I know some of you were beginning to wonder if there would be another real post, and not just those stupid haikus and photos every Friday. To be honest, I was beginning to wonder myself. It felt like life had gotten pretty routine and boring. Last week, however, I set out like Columbus, Magellan, Vasco De Gama, and other explorers of old looking for new worlds to explore, exotic foods to consume, and stories to post on their blogs. I have returned scurvy free and full of stories.
Today I tell the tale of the Hostel from Hades. After doing some research online, I booked the cheapest one I could find. For those unaccustomed to hostel life, this is not always the wisest move. But how bad can a place be if it is located between the Holiday Inn and the Imperial Hotel, and only a block from the Sheraton? Plus with a name like Chungking Mansion, it has to be good.
As I checked in, the guy looked at me and said, "You are big guy, the room is small. This could be a problem." Fearing that this might be the only bed he has, or that he would try to upgrade me for more money, I told him it should be a problem. A minute later I realized I could be wrong. He opened the door to the closet which held the bunk bed I would be sleeping on that night. I am telling the truth that when I was spread out on the bed, my head and feet hit two of the walls. I could touch the other walls with my elbows. At least the mirror made the room feel a little bigger.
After a rough night jammed in that room, I headed out on the town. When I got back later that night, I discovered someone was sleeping on my bed. I went out to the office to discover that they had moved my luggage out and I was getting a new room on the eleventh floor. This one was better. It actually had a bathroom attached, and space to breath. Even the air conditioner appeared to work. I woke up that next morning refreshed and ready for the day.
Interestingly enough, when I returned to the room about two hours later, I found that I was being moved to yet another room. The guy claimed that they were working on the air conditioner, and that he had a room back on the third floor. The room had the space and even had the bathroom attached. Too bad it did not have a toilet seat. But hey, I have traveled this world enough to deal with that. What I was not prepared for was sharing the room with people who have no desire to enjoy cool air, or air flow for that matter, during the night. For the rest of the week, battles were fought for the control of the air conditioning. At one point, one of my roommates felt it would be better to have the windows open, allowing the hot, humid air to permeate to room. With that hot air came the sounds of one of the busiest streets in Hong Kong.
In the end, I can not complain much, as my week in the hostel cost less than a fourth of what one night at the Holiday Inn would have cost. Heck, spending eight hours in the parking lot of the Holiday Inn would have cost me more than the hostel for the week. So would I do it again, perhaps. But next time I might pack my own toilet seat.