After going over all of my previous entries I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t given a detailed description to what it’s like to live in a hostel dorm room. I think I just go so used to it that when I rented out a room in Byron Bay it was a bit of a shock to me. Dorm room aren’t all that bad, be they 4 bed dorms or up to 20 bed dorms, you get used to sleeping in a room with others. Some people can be less than considerate to their other roommates, stumbling in at the wee hour of the morning very loudly speaking to one another, sometimes to continue drinking while everyone else is trying to sleep.
Privacy is always at a premium, and since you are often showering in an attached washroom or at least a public washroom, it’s not uncommon to see someone coming back into the room only wearing a towel while the grab whatever clothes they have forgotten (I am guilty of this one on multiple occasions). Because of the close quarters, you pretty much just have to deal with the fact that you don’t have that level of privacy that you would normally enjoy in your own room.
People also stink, not because they don’t shower (with the exception of a few ) but because if you cram 10+ people into a small room, even just the smell of everyone’s breath gets bad before too long. But that’s just another one of those things I guess.
You really learn to appreciate the small things, like getting a bottom bunk (or better yet, a bottom bunk without anyone in the top bunk) or one that is far enough away from the washroom that you aren’t awoken by the opening and closing of the door. I used to be a really light sleeper, so the first few months of dorming it was fraught with interrupted sleep. That’s changed now though, unless there’s someone who snores very loudly, I can usually sleep through pretty much anything.
Outside of the rooms, there’s the rest of the hostel to contend with. If you are lucky (or unlucky as the case may be) enough to have a washroom attached to your room then good for you, but otherwise you will have too use public washrooms and showers that are often occupied, or less that cleanly. Whatever the case may be, it’s never going to be just YOUR washroom.
Then you have the kitchens. I’ve come to notice that either the kitchens are sparklingly clean or putrid cesspits of bacteria, no in between. The hostel I was in in Brisbane had a very clean kitchen, however the kitchen here in Perth is not. It’s alright for what you need it for, but you always feel like you have to wash the pots and pans out before using them (those who know me well know that I’m definitely NOT OCD about being clean but it’s even a bit much to me) because there is some trace of an unknown substance in or on them that could have resided there for who knows how long.
Besides the cleanliness factor, you then have to deal with theft. This is usually something that only happen in the kitchens/pantries with food (I have been fortunate in that regard having only had several items of food stolen along with my empty laundry bad of all things) but I know others who have lost more substantial things like cameras or music players. Psychologically if it is visible (like in a plastic bag in the pantry) there are some unscrupulous backpackers who feel that such a thing is fair game (it obviously isn’t but they do it anyway ). The even ballsier will go into people’s cool bags in the fridge (they have zippers that close the entire thing so that is usually enough to stop someone from trying) forcing the rest of us to put locks on our damn food bags.
I suppose I’m just a bit ticked off that one day I have had a near full box of cereal (minus box so that I still thought that I could have it for breakfast) and the next a near full jug of milk taken from my closed bag in the fridge. Other people in the hostel have had things stolen too, and after reports to reception it seems that we’ll have to narrow down the time when things are taken so they can get it on the video camera (because they’re too freaking lazy to go through a few hours on fast forward themselves).
Don’t get me wrong, these are the exceptions, I have been extremely fortunate for the majority of my journey in this regard. Throughout New Zealand I think I can count on one hand the number of times food has gone missing and I was there for 10 months! I suppose it is a bit different her in Australia due to the high cost of food (especially on the west coast), but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
The common areas like lounge/TV room are always interesting. Unless there is access to sports channels, most people would like to avoid being the person who decides what everyone watches so most people simply sit down and watch whatever’s on. In the case that there is no cable, then people will try to put a movie on when the fewest number of people are there so that there is less chance that there will be conflicting interests. If the hostel is classy enough, then there will be a seating area where people can read, though this is rare as most hostels would rather use the room to cram bunk beds into.
So there’s a little glimpse into the life in your average hostel! I assure you that it isn’t a full experience as they have yet to come out with a way to convey smells over the internet, but I will try to sum it up as easily as possible: bad.
Anyway, I’ve been looking for work around the city centre and several job agencies, though it all seems pretty much the same as Brisbane to be honest. I was hoping that it would be easier here, though it may be if I get myself out of the city centre. If all else fails I will head to North Australia around Broome or Darwin, where I WILL have a job!
Also, the big 24 is coming up and I can say that it’s come around a lot quicker than it did last year. Is that something that just happens as you get older, or is it just me? Talk at you later!
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