Thursday, January 27, 2005

The ups and down of youth hostels

As I write this, I am realizing that many of the people who read this are probably not all that comfortable with the idea of sharing a room with strangers and possibly sleeping in bunk beds. (Well, to be honest, i don´t know how many there are of you, maybe you´re only 5 or 6 people, but still...) But for a trip like this, the youth hostel is really the best way to go. If I spent 6 months in hotels, I might be a bit cleaner on average, but I would spend all my time alone and would be broke at the end of it. In a youth hostel, there are always people around to chat with. They come from all over and everybody has a different story to tell. This hostel is relatively quiet, and people tend to stay for a while (at least a week or two). However, there are others where there´s a little more of a party atmosphere and it´s a little louder--on the other hand sometimes it´s easier to meet people in that type of place. Yesterday I finally met some of my co-hostel-dwellers. In addition to Adolphe from France, with whom I share a room (just us in a room for 5 is not too bad) I met Jacob from Holland who is trying to buy a motorcycle, Celia from France who works in London for Eurostar and is volunteering at an elementary school, an Ecuadorian guy who´s been staying in hostels for 8 months and a girl from Buenos Aires; i haven´t really figured out why she´s staying here but she says it´s cheaper than an apartment! At 6 dollars a night that´s not hard to imagine. Another good thing is there´s a kitchen and tv room where people gather. I could get stuck watching CSI Las Vegas or the King of Queens so I´ll try to avoid it. Although this afternoon Top Gun was on, dubbed, and that was kind of fun.

The downside? Well, the bathroom is down the hall and I share it with whatever women are on my floor. And sharing the room with a stranger is, admittedly, sometimes a little odd. This morning as I rolled out of bed at 10, Adolphe said "you like to sleep late, don´t you?" I could only think to myself, oh, you have no idea. And unfortunately it seems that the air conditioning vent leads straight from the tv room to my room, so i can hear piped-in echoes of whatever crime drama or thriller happens to be on as i drift off to sleep.

Anyway, I´m enjoying the experience as odd as it may seem. In other news, I had a gigantic Argentine buffet for lunch with all kinds of food and especially meat! Which led me to realize that I don´t know the vocab words for any kinds of meat, so I don´t know what I ate. I´ll have to look in to that.