5th May 2017
Today I left the state of Victoria to start a new life in Western Australia. I intended to dedicate my last five days in Melbourne to catching up on some old blogs I’d started ages ago but instead I just started new ones and went around leaving home-made business cards in public toilets so here is a diary of my five-night stay at Summer House Backpackers in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria.
I left the Southbank apartment I’d been living in for the last month. I was a lone traveller again. Estranged from my most recently acquired friends, I was keen to be befriended by new breeds of mammal but I would reside within the walls of a cheap hostel until such times as my flight to Western Australia for commencement of my farm work.
When I first entered room 108, I was greeted with an overpowering stench of feet (disclaimer: it later transpired that the foot stench was emitting from one of the residents, therefore the hostel could not be held accountable). There was a set of stairs within the room, it was a two-story room. I ventured down the stairs and the stench of feet seemed to dwindle but I couldn’t see an available bed. I took my concern to reception and it turned out that there was a free bed after all, it just had a few things on it. Next time I will be more observant. I removed the items, ready to pitch camp on the top bunk but then I spotted a mysterious door in the corner of the room, below the staircase. My curiosity was piqued and I had to investigate. What I discovered was beyond anything I could ever have wished for. I knew exactly what I wanted to do but first I would assess my room mates, suss how they’d likely respond to me claiming what was rightfully all of ours. A wardrobe room fully equipped with a clothing rail, plug sockets and lighting and it was completely empty except for a coat hanger and a couple of storage boxes. I had to have it but I didn’t want the hostel staff to find out and relocate me. It turned out that all three of my room mates were staff. I thought this was bad news but I was welcomed by Ollie with drinks and Asian food and I immediately knew that it was safe to test the waters; enquiries would be made. That night I moved my pillow and covers into the wardrobe.
My evening consisted of two parallel events. Whilst I was getting acquainted with my new room mates (the other two were a couple called Heather & Adam. Lovely Heather. Naughty Adam.) and eating dinner, I was also having a pre-existing dinner date invite mugged off by an apparent flock of chickens and I started to feel a bit sad about that but luckily I had a cupboard to retreat to. It was a rollercoaster of emotions. Once I got in the cupboard, I was happy again because of the cupboard but I knew if I left then I’d be sad that I wasn’t in the cupboard anymore so I just stayed in there and went to sleep.
I woke up feeling like a contortionist the morning after their first shift and I knew I couldn’t continue sleeping on the floor but not all hope was lost. I pulled down my mattress from the bunk bed and to my surprise, it fit perfectly into my new lair. It was really starting to feel like home, I’d even put a few decorations up and done a spring clean.
The mattress was the most wonderful addition. Not even the sound of my room mates’ waste descending through the pipes in front of my feet would awaken me during the night anymore (there is a recording of that on my Facebook page, https://m.facebook.com/LauraTulipBlogsIt/ if you’re interested to hear at what cost having my own private room came at).
I’d been leaving home-made business cards in various cafes over the last few days and I decided to up my game. I put the storage boxes that I’d removed from my cupboard to good use and built an office where I could work and create business cards in bulk before I left for the day each day.
I didn’t distribute any that night because I spent most of the night in hiding after a misunderstanding that had led me to the fear of being trialled for theft. I knew I was innocent but I wanted to avoid the stress. I’d been to the kitchen to make myself some tea and to my delight, right underneath a “Free Food” sign, there it was, an open packet with two remaining tender, delicious chicken breasts. I didn’t considerately took just one and left the other for another poor backpacker trying to make ends meet. After eating, I left the kitchen and began walking towards my room. I had stopped to document a sudden thought onto my phone and that’s when I heard it; roars of complaints from the kitchen, for someone had had a chicken breast stolen from them. I was going to go and explain the confusion and return the tender breast as I still had it in my fridge bag but then came roaring claims obviousness that it wasn’t free food.
Such an accusation gave me reason to anticipate potential conflict in the event that I was to admit my erroneous assumption so I scurried back to my cupboard where I remained in fearful solitary until the next day. Sadly, this was not the first time I’d experienced this in a hostel.
The office was closed for the rest of the night.
I began my day as planned, making business cards in my office when all of a sudden the desk gave way and everything toppled onto the floor. Out poured my coffee into a beige mess, ingested by the carpet before my eyes. I’d had it. I threw the dismantled desk across the room in a fit of rage but I soon calmed down when I realised that a nearby box could be used as both a small desk and a storage box at the same time. This was much better, it fitted right on my lap. We could have avoided a desk shortage issue on many an occasion at the office I worked at in England if only we’d had this facility.
I decided to connect with Ollie via social media and upon his acceptance, I was presented with evidence of treachery. Heather had recommended a delicious cake shop to me with free Wi-Fi and whilst I’d been there, Ollie and Adam had taken advantage of my absence.
That is what I said to them on social media but they just ignored me thinking I wouldn’t know it was my bed but I knew it was because I could see the door frame surrounding it. They are so naughty. They should be more like Heather.
I learned in IT class at school that you’re not always allowed to use someone else’s photo without crediting it so I am crediting http://www.jezebel.com for my use of the photo of an angry bear which I put my own words onto. Specifically, I got it from this article http://jezebel.com/5937399/how-to-calm-down-an-angry-womanbear which is about the oppression of women, demonstrated by replacing the word “woman” with the word “bear” from another article written by a man… Anyway, I had a letter to send so I made one last use of the box of solace which had consoled me in my time of despair after the demise of my office and then I lay my head to sleep for the last time in my private room.
Today I checked out of Summer House Backpackers and now I am in Perth. I was grieving over a variety of hardships that are a secret from you because you might tell but my stay at Summer House fixed me up real good. Now I am going to leave them nice reviews based on Janet & Allan Ahlberg’s “Funnybones”.