A traveller’s setback


I have had this blog idea about hostels since I first arrived in Thailand. Despite my previous travel history I had never stayed in a hostel before I arrived to Thailand. And since I’m back in the same hostel now, it feels fairly appropriate to finish the unfinished writing I started on during a previous stay.

The hostel is called 1Sabai which means ‘Comfortable Stay’ in Thai. It is run by a friendly couple named ‘Nuch’ & ‘Aa’. We became good friends and they helped me a lot during my stay. Nuch has experience in MBA and industrial garments. Aa is a part time supply chain lecturer. They both reside in the hostel and sometime left me in charge.

Anyhow; after checking in, I found myself in a twelve bunk bed room with an international crowd. My dorm mates are mostly backpackers with different accents all around me. Blending in was easy enough as I’m a fellow traveler myself.

During my first stay (This would be my third stay now), I met some really cool people and became friends with few. My second stay was a short one during which I didn’t meet many people. It was a quiet time in Bangkok due to bombing! Regardless of a talkative Italian named Antonio, who kept me company with his fiction like stories. My third stay now is OK so far despite the work paper issues I am dealing with.

I was excited at first to meet all the types of backpackers and to exchange views on world issues with them. Alas, not all brought the insights I hoped for. Some are here just for cheap drinks and nasty neon attractions. I guess they are looking for a fun holiday and world issues might be a deal breaker!

Some people made me prudent. Meeting people who have left their homes for uncertain periods and have no root to go back to. They have some tragic background stories and may be staying on the road is their only cure!
Coming from strong currency economies and being privileged with a convenient passport also makes their travelling more easygoing. None the less some are really good people.

Once I had to say no to a drinking session by my fellow roommates. They had shared their agitated thoughts with me earlier that day, about when they had visited the Cambodian killing fields. They expressed grief and shock about what they had seen and felt there. It was strange to me to see them getting so wasted shortly after our conversation. Maybe they needed it to calm down after their tragic moments. I also noticed some of them played drinking game every evening.

They will most likely go back home with great experiences (!) and share their travel photos on Facebook. Yah right, must be so exciting to do this globetrotting..eh!

Another interesting evening I had was with a group of Japanese backpackers the other day. They want to travel to India next month and asked me for guideline. They thought I must be Indian (At least they didn’t think I was Taiwanese)! Thankfully I have traveled through India and did manage to put together a tour itinerary and shared some of my own travel experiences with them, which was fun despite my headache.

They bought me a huge breakfast the next morning, and even left me a box of Japanese chocolate before they left! Arigatō indeed …

Another bizarre experience I had was with a South Korean young lad here. I met him at late hours while he was talking very nervously with Sam (Indonesian backpacker). First he told us that he got lost and his phone died. But after a while he told us the real story.

Apparently he ran away from a massage parlor without paying any bill.
He had a encountered a Thai masseuse who played her trick on him; offered him her lovemaking service and he couldn’t help but man up (Really ?!..). She also offered him an opened beer bottle and he thought it had been spiked. Any way, he ran away at some stage. And as it turned out, his hostel was next door to that very massage place. So he was too scared to go back, even though his his passport and luggage was still there. So I offered to go back with him and pay the bills he owed with clear explanation. He refused my suggestion due to possible police involvement and was afraid of any other harassment.

Despite his kooky story; we decided to help him out. We inspected the area, waited until every shop had closed and then went in to collect his stuff from his hostel. I even lent him, my t-shirt and cap for disguise. Thankfully everything went OK and we got back in one piece. He checked into our hostel for the day but left later on without saying goodbye! I didn’t mind, he’s probably still a basket case. I was glad to help the young lad despite his misdeed.

But I heard from Sam that he kept visiting other massage parlors, even after that! Some people never learn the lesson, do they?! Nutcase…

As a guest in a hostel you automatically become a member of an unknown family (family you never had?!) for a short time (or may be for good). Sharing the same roof and its facilities makes you unite with your fellow guests, especially in a third country. I found it quite interesting the way my fellow roommates (not everyone of course) opened up with me (I‘m not magus either). Is that because I greeted them first or my monk smile or am I that good a listener?! Good to have some company for sure, especially when you’ve been living real solo, like me.

Staying in a hostel is like a hideout.Staying with twelve other completely unknown people in a same room is thought provoking. Although boarding school life had always introduced me to the lifestyle back in the days. It did make me nostalgic I have to admit.

You meet people, get to know them and suddenly we all go off on our separate tracks.It’s like being on a train junction, waiting for the scheduled train to arrive or hopping on to a train to never land..
We all are in transit points to somewhere, aren’t we?.. .



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