Sheila’s hostel

I didn’t know if I should be angry or laugh my butt off.

One of my 7 new roomates at Sheila’s hostel, a large full facility hostel across the river, had just managed to somehow find his way home after 03:00am. I was sleeping in a top bunk near the door, so before he even entered the room, my spider-sense has gone off and I was awake as he was outside the door fumbling with his key card. It was a friday night and he had made good use of it by pounding his liver into submission with God knows what. He made made a half hearted effort to get undressed, which resulted in his pants around his knees (one shoe still on). then he belly flopped into the nearest bottom bunk, much to the surprise of the sleeping occupant. They argued for a while in what I think was Dutch, then the drunk bastard fell asleep in the floor. He was still lying there when I got up to pack my backpack in the cramped quarters this morning.

There were 8 of us in bunkbeds in a tiny, very narrow room. All guys. I had seen dozens of attractive German and French girls in the lobby, and the rooms were co-ed, but who knows which room they had ended up in. Not mine, for sure. I had 7 guys, mostly younger than myself, snoring like a platoon of chainsaws and smelling like unwashed man-parts. A smell that reminded me of the barracks when I was in Basic Training for the Army. I could only lay there and dream of the semi-nude pillowfight going on in the room next door where all the women backpackers had randomly ended up. Even the bathrooms were co-ed, which was a little hard for me to get used to. I was showering in a stall, with German girls on each side of me in stalls having a full blown conversation. There was nothing sexual about it, but for some reason I just didnt feel comfortable shaving and popping pimples in the morning while women did their mysterious things in the mirrors to each side of me. I had a place to sleep, but dont feel like I really got my $20 worth. I did manage to meet 3 German backpackers at the Bru Bar down the street, and we had a good talk about Germany which will help me in a few weeks.

I had stowed my daybag in one of the locking mesh drawers under my bunk, which meant that someone was sleeping directly on top of it. When I got it the next morning to pack, it was literally dripping wet. My books, my journal, everything was damp on the inside. There was no smell (Thank GOD), but I have no idea where it came from. I dont know if I even like to think about it, random moisture in a setting such as the hostel is NEVER a good thing.

Paola was headed off to Italy, so I rode with her to the airport in Cork, which is new and clean. After a sad goodbye, I was sitting there wondering what to do with myself, and once again (how many times have I said it?) I was reminded that things always work out. My Irish friend Sarah, which I had met in Kentucky last year, comes strolling through the airport. Here we were, meeting again, 4000 miles and 1 year later. Her happy energy and excitement helped dull the pain of another goodbye, and she put me in touch with my lost friends in Waterford – which is where I am heading in only a few minutes. Its a 16EUR, 2.5 hour bus ride, but it is mostly on the way back to Dublin, which is where I need to be anyway to fly out tomorrow. It is simply amazing the kind of luck that I have had already on this trip with finding people. Maybe I should grab a ticket straight to Vegas for a week?

I will enjoy a night of craic with my Waterford friends and then head to Dublin in the morning and tell Ireland goodbye for now.

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