Adventures in Hostelling
Hostelling is fun and is a great way to meet a lot of new people on your travels. I have had some interesting experiences here and there, that make for good stories. Here are some of the more memorable ones…
I had booked a bed a few days in advance for Auckland. I arrived in Auckland, got to the hostel in the evening, and learned that, well, they didn’t have my reservation! The guy at the counter simply said…we don’t have a room. Then he went back, searched a bit, and said, we have one bed, but I don’t know if you want to stay here. I want you to check it out first. I really didn’t care, I just needed a place to crash. The only bed they had was in a room full of guys – 5 guys and an empty bed. I took it because I didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding another place. The room reeked of funky body odor and old laundry. One of the guys had been living in the room for 3 months. It ended up that the guys staying there were really nice, and I had no problems at all.
I stayed at Buffalo Peaks Backpackers Lodge in Whitianga, New Zealand, and would rate it as a top-notch hostel. It’s a very nice place, just like a big house with dorm rooms. There’s a nice lounge with a fireplace, cozy couches, a free pool table, a nice kitchen and dining area, and a spa.
In Taihape, New Zealand, I had stayed at a lodge where you can take white water rafting trips. The main dorm was a huge room/building, with mattresses side-by-side, stacked 2 high. There were about 32 spaces in one big room. A place to get to know your neighbor!
I stayed in a co-ed dorm in Nelson, New Zealand, with 10 other people. It was pretty interesting there. I went out for the night to play pool. I came back, and a few people were already crashed out. I didn’t want to wake anyone up and my sleeping bag was rolled up, so I slept in my jumper with a fleece over my legs. Later on, one person in the room was snoring really, really loudly!
In Mahinapua, New Zealand, I stayed in a “hotel” that had dorm-style rooms. I think there were 6 of us per room. There was this Irish guy who was sleeping on one of the top bunks. We were all really piss drunk. Well, he fell off the top bunk 2 times in the middle of the night! The first time, I felt bad for him. The second time, I was pissing myself laughing, it was so funny! The next day, he showed us the burn marks on his back he got from falling on the radiator!
I was travelling with a friend in Holland, and we could not find accommodations the Hague. We ended up staying in a pension in Scheveningen, a beach community. First impressions – the hallway smelled like beer and mold. But our room turned out to be pretty nice. Strange, but nice. We had a zebra print duvet cover.
In Brugge, I stayed at a hostel in a big dorm room. I don’t remember how many people were in there, but I remember people throwing rocks at the window from outside. I think they were staying there too, but got locked out due to the curfew. The shower was interesting too – you have to pull a cord and hold on to it for the water to run.
I stayed in a nice hostel in Brussels. The thing that got me there once was the curfew! One night, I went out partying with my roommate – a girl from Sweden, and a few people we had met. After our night out, we got back to the hostel at 3:15 am. We didn’t realize that there was a 3 a.m. curfew! In a drunken stupor, we rang the bell, and thought, maybe someone would answer. The late night guy answered and was pretty rude. He told us to read the sign in front of the door that has the opening times. He said, “Do you know what time it is?” I told him no, I don’t have a watch. He let us in, but was being a total jerk about it. We went up to the second floor to a lounge area to talk and chill for a while, until the late night guy came up and told us to leave and that the lounge area was closed.
I booked a hostel in Paris and stayed there for a few days. I got out of the Metro station, got confused as to where I was. I guy just asked me what I was looking for, so I told him I was looking for the hostel. It ended up that he worked at the hostel, so we walked me there. That was pretty nice. I had 2 really cool roommates, one from New York and one from Florida – very down to earth guys. My last night there, our roomie from Florida had left, so we got a new roommate in the evening. Then in the middle of the night, his drunk friend asked if he could crash on the floor. We really didn’t care, a bit annoying, but not a big deal.