Living in backpackerville

Staying in hostels is fun, until you find yourself living in one. As soon as you enter a hostel where people are staying long-term, you’ll notice exploded pieces of luggage and people who just feel a little bit too comfortable.

In Adelaide I ended up staying in a hostel for over two months. I was in an 8 bed dorm, but generally there were only four people, us long-termers. Every now and then we’d get a guest, who was immediately directed to the top bunks. That is, if there was one available. I tried to keep my things in order, but others seemed to use the free beds as an extension of their suitcase.

Living in a hostel is like living in a tiny village. Gossip goes around in a dozen languages. Who’s got work? Who’s dating who? Who’s been a fool last night? Who’s been spotted with that girl from the other hostel? The main activity of the hostel inhabitants seems to be drinking. Therefore, mornings are usually quiet and life doesn’t start until well after midday.

The first sleepy head enters the kitchen for a caffeine boost, walks towards the couch and turns on the TV. The TV will be on until well past midnight and is the main point of interest in the building. Slowly, a group forms, happily watching the umpteenth rerun of Coronation Street or The Simpsons. Then, in the evening, a movie starts. A glance into the lounge will show a big family, all together staring at the screen. And this is hostel life, lying in front of the TV, so the next day you are well rested for another episode of The Simpsons.

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