All photos courtesy of Amazing Travel Photos
In part 1, Biggest Problem of Hostel Life, binge drinking was identified as major cause of trouble for hostel dwellers.
Living in a hostel, requires trust in the people that share your room. All your belongings are often just lying out in plan view on your bed. (Some hostels have lockers. Rarely will all you stuff fit in your locker.) Now it would be foolish to leave cash lying around, but often your iPhone, laptop or camera are not locked up. Still theft is quite rare in hostels. I can only recall three occasions of theft, and it was always cash that went missing.
So there develops a comaraderie of sorts with your hostel mates. You are all in the same boat, so to speak. Hostel roommates must look out for each other. That’s why it works, even with six or eight strangers sharing one room. That’s why you want to know a little about your roommate, such as where they’re from and where they’re going.And that’s why it is not dangerous for a lone female to share a room with five males she just met. It sounds odd, but it works.
You Bed Is Your Castle
The only places that is really yours in a hostel is your mattress and your locker. Everything else is shared. You may get an upper bunk or a lower bunk, but it is your space. It is not cool to sit on or place your belongings on someone else’s bed.
And when you are in your bed, nobody should be physically invade your space, unless they are invited.
This is also why people outside the hostel should not be allowed in the rooms. They don’t have any of their stuff there, and are not trustworthy.
With all that out of the way, I said I would tell a story about the pub crawl gone awry.
One Wednesday in June, I was in a room with three bunk beds–six beds. There were also big lockers with a key that fit all your stuff. I had a lower bunk. Each bed also had a bed curtain for privacy.
Sharing the room were two girls from Finland in upper and lower berths of one bunk bed. I also knew who the other three residents were: a blonde woman from Australia that looked looked like a fashion model; a handsome, young Canadian; and a guy from China.
The Finnish girls were blonde, of course, very pretty and looked young. Maybe about nineteen. There was a taller one, and one with curly hair. These were girls that just about any young lad would love to get to know.
The girls went to the beach one day, and on the way back to the hostel, a couple of girls approached them on the square about a pub crawl at 9 PM. The price: 120 kuna. Included was free shots for the first 90 minutes. A single shot in Croatia is 30 ml.
The Finnish girls headed out by themselves for the pub crawl. About 10:30 PM, I went to bed. Here’s where the story gets strange.
A little bit after 11 PM, the door unlocks and I can hear people coming into the room. Now the earliest anyine ever return from pub crawls is probably 2 AM. Four to six AM is more likely. But these Finnish girls were back at 11PM.
I can hear a female voice tell reception that they are leaving tonight. Then I hear a man’s voice say that he’s helping them move. The reception tells the man that he can not go into the rooms. He can only stay outside in the common area.
But he ignores this rule. He keeps asking for the keys to the girls lockers. Apparently he intends to pack up their belongings and take them and their stuff back with him somewhere. What would possess these girls to leave the pub crawl early to move in the middle of the night? This does not add up.
I’m laying in my bed with the curtain drawn, so I can’t see anything. I can only hear. But it’s all sounding a little fishy to me. Now if these two girls decided to pack up and move out at 11:00 PM, that’s none of my business. But that’s not what seems to be going on. Instead it seems like this guy is moving them out.
At one point, I look up and the man is looking past the curtain at me. He looked my right in the eye. I can see that he is a muscular dude, like a body builder. Why is he looking at me?
So I get out of bed to see what the heck is going on. The curly-haired girl is standing next to my bed wobbling back and forth. With extremely slurred speech, she asks if she woke me up. In my opinion, she looked like she was drugged, like she was on some kind of sedative.
Then I see that the taller blonde is flat on her back, unconscious on her bed. I don’t know how she got there, but she is laying half on and half off the bed. She’s not moving. (Later the Australian fashion model said she looked comatose.)
Anyway, the muscular dude that followed them back from the bar is pulling her up by her arms trying to make her stand up. But she is completely limp. It looks like he intends to drag her back to wherever he lives, even though she’s out cold.
Now I’m thinking, if this girl is unconscious, the best place for her is probably her own bed in the hostel. Maybe a hospital might be better. But certainly not being dragged or carried around to God-knows-where by some muscle bound dude. By what logic would this dude think that she needs to be dragged off with him. I don’t need to paint the picture what the man’s intentions were.
So from what I see this looks like a crime in progress. If a woman is in her own bed, completely unconscious, and some man she met at a bar one hour earlier is trying to drag her off, without consent, isn’t that the textbook definition of abduction or kidnapping.
So I confront this man and tell him that he doesn’t belong in the room, by hostel rule. I tell him to leave immediately. He tells me to “F’ Off”. I persist in demanding that he leave the room. He says that he’s here to “help them move”.
I told him about ten times that he must leave the room immediately. The man absolutely refuses to leave, and keeps trying to move the unconscious girl. He becomes bellierent and takes an aggressive posture. The night reception comes into the room, but does nothing. The man should not even have been able to enter the room. I tell the night manager to call the police.
Now somebody had placed a half filled beer mug on top of a locker in the room. I was considering taking the mug, dumping the beer and bashing it over the man’s head, like in the movies. I felt it was justified to prevent this man from abducting the girl.
Eventually, the night manager told the man that he had to leave the hostel. He never called the police like I asked. He did call the owner, who told him not to let the man back into the hostel. He dragged the other girl by her arm along with him.
The Next Day
The comatose girl eventually got up and showered at about 9:30 AM. When both girls were in the room, I asked them if they remember what happened the previous night. They said they did.
I asked of they remembered me and the guy having an altercation. Of course the comatose girl wouldn’t remember, she was out cold. But the curly-haired girl didn’t remember either! All she remembered was trying to wake up her friend who was sleeping. I remarked that passed out is not the same as sleeping.
Then I asked them why they decided to check out 11PM and move somewhere else. They did not recall wanting to move out. Very strange! I told them that the guy want to pack up their things so they could move.They were dumbfounded.
I asked how much they drank. The girl who had been comatose said 5 to 10 shots. At 30 ml per shot, that is 150 ml to 300 ml of liquor. Enough to cause someone to pass out? Perhaps for a person weighing 45 kilograms. I will have to research that.
So that is the story of how binge drinking often lead to date rape, abductions or worse. And how even a bystander can get drawn into the drama, unless you are just willing to look the other way when a crime is being committed.