From July, 2009
I might just be getting old, but hostel life just isn’t quite as fun for me as it used to be! I spent the first five days of my trip staying in a 600 bed hostel. It actually wasn’t as bad as I’m tempted to make it sound, but it certainly was an experience! I stayed in a small room with ten beds and one tiny window. There were small lockers (very small) in which you could lock up your belongings, but most everything else that you own had to be left out in the open. There was luggage storage available from 8:00-6:00, but after 6:00, each bag cost £5 pounds to store. Luggage was not allowed to remain in storage overnight. I got pretty lucky! Only a couple of my belongings wandered off. One of the men in my room was not quite so lucky. He went to take a shower, and when he returned, 70 percent of his belongings and £80 were gone. He was on his way to Moscow for work, and had finally made it to London after years of attempting to visit. I think that the best piece of advice that I got from my friends back home after seeing my photos was, “Don’t let the bedbugs bite!” I did meet some absolutely wonderful people sleeping outside the hostel. Tyke, the puppy, saved me from some massive homesickness! No food news at the hostel. One microwave for 600 people! I did get lucky, though. There was a Whole Foods directly around the corner! I had smoothies, iced coffee, fresh produce, and a whole selection of prepared dishes from which to choose! Grilled salmon, baked tofu, perfect little wedges of Taleggio, potatoes and lentils with celery and chilies. . . I spent a fortune there, but it was so, so worth it! After a couple of days of hostel living, it was really, really time to find a flat!