People are annoying. Fact. I know because I am one, I can be annoyed and no doubt be annoying too. For a fun experiment try adding lots of people to a small room with too many beds, and watch as some who might normally be mildly annoying become someone you want to bitch slap across the face.
We have had our share of annoying, frustrating and plain disgusting dorm mates and have probably been less than decent dorm mates ourselves on a few occasions. But it is all part and parcel of travelling and staying in hostels. By now I can sleep through most noises and thought I had learnt to block out the synchronised snorers, the chronic sniffers and the incessant scratchers. But I was wrong. My dorm room tolerance was recently put to the test by none other than a kind faced, cardigan wearing Granny.
The first sign that something was up was after we checked in. We left our bags in the room, turned the heater down as it was on high (even though it was just the end of summer) and the room felt like it was melting, and headed into town for a walk. Upon returning all the furniture had been rearranged and our bags had been moved. We thought this was odd, but as all our stuff was still there, we didn’t think too much about it. The heater was back on, feeling a bit bad but sweating through our clothes after just two minutes in the room, we turned it down again.
It got a bit stranger every time one of us returned to the room that evening, each time more things had been moved, and we started to wonder who our mystery roommate was and what exactly was going on.
There was still no sign of anyone when we went to sleep but we were woken suddenly a few hours later when the light was turned on. As I was turning over to go back to sleep I heard someone say loudly “Hi, how are you, I have been wondering who you were as I didn’t see you at all today”. Seriously I thought, it is past midnight, surely introductions can wait until the morning.
Out of habit we had hung our towels on the side of the bunk facing the door and the light, so there was less chance of being woken up by people coming and going in the night. I rolled over just in time to see her pull our towels away and practically jump into to the bottom bunk where Sarah was asleep to attempt an introduction again before starting to make general chit chat about how nice the town was.
Obviously not receiving the animated response she expected, she wandered off to get ready for bed much to our relief and we both rolled over and went back to sleep, only to be woken again ten minutes later by her loudly enquiring as to whether we want to light on or off. The mere fact that we were asleep and it was off when she came in was clearly not enough of an indication that yes we would like it off! Having a chuckle to myself I once again tried to get back to sleep.
But then the snoring started.
I had never heard anything like it. 271 days in 78 different hostels and this granny was without a doubt taking out the snoring Gold Medal.
It was so loud that nothing could block it out. I tried the earplugs, there was no difference, if anything it felt like the sound had just gotten further into my ears and was now reverberating around inside rattling against my skull.
And it just went on and on and on.
I plunged the earplugs further into my ears, put a headband on and tied a pair of pants around my head as a triple buffer against the noise. There was no change.
There was no rhythm to the snoring either, you couldn’t even wait for the silence to try and drift off. The only change was the degree of loudness. They were loud, louder, soft, nasal, from the throat, gurgling and at times so violent that I thought her nostrils may rip apart from her face.
We had to resort to desperate measures. I tapped the bed hoping the noise would break the cycle, when nothing happened the tap turned into a kick, then a nudge of the shoulder. Then some loud clapping near her head. The snores kept coming. I started yelling out random words and apart from making us both dissolve into laughter it did nothing.
At some point I started feeling a bit light headed, throwing my doona off and tossing and turning to get comfortable, I figured I was just agitated from frustration and lack of sleep. Then I hear Sar, “I feel like I can’t breathe and I have the worst headache”. I realised I was sweating all over. “The heater,” I groaned. We both stumble out of bed at the same time. I felt unable to breath, like I had been laying on a bed in a sauna. We turn the heater off, wrench open the window and gulp in the fresh air.
At around 5am we both fell asleep from pure exhaustion, the snores echoing around us.
6.08am. Lights go on. Curtain is pulled open. Heater is turned on. Are you kidding me?
The bathroom door opens and closes. Sar is out of bed, a look off death on her face. Curtain is closed. Heater turned off. Lights go out. Game on.
Bathroom door opens. Lights go on. Curtain is opened.
Bathroom door closes again. Shower goes on. Lights go off. Curtain is shut.
Shower finishes. Bathroom door opens. Lights go on. Curtain is opened.
A one sided conversation starts up, “Ah. Morning. Hmmmmm. Okay. What shall I wear today, it was colder than I expected yesterday. Okay. Hmmmm. Suitcase, yes. Towel, yes. Handbag, yes, yes, yes, yes.” And for the next twenty minutes we were given a running monologue of everything she picked up, did, and even thought about.
When I thought she was just about to leave the room I turned to ask if she could shut the curtain and turn off the light when she left. What actually happened was I turned to see a pair of naked, granny boobs looking back at me and before I could speak she leant over and let out a nice long fart.
Obviously the perfect outfit was yet to present itself and we were not going to win this game. The next three days would be fun.