Sometimes shit just really doesn’t go as you plan. Sometimes you break up with someone you once dated and then we’re dating but still liked a lot then end up using some newfangled American thing called Uber to call up a stranger to take you to a hostel in a city you lived in for an extended period of time because you had a fight and the people you’d usually call to crash on a couch are blocked by your own stubborn inability to admit help is required. So you end up with your belongings in the front office of a hostel with a view of downtown talking to an old man behind the desk who functions slower than molasses in a Canadian winter. This office smells of greasy farts.
I get a key, get some mismatched linens and drag my crap up a flight of stairs to the girls’ dorm, which thankfully doesn’t smell of farts. When I get there I’m alone, but the contents of the room make me think that the 4 or 5 other women here might be a little more permanent than I’m planning on being. I grab a top bunk, devoid of any frame other than a springy wire contraption that squeaks when I move and threatens to dump me over onto the floor or out a window if I roll too much. My firetruck sheet is significantly less creepy than the teddy bear carpeting I had in my Jordanian apartment.
A gal comes in and introduces herself as Jenna. She is my bunk buddy. I’m increasingly getting the feeling that I’m in a hostel version of Orange is the New Black- the ‘old’ girls have staked their territory and know the rules, while I am ‘new’ and trying to figure it out without stepping, literally or figuratively, on anyone’s toes.
There is an incredibly creepy painting of a woman with cotton ball boobs hanging above my head. I feel like this is someone’s LSD-fueled attempt at a self-portrait. I try not to look directly at it. Plaster is falling off the ceiling in spots, exposing beams, and the hot and cold faucets in the bathroom have been installed backwards. The shower floor makes my feet itch just looking at it. However, the place is warm and the carpet clean, and no reports of bugs (including the bed variety) have surfaced from online reviews or the testimonies of the women I’m staying with who are all very nice.
This hostel may be the physical manifestation of my so-called ‘love life,’ but it’s ok. I’m taking care of myself and enjoying my proximity to downtown where I’ve spent more than a few hours in the Starbucks writing, reading, meeting up with friends, and wantonly throwing my gift card around. I’m off to the airport on Sunday and am looking forward to being back in Belfast and all the adventures that are coming my way oh so soon.
*My situation was by no means actually hostile, but it was pretty uncomfortable. Leave it up to my dear Dad to come up with the catchy title in the midst of all the ridiculousness.