We arrived at the first hostel which was just outside the main strip of the city centre. It was nice. We were shown around and they explained to us what our jobs were going to be. They showed us to our room and allowed us to settle in… I hated it, I felt really homesick and wanted to get out of there ASAP, I don’t know what came over me but I hated everything about it. He suggested we go to the other hostel and see what it was like and if we liked it better we’d stay there and work.
Well, it was much better and we pretty much said c’ya later, thank you but no thank you to the other place and checked into the second hostel. This hostel was owned by two young brothers and upon arrival, we were shown to our room. It was an eight person dorm with access to our own little balcony looking out onto the main square in the city. After travelling for five months I have to say this was the cleanest hostel we had stayed at AND they had REAL mattresses! A lot of the hostel beds were made out of foam and ever so uncomfortable, you’d feel your whole body sink into it, and by the morning, it felt like you were sleeping on the bed slats.
We settled in nicely and the next morning we met the manager of the hostel. He was really cool and easy going, it was a very laid back hostel, we were run through the system and advised of what our jobs were going to be. We weren’t sure how long we were going to stay and work for but I was only thinking a couple of weeks. We only needed to work on Sundays and run the pub crawls on Wednesdays Fridays and Saturdays. Easy!
I think I surprised myself with how excited I actually was. We settled in quite nicely, it was my turn to have the top bunk. We rotated at every hostel we went to, although I think every time I put on my puppy dog eyes (which was almost every time) he ended up taking the top bunk. I knew he was good for something!! The hostel only slept 14 people, so it was quite small and cozy. It was our second or third night, I was just falling asleep and he comes knocking on my bed (the beds also had curtains across them, so you could sleep comfortably without any light interrupting you (genius!!)) We had an older (I’d say about 70) man staying at the hostel. “There has been an accident and they asked if you could clean it up?” “What?!” Ill spare you all the details, but lets just say, the old guy wore adult nappies and ‘missed’ the toilet when emptying it, it was alllllllllllll over the toilet seat, sliding down the toilet and bathroom floor. “Fuck!” The next half an hour was spent cleaning. Gross! Now looking back, all we do is laugh, but at the time, I wanted to die!
Our first pub crawl – I don’t drink that much, and I get quite anxious around drunk people, so I was quite nervous about it. We started at the bar that was owned by the brothers that owned the hostel who were also big party goers. A beer was equivalent to $2.00AUD which is extremely cheap. I enjoyed a couple of drinks at the first bar, and a couple at the next and a couple at the one after that. Before I knew it, I was the drunk one! It was one of the best nights I have had out! We finally ‘crawled’ back to the hostel, where I was way too drunk to climb the ladder to my bed, so I slept in his, winning!! I face timed my brother who was on his way to work who has never really seen me that drunk, he was in stitches, I do remember showing him how I could do the worm on the floor in the common room.
The next few days were spent doing the touristy things and sight seeing so we could familiarise ourself with the city. The main strip of the city, was very modern filled with lots of cafes and restaurants. The outer streets showed the history of the country, like the other Eastern European countries it was very war torn and a lot of it was still being rebuilt.
It was a beautiful city and I couldn’t wait to call it home for a little while…