Middle Aged Musings on Hostel Life


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Published: May 10th 2012
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It is reasonably common for us to be the most mature guests in the hostels we have visited. However, we have not been the oldest guests. That honour goes to a very nice South African couple we met in Bariloche. They are driving their fully equipped Land Rover from Ushuaia to Alaska and they have already conquered the Capetown to Norway route.

While we were chatting over lunch one day I was curious to know if they had observed any of the ‘quirks’ I had seen on our short travels so far. The answer was a resounding ‘yes’ and so we spent some time laughing and sharing stories. Here are a few observations that I hope will make you smile just as they did for us.


• If you can produce a corkscrew you will have friends in a flash
• Walls are as soundproof as a single sheet of cardboard
• Nothing will disturb a traveller who is messaging on the computer
• Conversations are always about where you have been and where you are going, nothing deeper
• Pasta is the standard food for all nationalities
• If you cook something other than pasta, a small crowd will gather in awe
• Young travellers cook by committee e.g. they consult on whether the water is boiling or how to cut an onion
• Vegetarians and chopping boards are not easily separated
• Cleanliness is in the eye of the beholder
• Good cutting knives are a rarity
• Vegetable peelers are past their ‘use by’ date
• Can openers are for decoration only
• Kitchen scissors are a figment of your imagination
• American accents can be identified from 50 paces
• Spanish and Chinese accents can be identified from 40 paces
• German accents can be identified from 30 paces
• Canadian and Belgium accents can be identified from 20 paces
• Austrian, Australian and French accents can be identified from 10 paces
• Irish, English, Swiss and NZ accents can be identified from 5 paces
• (notes from Leigh & Eileen as a result of personal experience) descending stairs in socks or in the dark should be avoided unless you wish to sport bruises and aches for two weeks
• And finally the MOST IMPORTANT (in one hostel kitchen we found it written in 20 or more languages) ... Your mother doesn’t live here so clean up your own mess!!


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30th May 2012

sounds very good
hi very nice article, I thank u for sharing an excellent article. My hobby is to travel the places of North America, studying the environment and writing articles, . And I prefer corporatestays.com for accommodation.My favorite food is Smoked meat and Poutine.
8th July 2012

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I would love to express my gratitude for sharing this with me

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