Thursday, April 24, 2008

Some say I’m brave for traveling the big bad world alone- I’d say sometimes TOO brave…oops

If you don’t have time to read the whole thing- skip to the real story at the end…

I’ve stayed in hostels all over Europe: London, Paris, Nice, Rome, Barcelona, Vienna, Munich….and the list goes on. But I have never had a night like I did in Amsterdam and hope to never experience anything like it again.

I had heard of the Flying Pig hostels before and when I saw a flyer for it in Munich I decided that’s where I’d stay my last (and only-thank God) night alone in Amsterdam. There are three locations, I picked downtown so I could easily walk everywhere including the train station. So far so good. I checked in Monday morning and deposited my belongings in the luggage room for safe keeping and spent the day lounging at the Vondelpark! It was awesome, lots of biking and walking trails, green areas to chill, and ponds/streams running throughout.

At the end of they day after I’d seen all the sights on my list I ventured back to the hostel. I grabbed my stuff and hiked up the steepest stairway to my room – 204 bed #4. As I was on my way up I realized I couldn’t recall it saying anything about female only? I have been staying in places where you can choose mixed or female only with 4-20 beds per room and I’ve been staying in the most expensive rooms with 4-female beds. This hostel was the most expensive yet and cost €34 per night for a bed in a 4-person room. I’d been paying around €21 per night in other cities so I expected this to be a pretty nice room. Ah, to the contrary- the nastiest room yet. Is it too late to go home today? I don’t know where to start –first of all I don’t enjoy being called ‘Piggy’ and there are signs everywhere in the hostel:

“Too loud to sleep Piggy? Buy earplugs for €1 at the front desk”
and by the breakfast room… “No smoking during breakfast, unless of course, you are on fire”

Back to my room, gross, there is stuff everywhere and the other three beds are occupied already. There are rolling papers and indication of what happened earlier on the table. I’m starting to question the female part more and more now…then I step into the bathroom. Yikes, it’s horrible.
There is literally a squeegee in the shower- I am suddenly transported back to when I was 17 and worked at the community pool where we’d use those to clean the bathroom showers. [Note to Self: Not showering in the morning.] I try to open my locker to put some of my stuff inside, but no luck, its jammed shut. I flop down on my lovely bottom bunk and ponder what to do next. I unload my gear and head downstairs in search of dinner and hopefully new friends. When I got back from dinner I met a nice Australian bloke- Peter. We had a beer at the hostel’s bar and around 11:30pm I turned in for the night.

The real story begins---

I enter my room to discover I am definitely in a co-ed room. There are three guys, two in bed (one practically passed out and the other reading); the third is standing by the window holding something he is getting ready to light. Looks like I’m in for a treat.

The guy at the window turns to me, “You the fourth?”
“Yep, lucky me.”
“Oh, right then, is this ok?” He holds up his joint. I am honestly a bit relieved at first because I hate cigarettes so much that I was going to be pissed if all my stuff got smelly.
“Sure – but it’s the only one, right?”

And they carry on smoking their joint, asking me questions: Where are you from, what is your name, etc. Turns out they are from Paris but I don’t care to ask much more. I’m not sure what to do. It’s too late to ask for a new room and they seem nice enough. I am in Amsterdam and there is no way I’m going out looking for a new place to stay at midnight (if this is what is taking place in my room- who knows what’s going on in the streets).

Now they are high and going to bed. Perfect. What if they later decide they want to get in my bed? I am never around people smoking pot and I don’t know what is going on in their heads. I dig out my cell (like it’s going to do me much good- but just incase), lay out clothes for the mornings so as soon as I wake I can make a mad dash outta here and I miraculously fall asleep. I admit I was a little scared, I felt uneasy about being in a locked room with three high strangers…20 something year old druggies, but I slept until 8am none the less. Thankfully everything turned out fine, I awoke unharmed and was gone before they even stirred the next morning. I am glad to say that was my last hostel for a while, PHEW! Thank God!!

1 comment:

Camels & Chocolate said...

The first time I went to Amsterdam was in 2003 alone, and I showed up at the Flying Pig, but they were all booked up. Good thing, it seems!