Qualquer um que alguma vez na vida já tenha estado em um albergue já teve uma experiência parecida: independentemente de se o albergue é limpinho ou não, ou tem quartos espaçosos ou 3 beliches apinhados em 2m quadrados, ou um ar condicionado bom ou apenas um ventilador capenga a 36°C, existe algo que pode transformar a sua noite em um hostal em um pesadelo torturante, e que não tem nada a ver com o local em si, dependendo apenas da sua sorte:
A fauna dos albergues.
Sim. Viajar pelo mundo e encontrar gente legal, espíritos livres, mochileiros de boa com uma linda visão de mundo é apenas a versão idílica, edulcorada, filtrada por Instagram, do quadro geral. Um quadro que inclui o pior da humanidade, o tipo de pessoa que tem a certeza de estar estrelando no próprio filme épico chamado “I Love My Life”, e que todos os outros ao redor dela (incluindo seu pobre corpo cansado) são apenas figurantes.
Eis aqui alguns dos exemplares da fauna (a lista irá se atualizado conforme mais espécimes forem sendo catalogados):
Após uma aparente boa noite de sono, ela te acordará com seus 20 minutos vasculhando entre todos os looks individualmente pré-embalados nos saquinhos mais barulhentos que ela conseguiu achar. Você dá aquela respirada zen e espera que isso acabe logo, mas não: ela continuará por mais uns 10 minutos, o que fará com que você finalmente educadamente pergunte a ela se ela não prefere “continuar fora do quarto, onde tem mais luz”. Não importa a idade dela, ou se ela tem filhos, ela VAI falar para você “São 9h da manhã!”, como se fosse sua mãe e você estivesse atrasada para algum compromisso familiar de domingo de manhã por ter estado até tarde na balada na noite anterior. Nem a sua própria mãe fala com você assim, mas ela, uma total estranha, vai se sentir no direito, sem se importar se você está se sentindo mal, ou exausta depois de um dia todo de trilhas e escaladas e atividades físicas em geral, sob o sol, ou simplesmente está de férias e quer dormir até quando der na telha, ou até quando a fome te expulsar da cama.
Você fez check-in depois das 21h. Só o que você quer é um banho quente (ou refrescante) e descanso (agora ou logo mais, não importa). Mas você não vai conseguir totalmente, porque essas duas amigas, ou amigos, decidiram trazer um prato à base de repolho cozido para viagem ao quarto, para comer sentadas na cama. Mesmo quando você volta da rua, o cheiro ainda está lá. Isso acontece especialmente em albergues com quartos minúsculos, má ventilação e UMA ÁREA COMUM MARAVILHOSA NO TÉRREO, COM CADEIRAS E MESAS E UM AR CONDICIONADO POTENTE.
Insecurity with the way one looks is a big issue, and can get very serious if it leads to anorexia or other disorders, but it can be an even bigger issue if it disrupts your much-needed rest in completely unreasonable hours. There’s the girl who decides to give herself a full-on pedicure at 2:30 am. You ask her to please turn off her light, and she’ll turn on her phone’s flashlight instead, a beam which will inevitably go straight into your eyes (not to mention the nail polish smell). Going to the bathroom is not an option for her. Not now, not at 7 in the morning, when she sets her alarm clock to start putting on make up with a lantern and the hand mirror that comes in her powder case, as god forbids someone sees her clean unwashed face, even in the 20 second, 15 meter distance that separates her bed from the big lit mirror in the toilet.
Guys don’t escape this category either. I’ve witnessed all the noise (and smell) a male roommate from the bed below mine caused (so wiggling too) at 1 am, when everyone else in the room was sleeping (or trying to) and he applied 2 coats of strong-scented moisturizer over his whole body, in the dark.
Again, it’s past 2am, the lights are off and everyone is sleeping, but this group of people (mates from home or newly met, it doesn’t matter) will come in, turn on the lights, high-five, some guy will pinch some girl’s waist and she will giggle and emit a little high-pitched shout, they’ll loudly announce that they’ll see each other tomorrow (yes, half of them weren’t even from the room), and the conversation and loud laughs will go on for about 10 minutes until the non-roommates will leave, leaving the door open behind them. They will then start messaging the ones in your room, and the loud “you have a new message” notification sound will be intercalated with loud giggles, until someone kindly asks them to shut up.
Alarm clocks. Ranging from the “I must remember to take my contraceptive pill” alarm that runs for 20 min in a room where the alarm owner is clearly not, until someone takes the initiative to rummage through her bag and tries to turn off her phone, up until the extreme case of the guy who decides to book a 5am taxi to the airport when never in his life was he able to wake up before 9am. He sets his alarm clock for 4am, which successfully manages to wake up EVERYONE in the 12 bed room, except from him. He’ll still be snoring like a pig (certainly a fauna bonus), and unconsciously “protecting” his phone from the person who’s trying to grab it and throw it out the win- er, turn it off. He’ll semi-consciously manage to put the phone on snooze, meaning YOU will still get one wake-up ring every 5 min, until eventually the TAXI DRIVER will enter the room, one hour later, to drag the guy out (but that’s just because Thai people are way too nice).
A blend of “Live-Like-In-A-90’s-Movie” and “Wannabe-mum” without the telling off, these people , generally a group, will magically spring off the bed fresh as a bunch of roses at 8am, even having gone to sleep past 3 am the night before. They will great each other good morning, start making plans for the day, maybe even re-tell that super-funny fart story from the day before (bonus for singing the catchy – read: brain-drilling – rhythm certain groups on vacations use to say anything) , and of course, start rummaging through their plastic bags, trying to open their padlocks as if they weren’t their own (the effort and noise and time spent is such that you start to also worry if they’re not trying to break YOURS open), and do all their strong-scented toiletries in the room.
The Whah-Evah-I-Do-What-I-Want (or plain I’m-A-Terrible-Human-Being)
Granted, it’s a party hostel. But the party ended 2 hours ago. Now everyone has either dropped drunk in bed or is making out on the beach, or, why not, resting. Not too far-fetched a concept. But this girl will keep on monologuing, in a language that you can or cannot understand. Is she skyping with her mum and dad and telling them all the details of her day? Is she having a “conversation” with a friend in the room and she’s that kind of person who monopolizes the talking and everyone else has to resort to listening (or has fallen asleep)? Is she just talking alone?, you wonder, from your bed. 10 min on, 20 min, half and hour… your patience and tolerance will end and you will kindly ask why can’t she carry on with whatever she’s doing outside. “If you don’t want to party don’t book a party hostel”, she’ll answer, as apparently her definition of “party” is having people listen to a constant stream of her voice in the dark. Bonus points if she purposely SLAMS THE DOOR (no exaggeration here) every time she gets in and out of the room, that is, every 5 min (another exquisite definition of “party”). Double bonus if she steals the air-conditioning control, turns it off, in the tiny crammed room at 35*C, because “it’s too cold in here”, and hides it under her pillow hogging it so that no one else can turn it back on. Triple bonus if she acts like that as a routine for more than one night.
To this girl, shaking the doormat full of sand on her bag (and maybe dropping beer on it, and that melted butter that went off and you won’t use anymore) and leaving a note saying “welcome to party hostel, don’t book if you can’t hold it” seems an ideal way of constructing a dialogue she will be mentally capable of understanding.
Of course, there ARE great, respectful, interesting and friendly people all over shared dorms, but hostel fauna can make or break a hostel night.
What about you? Have you ever encountered specimens of the hostel fauna? Tell us about it, leave your story in the comments below!