Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Back to the Hostels...

So as mentioned before, I was going to write about some of my hostel experiences. My first stay at a hostel was with my friend Bill who was studying abroad with me in Ireland. We were living in Galway (west side of Ireland) and decided to check out Dublin and stay there for a couple of nights (east side of Ireland). I had booked the hostel in advance...at where else? "The Brewery Hostel," immediately next to the Guinness Brewery.

We were a little bit hesitant to try out the whole "sleep in a room with a bunch of foreign strangers" thing, but it was cheap. We checked in, got our bed assignments, and went up to our room. Now...I don't know if anyone else has ever experienced this when entering their room at a Marriott or even a HoJo, but we walked in and saw a guy in his skimpies doing yoga in the middle of the room. To add to the awkwardness of the situation, he met us with a look that said "I hate you" as we unsuccessfully attempted to greet him with smiles and handshakes. I reluctantly left my bag in the room with the mean underwear man and proceeded to drink many pints in the streets of Dublin.

Other hostels that I stayed at, whether it was with my friend Bill or just me flying solo, were really not all that bad. I'm a deep sleeper, so you'd have to be pretty damn loud to wake me up with snoring or drunken stumbling, and people probably hated me for doing just that. One very large, loud, severely drunk group of people in a hostel in Scotland woke me up, but that was because they thought it was hilarious to take pictures of everyone that was sleeping in the room (funny in retrospect...frightening to wake up to). I did meet a lot of cool people in the hostels though, and thankfully never had anything stolen. Amsterdam, for one, was appropriately the most laidback hostel experience.

Ironically, however, the worst hostel experience was on another trip in Dublin. This entire weekend ended up being the weekend from Hell (my bag was stolen in Scotland with passport/camera), but it started off with me nervously looking at my watch constantly as I sat on a bus in traffic, traveling from Galway to Dublin, from where I was to fly to Glasgow, Scotland. The traffic made me late for the flight, so I had to reschedule for the next night and stay in a hostel in Dublin. I decided that with the complications that I would stay in the cheapest hostel in Dublin (I think it was about 10 euros a night...pretty damn cheap).

I fell asleep fine that night, but eventually kept getting woken up by someone coming in and out of the room. It seems he felt it was necessary to talk to himself as he loudly entered and exited the room multiple times ("ok...crazy person Kev...shake it off and go back to sleep") I fell back asleep but eventually awoke to someone sleeping in the top bunk across from me (the crazy guy) who did not think that sliding an object against the metal railing of the bed back and forth was rude. I suppose that he sensed I was looking at him because he held out the object toward me, which I found out was a lighter because he lit it as I quickly closed my eyes and pretended I was still asleep. My heart pounded as he immediately got out of the bed (which I was convinced was so that he could light my mattress on fire) but he left the room. I suppose he felt bad about his rude behavior overnight and decided to give a wake-up call to all 10 of the strangers in the room...except he woke up everyone at 8 am, yelling, "it's 10 AM! check out in an hour!"

Needless to say, I did not come across any underground businesses that trapped hostel-goers and sold them to wealthy people to murder. But then again, I never did travel to eastern Europe...

P.S. "My webshots" link on the left side has some pictures from Europe.


David Oblas said...

did you check to see if you were missing any kidneys after staying at those places?

Mike said...

Hahaha! You could have stayed in the apartment we rented in Dublin!

Hostels are scary. One night when I got stranded in NY at 3am, I had the choice of:
a. a Hostel
b. a cash-only, shithole hotel where the door didn't close, there were wires hanging out of the wall, no curtains on the dirty window, blotchy paint on the walls, and broken furniture

I chose the latter and wedged a chair into the door to keep it closed.

KW said...

As far as I know, both of my kidneys are still in place...

And Mike...ironically the time I met up with you guys in Dublin I had no problem whatsoever in the hostel that night.