Over the years, I’ve had some bad hostel roommates. They’ve been rude, messy, dirty, smelly, drunk, loud and everything in between. Two girls in New Zealand were so bad they inspired me to write a post on hostel etiquette. But through it all, I’ve kept staying at hostels because of their gregarious social atmosphere. Hotels seem too sterile when compared with the energy and camaraderie of hostels. As I’ve gotten older, more set in my ways, and become a light sleeper, I often think to myself “Why do I still stay in dorm rooms? I’m so over them,” but then book one more night because I’m too cheap to pay extra for a private room.
But that feeling changed recently when I had the shittiest roommate of all time. Hostel dorm rooms and I are now on an indefinite break.
Let me explain why (and warn you now that I wouldn’t be eating while you read this):
It all began on a lovely Barcelona Monday morning in September. I was enjoying a nice sleep, dreaming one of my typical surrealist dreams – ones that have me being Batman one moment and escaping aliens on ancient clipper ships the next. Awoken by a loud banging from using my superpowers to fight bad guys, I looked at my phone – 7:30 am. The banging from the door continued. Groggy from sleep, I woke up, wished someone else had heard the noise instead of me, got out of bed, and opened the door. My Brazilian dorm mate standing in his towel said “Sorry” and rushed into the room.
This was the latest event on a long list of weekend rudeness. I was traveling with my friend Kiersten and we had been staying four nights in a dorm with this Brazilian and his friend. They snored, turned the lights on at night, came home drunk, talked loudly, proposed marriage to Kiersten, and were very messy. We were happy to be checking out of the room that day.
After letting the Brazilian in, I went back to my bed, and just as I was about to lay down, caught an odious whiff of something. “What is that smell? Why does it smell like shit?” I said to myself. I looked everywhere and couldn’t place it. Being still half asleep only added to my confusion.
“What is going on?”
I was perplexed.
Then I smelled my hand.
“Why does my hand smell like shit?” I thought.
I was now even more confused. I got back up and turned on the lights to the dorm.
And that’s when I noticed it – I had shit on my hand.
Because there was shit on the door handle.
And a shit trail back to the large Brazilian’s bed.
I stared in shock at my hand and turned to him. Catching my gaze, he looked at me and said, “I just got in, dude. It wasn’t me! I just got in!!!”
He was trying to play dumb.
Now I understood why he was showering so early in the morning – he had shit himself, touched the doorknob on the way to the bathroom (in what I can only hope was a drunken accident because who would do that on purpose!?), and locked himself out of the room, leaving me as the unfortunate roommate to open the door. One can only imagine the reaction (eardrum shattering shrieks) if one of the girls in the dorm had been in my place.
“I just got in, dude,” was all he kept saying to me, trying to pretend that he wasn’t clearly the cause of this mess.
“You shit yourself in bed, grabbed the door handle, and locked yourself out! That is fucking disgusting! What did you think was going to happen when someone opened the door?”
I swore at him, horrified and disgusted by this whole event.
I ran to the bathroom and sanitized the crap out of my hand (pun intended). I scrubbed to what felt like the bone, then grabbing a roll of toilet paper, I walked back to the room, noticing a dirty mattress outside the room, and opened the door.
The trail of shit to the bed was gone but the inner door knob was not clean. “It wasn’t me,” the Brazilian guy said, trying to prove his innocence despite being caught in the act of cleaning the scene of the crime. Disgusted, I cleaned the doorknob myself, using all my remaining hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
I went back and washed my hands again, and then again, and then once more for good measure.
As I went back to the room, I looked into the dorm next door as the door was wide open. Not a bed was missing. Inside my dorm, the Brazilian had fallen into a drunken sleep on a mattress. (To this day, I still don’t know where that mattress in the hall came from or how he managed to find a clean mattress.)
Back in my newly cleaned room, I sat back down on my bed and tried to sleep a little more.
Kiersten, who was in the dorm above me, didn’t believe me when I told her this story later in the morning. “No way would that happen. The room smells fine.”
I showed her a missed poop stain on the floor and a brown hand print on my dorm curtain (which I innocently grabbed before I knew what was on my hand and ripped off my bed after I knew). Then she believed me and freaked out, exclaiming, “Thank god we are checking out today.”
We left the hostel that day and, outside, I hailed a cab.
“The W Hotel,” I said.
As I stepped into the cab, I was never more happy I had decided the night before use my hotel points and move to a hotel.