Let’s get a few things straight here. I never really (apart from a few weekends at Guide camp) went to “summer camp”. I am an only child, so there was no sharing of my things. Friends never had bunk beds. So in essence, my first foray into the world of hostels is much like what I imagine summer camp would have been like. While it’s fun to have dinner companions always around, I am still getting the hang of a few things, which include:
- How people can be comfortable to NEVER wear shoes. It’s not that clean. You go outside, you come back in, I can see that your feet are black, yet here you are with them all in my face (which in itself is an issue, granted, but still). Where are your shoes??
- Bunk beds. In Kaikoura I was in a 6-person dorm, and for the most part my dorm-mates were good people. Except for the gal that was in the bunk underneath mine, who took it upon herself to apparently travel with her entire wardrobe and just threw her stuff around everywhere. As is generally the case, I had to get up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom, which happened to be located about a five-minute walk in another building. There I was, struggling to get around my bags which I had essentially been spooning as there was no room for my stuff on the ground, when I fell out of the bed and underestimated the distance to the ladder. It felt very Indiana Jones, my hanging there in the darkness, contemplating how far the drop to the ground would be. Would I land on sleeping messy girl? Some of her stuff? What if I hurt myself? A good two, three minutes passed during this moment of reflection before I decided that it was better to risk the fall. So I dropped. Onto messy girl’s collection of CDs that she had left scattered around the bed (sidenote – who brings CDs travelling? I didn’t even bring an iPod!). Apart from a few bruises I was unscathed, but can’t say the same for that CD collection.
- Cooking. I finally started picking up some groceries as food, as I’ve mentioned, is quite expensive and I just missed cooking. While I have encountered a few pretty impressive chefs on my travels, for the most part I’m seeing a lot of eating cereal directly from the box with a spoon, instant noodles and Nutella and chunks of bread. I went out and bought some brie to have for appetizers, and there were more than a few sideways glances directed at me as I prepared myself a little pre-dinner snack. However, Nutella folks can have the last laugh – my brie didn’t survive the bus ride today.
Today I’m in my own room – in an actual jail cell, in fact, in a hostel in Christchurch. More on that later.