How to spend Christmas in Colombia (or not)…

I’ve stayed in more hostels over the past six months than I can count and most of the time they’re very nice experiences. But after a while, you start to recognize the types of people who frequent these places. You know as soon as you see them. Him over there? Oh he’s a smug long-stayer who spreads his shit out all over the dorm and knows everything and everyone and has his own special shelf in the fridge. You’re going to be friends with him anyway because in spite of being a know-it-all, he’s the only one who’s always there, in the same spot, ALL THE TIME. Guaranteed.

Her over there? She’s the one who’ll have the ‘problem’ and spend all day running everyone ragged trying to book a flight or a trip or another hostel, bursting into fits of tears because she’s never travelled alone before and doesn’t know how to do anything without Skyping her mum for hours first, clogging up the Internet.

Him over there, the one spread out on the couch who looks dead? He’s the one who’ll stumble in loudly in a drunken stupor at 5am every morning, probably with a girl, and proceed to have noisy, grunting sex on the mattress above you before kicking her out ‘in case anyone hears’.

That one, with the long hair and B.O? He’s the one who’ll stink out the dorm for four days straight and on the day you leave, finally have a shower, and use all your shampoo.

You can tell them all a mile off, after a while.

Tonight, while lazing in my hammock (I’m the one who sits in the corner with a laptop, judging, in case you hadn’t figured that one out) a special kind of hostel type came in. He’s the one in the background of the photo here. He’s the suspiciously-aged kind, who looks too old to be in a hostel, who brings an entire case of beer in with his rucksack and doesn’t share it.

He’s the kind who sits there at the reception desk as he drinks it, because the staff are the only people who’ll talk to him; the kind who having drunk the whole case, goes out to fetch even more, stumbles on the way in and knocks the day-trip pamphlets off the table, displaying his huge, sweaty arse-crack as he bends to pick them up.

He’s the kind that staggers up to your dorm afterwards, strips off, sprawls on his bed like a beached whale and snores like someone driving a lawnmower over your ears, all night, because his own fat is choking his windpipe.

You might think I’m being mean, but you don’t have to share a room with him, on Christmas fucking day. And I do.

Just be grateful for your beds tonight, dear friends. Sleep well, and merry Christmas from Colombia! x

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