Dec 062010

As Peder and I emerged from a week-long haze, we knew we’d pushed our bodies to their limits. We were burnt, tired, and broken – running on absolute empty. But on top of all this, it seemed like he’d caught something. He was feeling seriously nauseous and, for the first time ever, unable to keep up with me by bike. So after dropping our mass of recyclables at the market, we stopped by a cybercafe to clean ourselves up, recharge our (actual) batteries, and evaluate options.

(Throughout Scandinavia recycling is encouraged by adding a small charge to any purchase that comes in a recyclable container. It’s like a deposit, which you get back by returning the container to any supermarket. After our long stint at Roskilde the refund came to over $10. Free breakfast.)

Eventually, after giving me time to empty my thousands of photos onto a portable hard drive, he reckoned he could make the trip. So off we went towards Copenhagen.

The ride was unlike any of the previous; short and almost entirely urban. We pulled into town somewhere around 8 and immediately began looking for a place to sleep.

The first hostel wanted more than $45 for a bed in a 6-person dorm. Ridiculous, at nearly double the most expensive hostel I’ve ever heard of. To their defense it did look quite nice – modern, bustling, smiling staff, huge restaurant and lounge – but we decided to look for something more reasonable before making a commitment. We ended up at another spot across town for less than half the cost.

…Too bad it was a sh*thole 😛

Each room had 30 beds, and most of the people – all still wearing Roskilde wristbands – looked and smelled like they hadn’t showered in a week. They probably hadn’t. But by the time we got there we were so exhausted, and Peder so ill, that we decided just to stay. I knocked out in about 10 seconds and slept straight through till morning.

When we awoke, one of our 29 roommates was in a panic. He’d been robbed. It was the second night in a row; just one evening earlier a couple of girls had also awoken to find their cash and phones missing. I guess that’s a risk you take when staying in such a huge room.

Here’s a tip for budget travelers: be very deliberate about where you store your belongings at night! It may sound obvious, but I’ve often been shocked at how careless people are. The guy who was robbed had placed his wallet inside his designer shoes right at the foot of his bed. Duh!

My personal technique is to make valuables as troublesome to reach as possible: I wrap them in loud plastic bags in the middle of my zipped backpack under dirty clothes with the zipper side down. The backpack itself gets tied to a bedpost. So far, it’s always been enough to deter potential thieves.

After consoling our roomate and eating the fabulous included breakfast (3 pieces of toast), we headed out into the Danish capital.

Tourism time.

  7 Responses to “A Room for 30”

  1. aside from having 30 beds, that looks pretty clean and nice…..what made it a sh*thole?

  2. Yeah, leaving Roskilde was hard. The whole world spun and there was no energy left in me. Good thing I could recharge on food while you played at the internet cafe. The rest of the trip went ok, but I was glad it wasn’t a long haul. I guess that’s what six days of beer, wine, vodka, and practically zero sleep will do to you :-S

    The dorm itself wasn’t as bad as he’s making it. It was clean, central, cheap, and had free “breakfast”. On the other hand it made us very uneasy to sleep in a room with so many strangers, and several of them were obvious oddballs. One weirdo had a one-meter high stack of old newspapers next to his bed, and some of the guys were obvious drunkards scooped off the streets.

    As Justin passed out, I had a long refreshing shower, got dressed, and went out to explore the neighbourhood and get some food. It felt great stretching the legs and refuel the tummy 🙂

  3. I wasn’t a big fan of the place because:

    1) 30 beds/room (with no a/c).
    2) No lockers for luggage.
    3) Not especially clean, no private showers.
    4) Wasn’t even a real hotel/hostel; it was a bunch of bunkbeds that’d been moved into an out-of-use school gymnasium 😛
    5) The staff more or less completely ignored me when I showed up – they couldn’t be bothered attending a customer until they were ready.
    6) Lockout.
    7) It wasn’t a particularly great deal considering all the above: similar to what I paid in Rotterdam/Amsterdam (for a quite-nice 4-bed dorm).

  4. Maybe the person who was robbed has lived in Japan before, where it’s common to leave your wallet in the middle of the street. One can expect to have it delivered to your house a day later with all the money in there, paid shipping, perhaps with some okashi and snacks attached too along with a written apology saying “I’m so sorry, but I found your wallet!”
    Or maybe he was just retarded.

  5. LOL well said 😆

  6. I stayed in a true sh*thole hostel in Dublin as well. Hard to compare other countries’ hostels to those found in Holland. No hostel beats the 4 bed dorms at the Bulldog Hostel in Amsterdam! Private showers, tall lockers, rooftop access, perfect location, the best…

  7. I’ve stayed there too, actually – it was a good one, but I’ve been to quite a few amazing hostels in my day. i.e. Hostel Celica in Ljubljana 🙂

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