Thursday, November 3, 2011

Communal Living

Staying in hostels or any kind of communal living shouldn't be that complicated. Use common sense and don't be an asshole.  Simple right?  As we all know, common sense isn't always common especially when you mix every possible combination of cultural backgrounds.  Here a few tips to make hostel living a bit easier and help you avoid being the liability (also known as stupid american)

  • Say Hello to people in the room.  Maybe in the local language or even a hey in English.  It's simple and makes you seem a lot more friendly. ( don't worry about looking American, they can already tell by the way you walk into a room)
  • Contain your stuff, I know I'm guilty of taking a corner when possible but these rooms are designed for sleeping, not living so there are more beds than space for gear.  Pack your bag logically to avoid pulling absolutely everything out to find a pair of socks.  
  • Bring earplugs/headphones and an eyemask.  Even if you've never used either before, they will become your best friend.
  • Download the white noise app to your ipod/iphone.  Various level sounding noise will be a godsend when your hostel is above a bar or your in a room full of Aussies.
  • Keep your sweatshirts handy as extra pillows, the ones given to you have usually seen better days.
  • If you are leaving anytime before check out (or even at checkout but don't want to be a punk) pack your bag the night before. Your bunk mates will thank you if you make a quiet exit in the morning. 
  • If you go on a pub crawl or out drinking, put out your sleeping clothes and bedtime rituals (toothbrush, facewash)  before you leave, you won't need to rummage through your bag and make unnecessary noise. Not everyone in your room will be out partying until 5am.
  • Don't take pillows off other beds, even if it seems like no one has checked in- people turn up at all hours. (lesson learned, I was the that person stole a pillow and was later woken up when he took it back)
  • Pack a flashlight/headlamp and always leave it in the same spot.  This will help you to avoid being the jerk that turns the light on at any point when it is already turns off. ( people are a lot more amused if they wake up to you looking like a miner, than if you turn the whole room light on, it's far less aggressive and more communal living friendly)
  • Don't talk above a whisper no matter what time of day it is if someone is sleeping.  It's down right rude, let the poor hungover bastard sleep. There is always the hallway or common areas that you can chat.  ( 3 girls in my room started talking in full volume at 7:30 am- completely unnecessary, just because you want to get up and walk around in the rain all day, doesn't mean I want to.  Let me sleep)
  • Pack shower shoes.  The same reason you used flip flops all through college applies for co-ed shower in 8 euro hostels. 
  • Wash your dishes, other people want to cook and eat too.  

1 comment:

  1. I've never been to a hostel before but now I'm pretty if I do. Great tips!