltalk is encouraged, but not compulsory. If another guest is using a computer or handheld device, do not initiate conversation with them which has no immediate practical purpose. If another guest does not appear to be listening to you for longer than one minute, do not persist in talking to them. Signs of not listening include failure to make eye contact, and making no verbal response other than “mm”. If you require further guidance on this matter, please ask a member of staff google it.
Or, I might just learn to ask people to shut up.