We’d agreed to stay at a hostel, at least briefly, for the first couple of days of our journey, to get our feet wet so to speak, and find out if it would be a viable option for lodging. Samantha researched things extensively and found what was rated the best hostel in Hong Kong, the Mahjong, and booked us a couple of nights to begin with.
After delayed flights and a race to the last bus of the evening, we arrived and were buzzed in the door some time after 1 AM. We got a brief tour, then were assigned our cubicle, a top bunk. “It’s like a bunk bed,” I tried to explain, climbing up the ladder. She was not convinced.
I expected it wouldn’t be too bad; I’d stayed with large groups of people and spent several summers at a large camp, it couldn’t be bad. Even so, the rattle of the lock on the door and other late-comers unpacking kept us up, then a large family barged in in the morning, demanding our bunk without having booked it ahead of time. Even so, I got at least a little rest, and the next day we soldiered on, visiting the Mong Kok Flower Market for an impromptu Valentine’s Day date, then getting dim sum for lunch.
After exploring the city a little more and better figuring out the transit sytem, we made our way back to home base to watch K-drama and eat some dinner, then retired to our bunk to watch some more. The family of six had gotten the bunk below ours and the dad was already fast asleep at 9 PM, snoring like an angry chainsaw. My ladder was covered with clothes and wet towels. This was not going well.
After politely asking to have the towels moved, we assumed everything was alright. Instead we were faced with the longest night. The dad never woke, except to fuss at a fussy child. Our other bunkmates lost their tempers frequently, trying to silence the incessant snores. The snoring occasionally stopped, then restarted, sounding like a weedwacker engine being smacked until it reignited. Someone angrily stormed out and got another room. Everyone else kicked and smacked the walls. Nothing fixed it.
Some time around 3, I awoke to their toddler crying again and deliriously thought to myself “man, Load and ReLoad were some weird records.” Someone fussed at the kid and he quieted again. Doors clicked and beeped constantly. Someone shushed someone else regularly. Throughout it all, the chainsaw snores continued, unabated.
This morning, we found that there were four people cramped into the bunk below ours. Everyone else in the room was totally exhausted. We met the woman who had stormed out; it turns out she had the same idea we had, to try out a hostel and see if they’re worth it.
She’s not a hostel person. Neither are we.