This lovely post by standingoutinmyfield reminded me of a hostel experience of my own.
I stayed in Canterbury for two weeks while collecting data on Dormice at Wildwood. I spent most of my stay at Kipps hostel, which after the YHA is probably the most well known in the area. I have no real complaints; the free sausage get together (yep, really) and other nightly activities were a nice touch although I had too much work to really engage. I tended to spend all my time at the hostel either going through clip after clip of dormice doing very little (so much so that people starting calling me the dormouse girl), or reading my Herriot and Durrell books. I did sometimes struggle to get the wifi in my room since it was at the top of the house but this isn’t supposed to be a travel review, so moving on.
I was in a large mixed dormitory with 10 beds in total. One night, I was sat up in bed reading, it was only about 10 but some people were already asleep and my side lamp was the only light on in the room. A new traveller arrived and chose to take up the other bed along from mine on one end wall. We said hello in hushed voices and briefly exchanged pleasantries – he was a doctor called Naveed from New Zealand, I was a dormouse freak from Manchester. Then he got into his bed and the fun began. To this day I don’t understand the physics of it, but his rickety metal flat pack bed, which had been fine when he sat on it, must have been broken in some way – whenever he tried to lie down, the foot end of the bed would pop up as if hinged in the middle. It instantly gave me the giggles which only worsened as he tried in vain to fix the problem, looking under the bed and lifting the mattress but not being able to find any obvious cause. So he’d get back on and it would just pop up again before knocking back onto the floor. By this point I was having to bury my face in my duvet to stifle my laughs, I imagine I was probably bright pink too and I’m pretty sure I cried at one point. Naveed gave up on fixing it and we said goodnight, but any time he’d roll over or even shift his weight slightly, up the bed would spring. I was trying really hard not to laugh but even when I faced the other way, I could hear the slight knocking sound of the feet landing on the wooden boards again and it would set me off. To this day, that is the most I can ever remember laughing and I started again just writing this post.
The rest wasn’t quite as funny (not to me at least, since I was actively trying to sleep), but the night didn’t end there. In the small hours, the rest of the room’s inhabitants sloped home and noisily set about going to bed. It was their first night too but they had arrived earlier to unpack and claim beds. They were making an attempt at whispering but, possibly due to alcohol, were failing miserably, so I woke up as soon as they got in. I didn’t look because I was hoping to maintain a reasonable sleepy state, but I got the gist from listening. One of the men flopped down on their bed, which was instantly followed by a crack, a thump, a vibration through the floor and a chorus of laughter. His bed had broken too, but unlike Naveed’s, it had given up the ghost entirely. The group spent about 15 minutes trying to fix it before the tipsy and exhausted man in question just grabbed the mattress and threw it on the floor in the only space available meaning any early risers has to step over him to leave the next day.