It’s never as simple as it seems to be and you suddenly realize that there are a few versions of “normal”. Sometime really strange ones. Especially, if you stay in a hostel.
I had a situation in Havana. We had one bathroom for 6 people staying in a dorm. It contained loo, shower and sink with mirror. Not super big space but enough to feel comfortable using it. Usually, I used the lock but there was one time when I decided not to do it. I was inside, having one finger in my eye, trying to put contact lens on (bastard, it didn’t want to stick inside). Suddenly the door opens and our weird roommate comes in. Weird cause she never really said a word, not hello nor goodbye, snoring so loud that a heavy metal band on a concert would have problems competing with her.
So she comes in and I say that I will be done in a moment (hoping secretly that it’s true as my lens still fights against it). She said nothing, entered the bathroom, closed the door behind her and started peeing. I was speechless (with my finder in my eye) and didn’t really know what to do. The only thing in my head was “what? Should you..hmm…ee? hell?” and so on. Nothing cleaver though. For my luck few seconds later the lens decided to stay in so I gathered my stuff (other one was already in my eye) and leave.
I closed the door behind me and I think I looked really puzzled as other roommates looked at me and asked in disbelief “did she just??..noooo???” I just nodded and said that I had no idea what to say so I decided to leave. Fast.
Trauma for life. I have to remember to lock the door. Always.
There are many other situations at hostels. Especially, when you have a snorer in a room. I never know what to do then. I don’t really want to wake him/her up cause who knows, maybe she/he will bite me? Maybe he/she is some kind of psycho so you wouldn’t like to have him/her as an enemy. Maybe hit them with a pillow and then pretend you are sleeping? Kick their bed and pretend you are sleeping? Pour water over their head and pretend you are sleeping. Then pretend it’s normal that it rains inside a dorm. Just on one bed. You know, different countries, different meteo rules apply.
It’s always a struggle. Maybe the person doesn’t know that she/he snores? Should we tell them? Should we leave a note on their bed? You would think that more you travel more answers you have but talking with other people just made me realize that it’s not as simple as that. You want to respect peoples personal space but then what about your comfort?
All the issues aside, I love staying in hostels. It’s such a great way to meet other people, find out where to go next or just chill out and talk. You think that you are different but all of the people have the same problems, same questions.
Also, we all hope that we will never become the odd ones in the room:)