Like the sketchiest hostel ever in Alaska. We’ve all been there. It’s 1 AM. It turns out your hostel is in a rougher part of town, dimly lit, with homeless people scattered on the streets. You tell yourself you don’t mind, you were on a tight budget and just needed a place to sleep.
You walk in, and the unpersonable receptionist tells you that the room you booked two weeks ago isn’t actually available anymore, so they rearrange a cigarette box sized room with two twins.
The room and beds look like they haven’t been used in years, as evidenced by the unswept floor, the musty smell, the dried mud on the walls, and mostly the fact that the coils are sticking out of the 70s mattress.
You and your boyfriend cuddle up in the other twin, then sink in the middle like a U, and wake up covered in itchy bites that look like bruises six months later.
Or the motel in Vietnam- okay this might have only been something that’s a big deal to me. For the first 25 years of my life, the most exotic bug I’ve ever seen was a big spider. The first sighting of a much creepier bug happened while I was showering innocently and closed my eyes to enjoy the coldish water on my skin after the first five hours of 90 degree weather.
When I opened them, staring back at me was A COCKROACH THE SIZE OF MY HAND. MY HAND. I ran away, remembering that they can survive a nuclear apocalypse, so thinking that there was no way I could get rid of it.
When I came back (apparently, you need clothes to be outside), THERE WAS A WHOLE FAMILY OF THEM INSIDE MY LUGGAGE.
The front desk person smiled at me on hearing the news, the cleaning ladies laughed, and so I took matters in my own hands (cockroach spray + never leaving luggage unzipped and on the floor again).
Or the hotel in Korea which wasn’t where I was supposed to be staying, but I ended up at accidentally at 1 AM. As the stale cigarette smell filled/disturbed my lungs, the receptionist kindly told me that I was at the wrong place and let me use the WiFi to call a taxi.
While I was having Uber problems and couldn’t read enough Korean to use Kakao, he received a phone call and the parts I inadvertently eavesdropped on went like this: “Don’t worry, I WILL have the 20,000 ready tomorrow. Yes I promise this time I’m not lying …… DO NOT HURT MY FAMILY PLEASE. I WILL HAVE 20,000 READY DO NOT HURT THEM *tears*.”
Wanting to leave the man and his troubles some privacy, I stepped outside to the cool winter air and heard the sound of at least 6 different female (fake) orgasms through the window of the hotel. “I AM IN A SEX HOTEL!!” I thought. And then started walking 5 km to the right hotel…
Or the “hostel” in China. I had high hopes for this one- we were going to make hostel friends while listening to Wonderwall, then explore the stone forest near Kunming with them during our day layover!
They were crushed immediately upon learning that it wasn’t actually a hostel, but someone’s apartment room they were renting out. Okay, whatever, we’ll just do our own thing after bed (it was midnight this time).
But before the owner handed us the keys, he insisted that we pay $40 for the taxi that was advertised as free. Me being me started opening up my wallet, but my boyfriend being my boyfriend told him no and that on hostelworld it was advertised as free.
Apartment owner started explaining that the ad was out of date (including no free breakfast either- which was the other thing I was excited about!! Turns out free breakfast here meant you can buy breakfast at the market downstairs), and soon got in a yelling match with boyfriend, threatening to kick us out if we don’t pay.
Me also needing the comforts of a bed instead of the streets in any country apologized profusely and handed over the money. Now with a cheery demeanor, he gave us the keys and told us we must write a 5 star review talking up the shuttle and the fact that there’s breakfast or else he’ll report us to hostelworld.
With all that said, I will likely be staying in a sketchy place again for the right price. Sketchy circumstances always lead to memorable experiences, right?!