I arrived in Medellin, Colombia a few hours ago. The taxi driver dropped me off on a shaded residential street about 40 minutes away from the airport.
I’ve stayed in plenty of hostels before, but this is the first time I will sleep in a dorm-style room with strangers. Let me just start this post off by saying that I fully realize if I’m paying 11 dollars a night, I should not expect to stay in a Hilton. But I’m pretty sure hookers would turn their noses up at my lodging accommodations.
The room I’m sleeping in has 10 bunkbeds. Each bed is surrounded by tacky, fraying curtains for “privacy.” It’s my humble opinion that if you cannot fart without someone knowing, the situation can’t be considered private. Oversized backpacks are scattered across the floor because there are no shelves or cubbies. My stuff is resting between a cigarette butt and a piece of gum stuck to the ground next to my bed.
I don’t know why I thought it was a good idea to stay in a hostel that costs less than the snack I ate in lieu of dinner tonight.
Everything about me suggests that sleeping in a room with nine strangers is a bad idea. Let’s start with the fact that I am very suspicious and think that I could be raped, murdered or robbed at any moment in time. This kind of paranoia doesn’t bode well for a restful night sleeping inches away from a man who might possibly enjoy ripping people’s toenails out with pliers. It also means me scampering to the disgusting community bathroom to pee while guarding my purse full of cash. This leaves my roommates to assume that I’m either on my period or on drugs. The latter would probably help me fit in more.
I also enjoy sleeping with my pants off. In my mind, the worst-case scenario is one of my new roommates will peek through the slit of these awful curtains and see my lack of proper pajamas. “She’s not wearing any pants,” the man will say to his buddy while menacingly rubbing his hands together. “It will be soooo much easier to rape, murder or rob her.” Then the two would cackle and plot my demise. The best-case scenario is my new roommates see that I am wearing grannie panties. (Anyone who says thongs are comfortable is a filthy liar.)
I know that I should try to be more social. I already have two things in common with every person staying in this godforsaken place: We like to travel and we are cheap. I’ve become friends with people with much less in common. Oh your favorite color is pink? Mine too! Want to come to my birthday party? No? But there will be a bounce house.
The problem with being more social is it usually requires wearing a bra. (Until the bra comes off and then you’re getting really social, hey-ohhh!) The other problem with being social, at least in this hostel, is they’re playing house music and what sounds like an impromptu xylophone jam session at the same time. I really can’t be friends with anyone associated with either one of those things.
So my plan is just try to block out the Mission Impossible movie that’s blaring in the next room and chalk up the smashed glass window near my bed to a curve ball that got away from one of the neighborhood kids. Then when I wake up, I will rush across the street to the charming Bed and Breakfast and give them all of my money for a decent place to sleep and a shower that won’t give me foot fungus.
Not everyone can “rough it,” especially me.