No Sleep Tonight: The Story of the Worst Hostel Stay Yet
Hamilton, New Zealand is a small city on the country's North Island. Most well-known for it's rugby stadium and the University of Waikato, it's not exactly a popular tourist destination. It is, however, the site of one of the most ridiculous hostel stays of my life. Fair warning: this is a somewhat long story. Settle in with your beverage of choice and get ready.
Let me set the stage for you: It's September 2016. Emmett and I are only a week and a half into our ten month working holiday. We've just arrived in Hamilton after a 5 hour bus ride from the Coromandel Peninsula. It's already 10 PM when we check into the hostel we'd booked the day before. We each claim our bunks and then spend an hour in the hostel lounge using the fastest Wifi we've had in ages.
Close to midnight, Emmett and I politely sneak back into our already-dark six person dorm. Another bunk bed claimant follows us into the room, Irish-accented and smelling of beer. Emmett and I each get into our respective beds and Beer Guy makes an attempt to get into his top bunk bed. I say "attempt" because, instead of lifting himself up and onto the bed, he instead pulls the bed towards himself without moving the rest of his body. He continues this motion, all the while shaking the entire bunk and making it sway outwards towards him. I feel like it's important to mention that there is actually a dude already settled into the bottom bunk. (Bless him, he doesn't react beyond peering over his kindle to raise an eyebrow.) Ultimately, Beer Guy has to stand on Emmett's bottom bunk, heave himself shakily onto my top bed, and crawl across the space in between the two bunks onto his own bed. If it sounds overly complicated, it's because it is. Those of us awake in the room quietly laugh it off - what a silly drunk. I try to settle comfortably into sleep on the flat mattress but it's difficult. Beer Guy begins to snore like a freight train, something I can hear even through my earplugs. (Yikes.)
I do eventually fall asleep despite Beer Guy's roar. Before I know it though, Emmett is shaking me awake with some very surprising news: "Someone just climbed into bed with me." I am utterly confused in my sleepiness. "What?!?" I whisper. Leaning my head out, I look at the bottom bunk below. Emmett is standing beside it and, sure enough, I can make out a dark figure sleeping in his place. "What... happened?" I ask. Emmett enlightens me: He'd fallen asleep and woken up to a shadow looming above his bed. Assuming that the person standing above him was me looking for a snuggle, Emmett opens up the covers and lets the shadow in. Spooning this person, he begins stroking their back. This action quickly reveals that the shadow is not me but a man instead. Emmett carefully extricates himself from his bed, and then wakes me up. As he's telling me this, the shadow person begins an-all-too-familiar locomotive snore. Our suspicions about his identity are confirmed: the stranger is Beer Guy. He must have gotten out of bed, still been so drunk that yet again he couldn't solve the puzzle of his top bunk. Thus, why not join someone else for drunken spooning? We quietly laugh about the ridiculousness of it all and Emmett climbs into the 6th dorm bed - which happens to be empty - to sleep.
Now that Beer Guy's snoring is directly underneath my head, I really can't fall asleep. I lay there in the dark for what seems like ages, trying to think sleep-inducing thoughts. Then I hear and feel the bunk move. In the dim light, I see Beer Guy get up and walk to the door. Nothing unusual there. He's probably got to use the toilet. Only, our dorm room has this tricky setup of a push button lock. As in, push the button and then the door will be unlocked. But, of course, that is too difficult for Beer Guy's inebriated mind. Instead of opening the dorm door, he does the reasonable thing of just peeing where he stands, all over the door. I lay there in silence, thinking that I must be wrong. No way am I hearing a grown man pee on the door of my hostel dorm. But the sound is unmistakable. After relieving himself, Beer Guy tries once more to open the door. The lad in the bottom bunk berneath Beer Guy's original bed tells Beer Guy that if he "would just push the lit button next to the door, he could get out." Beer Guy thanks him and leaves.
Incredulous, I query the room, "Did he just piss all over the door??" Bottom bunk lad (BBL) gets up and turns the light on. There on the carpet in front of the door are two big, distinct puddles. They have spread underneath BBL's bed and soaked his loose socks. BBL tosses them in the trash with a mournful "my socks..." Emmett, BBL, and I collectively discuss the night's events and realize that Beer Guy must have peed on the floor once before already - probably just before he got into bed with Emmett. At this point, Beer Guy knocks on the door and BBL lets him in. Beer Guy registers the fact that we are all awake and looking at piss puddles on the carpet. Beer Guy, in his unmistakable Irish accent goes "Yeah, that was my bad. I did that." BBL says "Had a big night, mate?" Beer Guy, despite his drunkenness, quips "Bigger than my bladder, apparently. ...Sorry." After a long pause and a look around the room, Beer Guy then adds "I don't even know which bed I was sleeping in." I tell him that the bed beneath mine is his - just so we don't all have to watch him struggle again. Beer Guy apologizes once more and then goes back to sleep. My watch reads 4:30 AM. I fall asleep after marveling over what an utter mess BG has been.
The next morning, Emmett discovers that Beer Guy's urine has spread far enough to saturate the straps of his daypack. Emmett does his best to clean them and tells me that before he fell asleep, he heard BBL pack up and leave. (Presumably he couldn't tolerate sleeping so close to BG's makeshift urinal). While brushing my teeth before check out, I absentmindedly scratch my arm and glance at where I'd been itching. What do you know? I have a little three-bite cluster a la bed bugs. Ah yes, the infuriating cherry on top of a pretty rough night's stay. We grab our packs and check out. We inform the guy at the front desk of BG's nocturnal escapades. Front desk guy lamely says "Sorry that happened, guys" and is visibly bummed about having to clean the carpet. I then point out the bites on my arm and tell him that due to past experience, I'm pretty sure they are bed bug bites. He says "Haha, sorry. Oh man. Now I have to clean the sheets, too." I am so sleep-deprived and frustrated about that disruptive night that I just stare at him and then we leave.
After that stay, we stopped staying in mixed dorms at central city hostels for a while. We needed a break from the drunks and the noise and the bed bugs of cheap, basic dorm rooms. Also, can I just say that I am glad for Beer Guy's sake that I didn't take the bottom bunk instead of Emmett? If a stranger had crawled into bed with me, I would have pushed him onto the floor. Hard.
Thanks for reading my story. Now I want to know: what about you? Have you all had any crazy hostel roommates?