February 9, 2014
The Hostel The building was old and rundown like an apartment rented to college kids. From the top to the bottom, broken windows sat adjacent to one another. Strangers start to flood up the stairs to the building, without knowing who their roommates will be. Nervousness and anxiety start to kick in as the pack makes its way through the large colonial doors. Turn the cold rusty knob and enter the not so Holiday Inn. Anyone who travels abroad will have an unfamiliar feel when staying in Ireland’s Citi Hostel. Doors crash open, but there is no bellhop or cart in sight to help carry possessions. One counter stands in plain sight while a worker awaits the coming of money with joy. Money is received as candy when quickly snatched from outstretched hands. Next to the counter is an open room filled with backpacks full of spare clothes and travel maps. These personal belongings whisper for more secure and safer storage. At the end of the hall a staircase emerges and descends into the deep dark basement where rooms await. Broken light fixtures dangle from the ceiling as the moldy smell of the basement stings the nose. The excitement is overwhelming as the door draws near.
The door, dented and filled with holes, looked like something Jean-Claude Van Damme had kicked in. Seas of bunk beds, filled with used and dirty sheets, appear before the eye. In the corner of the room lay a dying table filled with crud encrusted dishes and silverware. The stench from that corner of the room was horrifying, but luckily was non-existent near the bunks. Just beyond hid a bathroom filled with dirt covered floors and unorganized appliances. The sink cried out in pain with rust and grime attached to it. The shower, which was next to the sink, had dirt on the bottom of the floor and a mildew smell that brought a tear to the eye. Immediately, two drunken men staggered through the front door with the stench of cheap alcohol on their breath. These men came to be known as Arter and Conrad. They seemed like decent enough guys, but apparently were about as clean as Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street. One could only hope their possessions would be safe for the night in the company of two sloshed men. A sad looking bunk, which lay in front of the men, was the only salvation in sight. The sheets are ice cold, but bring an escape as this nightmare turns into a dream. On the approach of sleep the name of the hostel stands more vivid than ever,