I'm not a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here
26.08.2014 32 °C
I'm pretty sure my bed has given me Aids.
I'm not entirely convinced it's possible, but if it is, I've definitely got Aids.
Imagine the scenario if you will - you caught the red eye, as it was a cheapy flight at $190 (£95) and arrive in Darwin in desperate need of sleep. You're convinced that, like many of the hostels before it, This one's bunk beds, doors shutting at unexpected times and the noise of other people might disturb your slumber, but none of that will matter tonight because you're so tired.
But I'm now writing this wide awake in bed, mainly because I fear that if I fall asleep, I may never regain consciousness - something animal, human, or bacterial will kill me in my dreams.
Let's start with the bed.
After being promised the sheets and pillowcase, (which are usually collected from reception if you check in during normal hours), would already be on our beds, we realised problem number one - lying members of staff.
Problem two - the lack of sheet highlighted the itchiness and uncleanliness of the mattress below.
Problem three - vicinity of bed to fan. Now it was 25 when we landed and highs of 32 during the day. So don't get me wrong, the room fan is a great idea. However, the one in the ceiling is accompanied by two others - which rattle like mad. The one nearest me is making my elbow freezing and doing nothing to the rest of my body.
I'll now move to the hostel itself.
The dorm doorway steps out onto a balcony where buckets are collecting condensation from the air con fans, so you have to mind your step as you walk. Everyone seems to also leave their shoes outside, which I'm not sure whether is meant to be a sign of cleanliness by not bringing outside dirt into the room, or they are expensive trainers and don't want them near the Aids-soaked bed. (As I typed that last sentence my thighs started to itch really bad. I think something is eating them.)
Downstairs there are two small fridges chocked full of people's food, so I'm pretty sure there is no way in hell we'll get anything in there.
We are in a room of ten, so at a rough guess I would say this hostels sleeps at least 80ppl - how can there only be two fridges?
Outside there is a lagoon-shaped pool. You'll find it next to the picnic benches stacked full of empty beer cans, ashtrays and forgotten dreams.
I must say the water does actually look clean, but this may be a trick of the eye - my mind willing there to be a plus in this puke-ridden hell hole.
Did I not mention the puke yet? Sorry, meant to say. As I was washing my face and having a wee in the ladies (these were two separate tasks you understand) I could quite clearly hear the girl in the next cubicle being sick. I hope for her sake she was p*ssed off her face on alcopops and vodka fishbowls and wasn't being sick because she'd caught something off her mattress.
Back downstairs, in the "living room" there are two moth-eaten leather sofas, a wooden shelf which looks like someone has attempted to either kill, rape or eat, a depressingly-dingy floor and views overlooking the road (from now on referred to as the tarmaced escape route to the realm of planet Basic Human Rights).
As we arrived at an unsocial hour, our keys were left in a safety deposit box, which I was given the code for. I find it ironic that they think people would try to break in and sleep here.
I think this is a pretty decent summary of the place and hopefully I've painted a clear picture in the mind's eye. If not, check out the picture gallery.
I'll now sign off, not because for one second I think I'll fall asleep, but if I at least shut my eyes and pretend, I can at least say I've tried. (How very British of me).
Morning update: after a terrible nights sleep, we found somewhere else to stay, thanking the heavens we didn't pay upfront for the week. I was considering naming this hostel, but as I mentioned a few flavours of the above, the manager was willing to let us off without paying for the night.
When I look back in this, I'm sure I'll laugh and say flippantly that at least it was a free bed for the night. But for now, I'm ready for a sunbathe by the pool and a large glass of cider.
Darwin - you'd better up your gain me lad!