Friday, 17 July 2009

Hostel Life

In Asia, it's cheap enough to find a beach hut or hotel room for around a fiver. In South America, these places are much more expensive and the same budget means hostels. If you're lucky then you find one with 3 or 4 beds in there, and if you have enough people with you it's like a private room anyway. We've been lucky enough so far...the spare beds being empty in most hostels, so we've not had to share with strangers.

Tobes recommended The Gecko in Palermo. Close to Soho and its delightful shops, cafes and bars, it's certainly in a great location. But it's full of boisterous, noisy fools who seem to insist on making as much racket as possible at all hours. Maybe I'm just getting old. In the living area, there were three people playing music on their laptops while music also played on the sound system in the bar. A short Latin fellow with a massive afro was strutting round the pool table wearing mirored shades, bumping into furniture occasionally. It was like Sugarape's office in Nathan Barley. Without the irony.

The worst aspect of sharing is other people's hygiene. Or lack of it. There was a big hairy American at the Gecko, and he wandered into the TV room one afternoon when myself and Jocky had just started watching a movie. A whiff of cheese gradually assailed my nostrils; I cast a sidelong glance at Jocky, who had lifted the collar of his tee shirt up over his nose. I slumped down in my seat and did likewise as we frowned at each other. The smell was appalling. The Yank got up to make a hot drink, and the smell got worse briefly as he walked past. I eyed his sandals suspiciously, and Jocky nodded affirmation. When the guy came back, our tee shirts went back over our noses...and we were beginning to wish we'd put on a shorter film than The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. If I was sat in a room with two people holding their noses, I'd be checking myself out to see if it was me kicking up a pong, but I imagine some people are oblivious to it? To make matters worse, he kept getting up every 5 minutes to hawk and spit in the bin by the door. Dirty man...

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