In our Rat-trap Hotel by the Freeway

I promised to describe the the youth hostel I stayed at, so here goes.


I wanted to just end there. Two sentences, and short ones at that. Heck, one is only a single word. Does it even count? A great struggle raged within me, like that of Jacob and the Archangel, before I finally caved in and decided to continue. I would hate for you all to grow accustomed to short posts. For one, then I would feel even worse about rambling. (If you expect me to, then it’s alright!) And for another, were I to make only very short posts, they would cease to be special. And that would be no good. So, continuing…

There is no better word to sum up the entirety of the hostel than that, not only because it is absolutely appropriate, but also because it is a British term. But for those of you who are a little vague on what exactly qualifies something as “dodgy,” I shall elaborate to the best of my ability.

…keeping in mind, of course, that I am not British, and may be entirely off on the actual meaning of the word. (I understand it can mean anything from shady–the sort of place you would usually want to avoid, i.e. “dodge,”– to “authentic.)

The actual street entrance to the hostel was only wide enough for a small landing, doorway and key pad. The hostel itself was located up a flight of stairs and above the neighboring shops. At one point in time, the entrance to the hostel had been painted a bright, friendly red, with the word “HOSTEL” written vertically along the side of the door archway. However, it’s current condition had grown to be somewhat more decidedly chipped and faded than the original. I admit, the turquoise paint used on the outside of the building, surrounding the read door entrance, did not help matters. The inside continued the same theme of bright, boldly mis-matched colors, with walls being everything from sky blue, to lemon yellow, to ultraviolet. And, of course, red doors. All looking very shabby. The dorm I slept in was painted, I believe, some shade of sea green. My bunk was of the functional variety, but it came with sheets and covers.

This was an advertising point.

When I went to talk a look at the bathroom for the first time, I noticed a note that said it was currently under some remodeling. I am not sure how much of what I saw was the construction work taking place, or the actual remodeled look. Upon one point I am pretty certain, however, and this is that the corrugated steel lining the showers was supposed to be somehow aesthetic. Overall, it did claim to be a youth hostel, and it did seem to be targeted toward Youth. Hectic coloring, loud lobby music, and some hip morning show on the radio all sort of fit in well with the idea of today’s Youth, I suppose. Ah, and before I forget, they did offer breakfast. This was pretty much a table with some bread, cereal, milk, juice, peanut butter… nothing fancy, but not actually something I would complain about either. I got what I paid for, in the end. And when I chose a place that had bed linen and towels as major plus marks, I guess I could not have expected much else.

And one more thing. It was safe. As much as it did not look so, I was happy with my choice in the end. I slept with my passport and credit card (and remaining money) under my pillow (well, technically, it was inside my pillowcase,) but that was because I was sharing my room with potentially nine other women whom I did not know. I was very nervous the first night, but that was because I had never slept in a youth hostel before, and was all on my lonesome and such, rather than because I had any actual cause for concern. I mean, there were more security codes to go through than at your average hotel. I would not feel uncomfortable doing it again.

(As an end note, I would just like to say that I nearly titled this entry “Aha, Springtime of Life’s Erotic Hell,” but then thought that might have been misleading and alarming for my parents.)

8 thoughts on “In our Rat-trap Hotel by the Freeway

  1. XD Yes, that would have been mildly misleading for most of us.I must say, the color combinations sound interesting. Had the walls originally matched, or did it look like they had been meant to look like that?


  2. “…were I to make only very short posts, they would cease to be special.”Is that some sort of dig at me? 🙂 I stayed in a few “Auberges de jeunesse” in my travels in France and Ireland, and none of them were particularly bad. I even got to meet some interesting people, but I guess you do that whenever you travel. Are you still in England, or have you gone back to Germany?


  3. D.cous: It was less of a jab and more of a reference, as you not infrequently comment (which is not to say you complain) about the length of my posts. I wouldn’t call yours “short,” actually, just “short-er.” (And even if you were to write the sort of post I would consider really short, I’m sure it would still make me laugh. 🙂 )Eric: I shall have to save “Soul Police Chapter’s Reverse Side Circumstance” for another post. I’m sure another occasion will arise soon enough.


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