Inspired by Lauren’s incidents post, I’ve decided to put together some of my own experiences. Granted, they are not as scary as hers, but I’m sure I will have plenty to add over the years. Disclaimer: these are my stories not including the weird (which are actually the norm) hostel experiences and times I’ve been lost to the point of tears (more often than I’d care to admit):
Roncade, Italy: When I visited Venice on my Italy holiday in March 2015, I rented a car to see Enter Shikari half an hour north in a small town called Roncade. I rented a car because there was no reasonable way to get there by public transit or get back in the wee hours in the morning. Since the gig started late as it was at a club, I didn’t start heading back until about 1AM. On the way back, I remembered I had to top up on gas before returning the car. A few miles outside the venue, I decided to try to top up. This station was in the middle of a rural area, and being early in the morning, there was no attendant to help. I couldn’t get the gas tank open for the life of me and there was no manual of any kind in the glove compartment. I decided I would take the penalty fee of not topping up and just return the car. Naturally, the car wouldn’t start. I didn’t know what to do. At this point, I was tired, scared and frustrated and didn’t know what to do. I decided to try my luck with the few passersby and wave for help on the side of the road. After a couple minutes of waving, someone pulled over. A middle-aged man called from his car, “A young girl like you shouldn’t be waving for help from strangers like that” and I thought that those were the last words I’d ever hear (okay, maybe not…). After he said that, another car pulled in and I recognized the two young people from the gig. The three of them were very helpful opening the tank (I felt like an idiot when I found out you just needed the engine key to open the tank), operating the gas pump (they even gave me money when I didn’t have any notes) and wishing me well on my way. I’m thankful for these good Samaritans and hope to pay it forward some day.
Budapest, Hungary: When I was in Budapest, I must have misunderstood the train ticket scheme. I thought that a ticket was good for a certain amount of time but in reality, it was only good for one way. When the ticket officer discovered I was in violation, explaining that I was a tourist and it was a simple misunderstanding got me nowhere and I was slapped with a ticket and a fine of about $30. Budapest is a cheap city so I wasn’t too bothered about the money, just the fact that I neglected to observe the fare rules.
Brighton, England: I have a lot of less than perfect hostel stories, but this one takes the cake. When I visited Brighton in June 2017, I was staying in a hostel towards the end of my trip as my (now ex-) boyfriend and I broke up and after my friend Diego moved out of his university halls and I had nowhere to go. Staying in hostels all last year, I’ve learned to cope with the noise and accepted my fate of hostel roommates stumbling in late and talking loudly. However, nothing could have prepared me for two of the roommates getting on and ending up having sex in the 20-something person dorm room. At least they were kind enough to drape a duvet over the bed they were using for privacy…