Monday, 23 November 2009

Thinks about Backpackers' Hostels

Somewhere in the world (London) is someone (me) with a computer and a story. Not a particularly good one, but it is one of the things I thinks, and that's what this blog is about.

"Somewhere in the world" is currently a backpackers' hostel. I have stayed in a number of these, and while it smells like beer and urine, this one feels like a sort of home. The people are honest and friendly, and the 20 others (yeah, that many) in my room are, for the most part, good eggs. A few nights ago I was the talk of the town. Well, I had a guitar and could play a few popular tunes. And since everyone can play at least one song on geetar, everyone I allowed to borrow Gretchen (said guitar) was ready to worship me. Girl with guitar is queen of hostel. Anyway, after singing my little heart out, I went to bed yet could not sleep. Probably because the fellow in the bed above mine was talking, talking, talking away. I thought he was on the phone. He was then politely asked to take it outside, then sworn at, then yelled at. He kept on going. And going and going like an Energizer bunny. There wasn't much stopping him. The rest of us stumbled out of bed the next morning cursing said fellow, then the next night he was considerably better. Also, he was taken kicking and screaming (no less) by the police during the night, as it turned out he had been smoking dope in the room. His absence probably contributed to a better night's sleep.

Following morn I was happily munching on my cornflakes when a hostel buddy asked if I could do him a favour. Sure, I'm always one for helping out. Favour turned out to be "what's yours and what's crazy guy's?". Sleep-talker had evidently taken a few of my posessions. While my valuables were stashed away in a locker, all of mine that was taken (relocated, really) was a pair of socks, my toothpaste, coat and towel. It's not even a nice towel. It's pink and has Lamb Chop on it. And the pink is the kind of pink that's also kind of orange, so it's not even a nice kind of pink. Stephi bought it for me because nobody in their right mind could possibly covert it. This chap wasn't in his right mind, I can confidently distinguish, if he stole my towel.

Having recovered my towel, toothpaste etc. (it was a fun shower that morning), I was out of the woods. Or was I? While doing my laundry, another girl said to herself something to the effect of "oh it's not dry", referring to some items of clothing she had recently washed. Being the considerate being that I am, I offered my turn at the drier to remedy her situation. She quite willingly accepted. Come the next morning I still had one of her shirts, then attempted to return it to her, while she began to explain the hallucinogenic fits she had been having. And she has nowhere to go. And maybe she'll go back to Norway. And she needs to go to Edinburgh, so should she get the bus or a taxi to Victoria station? After an hour or so I calmed her down and put her (and her 5 suitcases plus guitar) in a taxi. Fingers crossed for you, crazy lady.

All things considered, trips of interest are trips of worth. I have my towel back and even did something cultural today... Seriously, who needs this five star business?

Having said all of the above, hostels mean friends. Not long ago I was delving into my locker and began chatting with a girl sitting with her belongings sprawled all over the place. We got chatting. She was flying back to the USA the following day, though had tickets to see Ingrid Michaelson tonight, but needed to phone them to confirm. So I offered her my phone. She gave me the other ticket. It was great

Thumbs up for adventures!

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


...the creation!

I have been inspired to start a blog, which is a strange inspiration, to be quite fair. I don't have anything much worth saying, neither do i expect my thought patterns, musings and rambles are of particular benefit to anyone who may happen to chance upon them. But I can read, and I can write, and I feel these two skills are important enough to feature more highly in my professional life. Where I find an obstacle, however, is in the direction my career path has taken me. I've had load of jobs and worked hard at uni to achieve that honours degree. I have many hobbies and interests, charm, personality, razorsharp wit and a wonderfully dry sense of humour. Yet somehow, when jobs were being handed out at the beginning of time, the gods thought it prudent to deal me the "waitress" card. Seriously, I am beginning to think I have been implanted with a chip that brings me back time and time again to delivering food from one room to another. I have been to 22 different countries, seen some amazing things and have a wealth of stories behind them, and yet my life can be so easily defined by the long hours spent running with food. That's right, I'm doing the same work as when I was 17, and getting paid less for it. Go figure.

It makes me wonder what is so inherently waitress-y about me that allows the universe to direct me back to this brand of occupation. I'm not even that good at it. Not that it has much science behind it, or any real secrets about it (though one of my co-workers did tell me not to put cutlery in the bin or serviettes in the dishwasher. Thanks Simon, boy would my face have been red if I was left to figure that one out for myself). I'm clumsy and I drop things, say hi to people I've greeted just a moment before, and wouldn't remember the wine list if it were all Ribena. I seriously do not know why people hire me. Which then begs the question, why didn't the universe pick something more suited to me? Here is a concise lists of jobs which I feel would result in more success than my waitressing ventures:
International Woman of Mystery
Extreme Pole Vaulter
Professional Tap Dancer
Victoria Cross Maker
Novelty Hat Designer
Tight Rope Walker
Interpretive Ballerina
Outlaw Biker
Mafia Don
Beer Baron
Professional Blogger name a few. Do you think it's too late for that chip in my brain to be reset?