Hostel Stories: The Love Shack and the Irishman

I have spent a good chunk of time staying in backpackers or hostels while traveling, and these stays can lead to a number of good stories. One of the most suspect hostels I ever stayed in was fondly nicknamed “The Love Shack”.  The Love Shack had a party shower* and was full of risque and suggestive statuettes.

It was also a relatively crowded. The hostel was very cheap and backed up on a beach with access to the ocean, so many travelers ended up spending the night there, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying the party shower.

I had no interest in the party shower myself, but I was quite enamored with a small section of lowland rainforest that lined the road near the hostel and I spent a great deal of time wandering in there and admiring the orb weaver spiders, whose webs were so thick and robust that they almost cut into your skin when you tried to break them.

My room in the hostel was fully booked; it held 8 travelers in bunk beds.  And when I returned from my wanderings, only one bunk remained: the top bunk above a large, snoring Irishman with a full, red beard. He was face down on his mattress, arms and legs spilling over the sides of the tiny and too short bed.

There was no ladder leading up to the top bunk, and I most vehemently did not want to disturb the Irishman, so I strategically devised a plan to vault my way up to the top bunk without touching the bottom bunk (largely covered in the Irishman’s hairy sprawling body).

I put one foot on a nearby bunk, one on the wall, and grabbed onto my bunk with both hands. With a shove and a pull, I leapt up, neatly landing with my knees on the edge of my mattress. I tottered, delicately balanced on the slightest edge of the mattress and the very tips of my knees for a few precious seconds. I waved my arms violently, but silently, desperate to keep my balance.

But alas, my knees slipped and I fell, well… more accurately, I belly flopped (gracefully!) to the floor. The resulting OOF and thud succeeded in rousing the Irishman, who snorted, opened one eye, and grunted, “You Ok?”

“Yes…” I croaked.

Fortunately for me, my embarrassment was enough to make my second attempt more successful. Fueled by the adrenaline of the fall and the damage to my pride, I practically flew up to my bunk, wrapped myself in sheets, and fell asleep to the comforting lullaby of the Irishman’s renewed snoring.

*A party shower is a large empty room with a single, giant shower head and a single drain. It is meant for more than one person to shower at the same time.


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