Monday, February 4, 2013

How not to stay at a hostel: Winning

She pushes the buzzer hard. The host unlocks the gate. She pushes the buzzer again, holding it longer.

“It’s open!”

She opens the security gate/front door to the hostel with a bit of grumbling. Yes, it is not the best set up, having to pull the gate toward you and step backwards down a couple stairs, but it is what it is. A blond girl attempts to saunter up the stairs with her chauffeur and hundred pound suitcase lumbering after her. Immediately she begins to complain and act righteous.

“I have a reservation here for two weeks.”

“Well, you aren't in our system …”

Now, there is no reason, other than the fact that the host could tell this girl was going to be difficult, that he hesitated. There was plenty of room at the hostel.

Mid-conversation, the girl turns to her chauffeur, “Where’s my scarf? I had a scarf in the car.”

“There’s no scarf in the car. These are all your things.”

“I lost my scarf. I know I had one in the car.”

Somehow, despite all of this and not having Mexican Pesos, the girl successfully checks in. She then makes the chauffeur take her luggage into the dormitory, bangs her bag around a bit, abandons all her possessions in the middle of the room, and leaves with her chauffeur.

The girl disappears until 4 a.m. She fumbles to get the key in the lock. Then, the girl pushes and pulls at the door that will not unlock. Frustrated with the tricky lock, the girl did not try it sober, so drunk, there is no chance. She turns the key continuously in the wrong direction. She locks the door. It cannot be opened from the inside. The girl swears. Finally, she is rescued by the host, who has stumbled out of his room.  She bursts into the dormitory, shushing herself. She has no sheets and has not set up a bed, so she crawls under a mattress protector and passes out. Moments later her phone rings, but she does not answer. Her first night in Puerto Vallarta, she passes out without sheets, too drunk to care.  

In the morning, she has a hard time remembering. What she does remember is partying with her chauffeur.  At the end of the night, she shelled out cash to cover all of his expenses. Outraged, she did not understand. She was under the impression that the chauffeur really wanted to take her out. It turns out, she had hired a date or a tour guide of Vallartan night life without knowing it.

She sounds young, naive. Maybe this is the first time she has traveled alone. But she is 36. She has been travelling around the world, surviving on the goodhearted dime of Christian missions. I do not know how she is alive. 

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