We all know hostels aren’t the scary boogyman movies make them out to be. They are safe, budget accommodations for backpackers and I’ve stayed in some marvelous ones during my travels. So no, they aren’t inherently scary, but they ARE sometimes the settings for some crazy and sometimes terrible stories.
I was out to dinner with some backpacker friends last week when the subject of horrifying hostel stories came up.Over some cheap Argentinean wine I shared a couple of my weirdest experiences. For example:
Our first night in Buenos Aires we stayed in a hostel in Palermo. This was not one of the higher rated places but we wanted to save some money in an expensive city. As soon as we arrived I realized this may have been a crucial error: our hostel room was the size of a large broom closet and contained 9 beds- three three-story bunk beds. It was hot and poorly ventilated- kind of like being in the cramped hold of a ship.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a three story bunk bed but they are not the most stable things. My perch on the top bunk swayed nauseatingly back and forth anytime anyone on the bunks below rolled over. I’d never felt seasick from a bunk bed before!
It might not have been terrible except that the bottom bunk below Mike and I houses a large middle aged European man with a serious snoring problem. In between fits of deafening snoring he would mutter to himself in some unidentified language- possibly german?
Needless to say I didn’t sleep much, so I was wide awake when this unfortunate man’s sleep talking turned into sleep walking. He stumbled around the dark room knocking into walls and beds. Finally he settled back into bed- only it wasn’t his bed! Some poor guy, still out clubbing, got quite a surprise when he returned home at 5AM to find a strange overweight German man curled up with his pillow.
My pal Tony, from Landing Standing chimed in with his own.
We had arrived two days prior in Interlocken and had just finished what we came to do… skydiving in the Alps. The 4 girls I was traveling with were feeling great and ready to catch the early train back to Florence the next day when we went to bed early. There being 5 of us, only one bed of the 6 bed dorm was free… but not for long.
I woke up at 2am to a man in only a leopard print thong trying to climb into the bunk bed above me. This is difficult enough to do at night, but doubly hard when drunk and apparently requiring multiple thrusts of his leopard-thonged crotch to achieve. Hoping to forget what my eyes were witnessing, I closed my eyes and rolled over.
Miraculously, I was able to fall asleep only to wake up again at 3am to pee.
As I left the bathroom and turned off the lights, I heard a THUD. Immediately I knew that my drunken bunk mate must have fallen off his bed and broke something.
But then I heard shuffling and could see a silhouette as it crossed the window and realized my new friend was mobile. I quickly dashed to a corner of the room so as not to have an accidental boxer to leopard thong confrontation.
But instead of turning my way, he just began to pour a bottle of water on the carpet… weird.
“No!!!” I screamed as I turned on the lights.
But it was too late. My screams had woken up the girls I was traveling with only for us all to witness my bunk mate, with his leopard-print thong around his ankles, peeing into one of the girls’ newly purchased (direct from Rome no less) $700 Gucci suitcases.
As the girls all cried and screamed, I laughed and laughed.
The most unfortunate stories usually make the best anecdotes a few years down the road. So, I want to hear your tail of hostel crazyness. It doesn’t have to include sleepwalkers (or pee-ers), it can be any sort of embarrassing, ridiculous or hilarious thing that happened to you in a hostel.