Thursday, May 19, 2011

Living expanses

When the truck arrived in Rio, Martin, Steve, Didier and I met to check in at the ambitiously named Best Rio Hostel. We had booked ourselves our own 4 bed room instead of booking beds in the standard 8-12 bed dorms. It was a few days of moderate extravagance we figured we'd earned after living cheek-by-jowl with 22 other climbers for several months.

We were directed to our room at the dead-end of a dog-leg corridor that was completely effective at excluding all natural light and air. Our windowless room was small, gushingly blue,...and small. It had the size and general ambience of a kid's cubby house, with a pair of low-set bunk beds that you could span between with your outstetched arms, a pitched white-washed ceiling, and a couple of "lockers" that seemed to be fashioned from slats of balsa wood with bent hinges, gaping holes and nairy a right-angle in sight. The only thing missing was a clubhouse flag and a "no gurls allowed" sign.

But not everything was small. What wasn't small was the industrial-sized, black, boxed fan that necessarily filled the doorway with its whirring presence whenever the room was occupied, in a brave and barely successful attempt to prevent actual asphyxiation in the steamy Rio heat. This desperate attempt at aeration meant that we couldn't close the door when we were in the room. So when we were all tucked up in our cubby hole, slumbering peacefully, we'd be startled awake by sudden floods of lights as the nameless, faceless, shameless bastards who shared our hostel but not our bedtime switched on lights to get to their windowless, airless rooms or to the communal bathrooms.

Ah, the bathrooms. Two toilet cubicles, one with a shower added, evidently as an afterthought. You step out of the shower onto the invariably sodden floor to gather your towel from the same sodden floor after having attempted to hang it on one of two short, slippery hooks next to the door - the uncloseable, concertina-style door, the flimsiest, yet noisiest door available, and situated directly at right angles to our own, perpetually open bedroom door. Ahhh, the serenity....

The kitchen would have been completely serviceable, if not particularly easy to locate, had it contained any useable utensil, bowl or drinking receptacle.

There is no paragraph to describe the common room. There wasn't one.

So it was with heavy hearts and fond memories that we checked out of Best Rio Hostel after our 5 night prepaid stay to move into CabanaCopa Hostel, a hostel with hooks in the bathrooms, lockable lockers, noiseless closing doors, windows and a ceiling fan...well, sure...but where do I hoist my flag??

No comments:

Post a Comment