Saturday, September 22, 2012

I keep a handwritten diary when I travel and the pages are full of glowing descriptions of amazing sites, unusual encounters and my introduction to local accommodations and foods. My notes from September 15 read:

-hostel from hell
-walk and drink
-walk and drink

Jason had booked our lodging ahead of time while sitting at my dining room table back in comfortable old Dubuque because his obsessive-compulsive mother has an insane fear that she will arrive at a destination without a prepaid bed and be forced to wander the streets dragging her overly packed suitcase. It had slipped my mind that my son was on a strict budget as he is moving to Japan and is counting every euro and mine, too.

We enter the lobby of the hostel and there were the usual horde of grubby students milling around the desk mainly because they have no money to spend in the city.

We march up the greasy looking stairs and I see that the bathroom is two flights down from our room and how will I manage this with my wildly unpredictable bowels, thanks to my mother's side of the family. And I will need to maneuver myself past a stairwell of students locked into their Iphones or trying to remain upright and not vomit on their shoes due to their state of inebriation.

checking out the landscape with my trusty flashlight
We drop off our luggage in this strange little
hole of a room and the words come out of my mouth unchecked, "this looks like a jail cell." It is barely six yards long and three yards across. The wrinkled red sheet on my bed is full of lint and other small specks so I know it wasn't washed and oh my god, did that one move? I go to bed fully clothed so that only a minimum amount of skin will have contact with that wretched linen.

I  have three tastefully decorated bathrooms in our lovely town house and a closet-full of Charmin extra-soft, extra plush toilet paper.  I stand in the rank water closet with my package of Huggie wipes clutched against my chest and hold my breath from the stench, my buttocks hovering over the bowl below me (please excuse the mental picture.)

Never have I wanted a night to be over as swiftly as this one. Okay, there was that one night when I had a bladder infection and had to sit on the toilet all night so this would be the second night I want over as swiftly as possible.

So we walked and stopped for a pint, walked and stopped for a pint, you get the picture. Anything to erase from my mind the place I must return to at the end of my ale-soaked walk. Oh, but I did have a fairly good meal of chicken, spinach and Gorgonzola over pasta. Pasta, thus my note.


BrightenedBoy said...

I'm of the opinion that no mature adult should ever stay in one of those places. Too many years outside of a dorm room makes one accustomed to the basic amenities of civilization.

dawn marie giegerich said...

A 60-year-old woman should not stay in a hostel. Especially when she cannot identify what she sees on the toilet seat.