Monday, 19 November 2012

The Great Glen Way Pt 9

Staying in hostels with shared areas like showers, well, especially showers invokes a code of practice, for example, if you’re staying in a hotel you can sleep naked (for example) and wander to the shower in the morning with your dignity intact (assuming you’ve closed the curtains.) In a hostel, you can’t. Equally, you might not be bothered by such things and enjoy a spot of shameless exhibitionism, which is fine I suppose, but generally, you never know what kind of reaction you’re going to get if you walk around bollock naked in what is a fairly public place. I was up early and down for a shower before everyone else, I got dressed although will admit, I didn’t put shoes on so was showing a little bit of ankle. I bumped into a young man exiting the showers with nothing except a small flannel protecting what I think we’ll call his cachet, there was also a cheerful drawing on the wall near by suggesting you could save water by showering with someone else, I felt this would constitute a fairly serious infraction of the Scout’s code of conduct, specifically what we call the Yellow Card. This is a list of ‘dos and don’ts’ when dealing with young folk, don’t, for example, shower with them. There is an old story about a line of advice that went; ‘If you begin to feel any sort of attraction toward a young person in your care, you should withdraw immediately.’ I have no idea if it ever was on the card and if I’m being honest, if it’s a case of having to withdraw, the situation has already progressed too far.

It’s called the Yellow Card because it’s printed on a bit of Yellow Card, it also means that when ever, by which I mean ‘if ever’ (because we would never violate the directives on the yellow card,) but if we did, other leaders and if I’m being honest, young folk too will say in grave referee-like tones; ‘YELLOW CARD!’

No yellow card was required for me that morning although Michael (he who can’t get on a boat with any aplomb) decided to go up to the showers with only a towel and the cycling shorts he’d been wearing all week in lieu of underwear. I think with the older group it probably doesn’t warrant a yellow card but it definitely violates the unwritten code of hostel-showering-conduct. I’m the last person to comment negatively on the merits (or lack-there-of) of other peoples bodies, but then, I have not, do not and will never wear lycra cycling shorts, even if they do stop chaffing. The effect it had on Michael’s body was a bit like filling a bin bag with yoghurt then putting a big elastic band round the middle of it, I mean, I think in a woman an hour glass figure is a good thing, Michael on the other hand looked like a string of sausages gone wrong.

In any case, off he went to the sound of shrieks from other guests while we packed up and continued to tidy up the room.

We booked out and handed our keys back to a different man, an Indian man. It turns out this was the hostel about which I’d read the not so positive online comments. Internet commentary is a funny thing though, if you have a fine time you tend not to go on tripadvisor and rave about it, it’s just what you expect. However, if you have a terrible time, you’re far more likely to moan about it, so it is that when you look for reviews, even if a place is actually ok, there will be enough fusspots and jobsworths with internet access to skew the reviews to the negative. In terms of the Eastgate Backpackers Hostel, the reviews are all crap because it actually is a bit crap. I could see as I was getting my key deposit back photos and messages pinned to the wall thanking the management for a great time, smiling faces and positive messages promising a return visit.
All I can say if you’re thinking about using the Eastgate Backpackers Hostel is; be careful, lol.

Go to Pt 10


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