Saturday, 14 November 2009

“Ah yea, we’ve got a bed. You’re sharing with a lovely Korean couple”

Lovely?! I thought, as I opened the locked dorm room door in time to see two figures immediately recoil from each other under the bottom bunk covers. Wonderful. Two minutes into my first hostel stay and I’ve already interrupted a couple mid-shag. Things are really going well. As I sat on the opposite bunk and unpacked my things, an embarrassed silence ensued. Them, still under the covers – not talking. Not moving. Me, cursing the fact that out of all the rooms in this bloody hostel, the only one with any vacancies, I get the gooseberry card. Two’s company...three’s just really sodding awkward.

I quickly excused myself, opting for a hot shower in a cold cubicle and braced myself for the next challenge. It was Friday night, and my half baked idea that I would spend it in my room, shying away from making the social effort required by all lone travellers, was now not an option. Plus, I had to eat. There was no other option: I had to go to the Communal Area. “Are you going to go out?” asked the Boyfriend from his office in Farringdon. “With WHO?” I replied exasperated, panic bubbling in my stomach. “I don’t KNOW anyone.”

There is truly nothing more intimidating than cooking pasta and pesto in a kitchen surrounded by people who are already laughing and chatting together, sitting eating together in groups, and knowing that if you aren’t going to spend Friday night listening to Korean porn, that you have to talk to someone. Anyone. You have to push against every bone in your tired brain which is saying “Cross your arms! Look down! Don’t...say...a...WORD!” and start a conversation which you hope they will continue.

I looked at the pan next to mine, filled with green things (I think they’re vegetables) and eventually, their owner returned. I caught her eye. Smiled. I said those eternal words “Blimey. Well, your meal puts my pasta and pesto to shame. Vegetables and everything. Good work”. I waited. Then she smiled back. Laughed! “Haha! You can’t beat pasta and pesto. Did you just get here?” Yep, I’m just in Margaret River for a few days, down from Perth. “Cool. Well, we’re all sitting outside having some drinks if you want to join us, there’s wine for $10 at reception”.

And at 2:30am, I stumbled into my room after a night swapping stories with people who aren’t ashamed to ask “What’s the cheapest drink you serve?” before ordering at the local bar. The Koreans were still up...well, I say up. They were in bed of course, but awake and chatty. Apparently I am the first English girl they’ve seen have a wash.

I bedded down under the supplied linen and fell asleep on my netbook case.

It’s been a night of firsts, it seems.

17 comments:

Brennig said...

I disturbed a couple having a shag in the TV lounge of a hostel in Adelaide, and almost caught a couple at it in another hostel in Buenos Aires. This could become a drinking game!

not twitter said...

So that's the first round, of many, uncomfortable bedding-ins over with. Easy peasy.

One question though, why did you get washed in front of the Korean couple? Each to their own...

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Brennig - A top trumps for awkward hostel situations, perhaps...

not twitter - Haha, you misunderstand. Clearly I went for a shower and came back in the room with wet hair, leaving them to assume I had left to go for a shower ;) Mentalist.

Hails said...

Ah, hostel life. You can't beat it. Well, you can, but it's definitely a must-have experience. I love the sitting around drinking and talking with strangers, as if you've been friends for years. You're going to make me all nostalgic for my backpacking days now!

miss*H said...

ah lovely hostels. I had to share a room near Sydney with a couple who were not exactly discreate in the bunk bed below me. All night I had to listen to their moans and groans, and I mean ALL night. I don't envy you :)

Homer said...

Good lord - you poor, brave girl! Let's hope that's the worst night you have on your travels.

Al said...

and THAT is why i dont think i could stay in a hostel! :)

BlackLOG said...

Blimey I miss a couple of postings and you go from "I'm leaving next week" to bedding a couple of Koreans in Aushagastralia. Still it could have been worse it could have been sheep...

jo said...

haha! certainly sounds like quite a night!

Grump said...

Did you find the surf beach? Have you heard of Tim Winton aussie author. He lives down that way. He has written some good stories.
Cheers Mark

Anonymous said...

WA is by far the best part of Australia. Leave the SW and head up north, past shark bay. Coral Bay (8 years or so ago now!} is/was my favourite place on earth: you can snorkel onto the coral straight from the beach, swim with manta rays, eat pies at 4am from the baker, and best of all WA is minus the hideous sunburned english who make up the rest of the backpacking experience over there (especially Sydney-Cairns}.

Stay in the west, try to hitchike over the top and then spend the rest of your time in the red centre and you can't go wrong!
DP

Chapati said...

Wooo hooo! Hope you're having fun :D I shall be following closely :)

Robbie said...

Good to hear other cultures are keeping you amused.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Hails - Yeah, there was a lot of sitting around and drinking with strangers. Best bit, bar the bunk beds that is.

Miss H - If that happens to me, I'll probably find myself yelling at them to shut the frrrruck up. Done it before and I'll do it again ;)

Homer - Somehow I very much doubt it will be!

Al - Ahh, but these are the things that make for the best travel stories. Like Hails says, its worth a go.

Blacklog - I'm a fast mover...

Jo - That it was!

Grump - Found loads of surf beaches...Redgate? Hamelin Bay? All very nice. I heard of Tim Winton on Thursday someone told me about him. I've been reccommended his book "Breathe"

Anon - I did a fair bit of the red centre and Darwin / Kakadu last time I was over here, and as beautiful as it is, mid summer up north is rainy season! So I'm seeing a bit of the west coast (hopefully heading up towards Exmouth) and then heading along the south. I agree though, West Aus is just about the most amazing place I've ever been. This is trip no.2 and I'm sure there'll be more.

Chapati - I am having fun, hope you enjoy it by proxy!

Robbie - Yeah, something like that ;)

Grump said...

Cloudstreet is a classic by Tim Winton. Give that a go first. If you are in Melbourne you can borrow my copy, as long as you give it back.
Woof x

Kirsty said...

That is hilarious. But look on the bright side! At least you're not going to get billed for the porn. Happy days...?

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Grump - Thanks for the tip will track that down first then.

Kirsty - Oh yeah, happy times indeed. In fact the Koreans were absolutely lovely once I got talking to them.

 

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