The hostel is a wondrous place where like minded travellers come together to share in the experience together. Each hostel is its own little world, complete with various characters that make it just what it is. Often though there are certain character types that show up again and again… now some of these characters are enduring to certain levels while other flat out are as annoying as hell. The hostel is truly is a great laboratory of humanity. Still more of the types of people that you meet in hostels include.
The pretentious girl who corrects people’s pronunciation of foreign place names
So she has been in Buenos Aires for three days and from her lips the word comes out Buenos Aye-des. At first you need to ask her again – sorry what was that? She replies the same with just a hint of pre-tense on her face. Uhhhh, you realize she is saying Buenos Aires. As you talk to her more, she takes the time to correct your pronunciation of some of the sites around the city that you want to see. Feeling significantly schooled by her, you excuse yourself to go talk to somebody else.
The guy who is traveling to light
A person on their first trip is probably going to over pack. A seasoned traveler knows to pack light as additional luggage can get lost and more importantly it weighs you down and slows your movement. With that said, in hostels there usually is that guy who has only packed two changes of clothes – including t- shirts and underwear. Personal hygiene is a bit to bourgeoisie for this guy to maintain and though he often is an interesting guy the sheer smell of him makes it hard to truly connect. The reality is that you will always know when they are in the room as that wafting smell will alert you.
The insular British Group that doesn’t care about the others in the hostel
They all went, as they call it, to Uni together and they are carrying on loudly in the hostel common room. There is a group of about 6 of them. The discussion is a loud re-telling of how one of them picked up some girl last night in lewd detail. A girl from across the room looks up from her book to send a subtle social cue of social disapproval. They continue talking, louder now more boisterous… they are drinking a lot and the antics are getting worse. Somebody finally says they can keep it down a little. They look at each other, and quiet for a moment. The person that told them to shhhhush up… leaves the room and not a moment later, one of the Brits yells out loudly to the others in his group– “twat!” They all burst out laughing and continue on just as before.
Hostels can be a special place, a literal melting pot of different nationalities and personalities, that allows travellers to come together to experience a new place. So many friendships, and even romantic hijinx, have spawned inside their walls and chances are staying in one will make your time even better. With that said though, not all is constantly great and there will be people that may bring your time down. Sometimes there may be some pretty odd types loitering in hostels. A few more people you meet in hostels include:
The guy who plays his guitar
This is a guy who took the trouble of bringing his guitar along with him for a backpacking trip, which is no small feat. Generally life on the road is no time to practice so there is only one reason that the guitar is there… to play in front of the other people at the hostel. Now this can be a good thing depending if the guitar guy is good, but an ear screeching atrocity if they are bad. Also, listening to a person play guitar amounts to just watching them rather than talking to the other travelers, which is kind of a buzz kill. The guitar guys is alright, and is thought of a such by the other travelers, but really… they should have left the guitar at home.
The I can top you traveller
So there is a group together in the common room of the hostel all having beers. You have the floor and you are telling everyone about the time you were almost pick pocketed in Paris…. all of a sudden, he blurts out: “ohhh that’s nothing, you should have seen the pick pockets in Rome.” The topic changes and someone talks about an amazing night out in Amsterdam. All of a sudden the same guy blurts out: “ohhh that’s nothing, you should have seen the things I saw in the Red Light District.” And without explaining more, there you have the” I can top you travelers”, a kind of narcissist who always thinks their experiences are better and more important than those of everyone else. Generally a hostel citizen that is quickly not liked by most people…
The overly eager American girl
Now she may be pretty, which is a benefit, but she will come with a seemingly unreal amount of enthusiasm about this new experience she is having. Everything will be amazing, praise worthy and her smile will not leave her face… All the people from the different countries will be so interesting to her, with their little accents and customs, and she will enjoy telling you at length all the wonderful perceptions she is having about all this “newness.” This is the overly eager American girl who hasn’t, and perhaps never will, notice that people will only be interested to listen for a little – unless it’s the guy trying to score her…
If you’re a foodie at heart, you’ll love the Taste of Christmas event held annually at the Tobacco Dock. It starts on November 21st and runs until November 24th. Over 30,000 people flock to this event every year and once you’ve been you’ll see why.
For many people, Christmas is all about food. There are so many festive flavours to be enjoyed. This event allows you to get tips from some of the best chefs in the UK. You’ll find out what makes the perfect Christmas dinner and you’ll come away ready to cook the family the best Christmas food they’ve ever tasted……or at least you’ll have the tips to give it a go!
What to expect from the event
There will be plenty to keep you entertained at the Taste of Christmas event. You’ll get to take part in a live cooking demonstration. There will also be seasonal ingredients at the fair too. You’ll find out how to spruce up family favourites and you’ll also get the chance to taste many different Christmas treats.
Top restaurants in London will have their own stalls with small tasters of their products.
Some of the highlights of this event are set to include:
The Electrolux Taste Theatre brings together some of the UK’s best chefs including Michel Roux Jr, Tom Kitchin, Mark Hix and Monica Galetti. They will be using the Electrolux Inspiration appliances in their cooking demonstrations.
You’ll pick up plenty of useful tips if you attend the Electrolux Chef Tips feature. As places are booked up on a first come, first served basis it would make sense to order your tickets as soon as possible. This is one event that often books up quite early.
Of course it’s not all about food. There’s some great alcohol features to be enjoyed too. The Laurent Pierre Feature Bar is a great example. This excellent brand of Champagne will have you in the festive spirit within no time. It’s a worldwide brand that is sure to tantalise the taste buds. If champagne isn’t really your thing, you can always opt for the Explore World Beers instead.
The Taste of Christmas event occurs every year and it’s definitely worth checking out.
Hostels are fascinating little micro universes that bring out the cream of humanity and often the dredge. In most cases, it’s just a collection of younger people who are open minded and adventurous enough to see the world. These people much to their delight are thrust together to party, hang out, and sleep eight to a room with people from all over the world. Usually this is wicked grouping, but there are a few character types that often show up in most hostels that bring the entire enterprise down a notch. This blog is going to discuss a few of these hostel characters.
The travel know it all
In any group of travelers there will emerge a person who knows more about every place than everyone else. Doesn’t matter if you lived in that place a year and he or she have been there 4 days they will know more about it than you including the best things to see and all the hot spots to drink. There can be no arguing with the travel know it all since the acuity of their perception outmatches Lonely Planet, the Rough Guide, Forbes and even locals to a place. Generally this person will be shunned by anyone that has been there for longer than a few days and will find newbies to the hostel to bother.
… No it’s not me
The constantly stoned guy
Living in hostels and traveling around definitely has some bohemian qualities to it. With that said, there are plenty of backpackers enjoying a little puff every now and then. Having a beer and a spliff fits well into hostel etiquette, but there will always be that guy around a hostel who is 24/7 red eyed stoned. Really he isn’t a bad guy as he usually shares. Perhaps he won’t be the most communicative, but every once in a while he may share some shards of insight to be enjoyed.
The old guy trying to pretend he’s still young
Hostels are places where people less than 30, and often less than 26 to be honest, go to hang together, see the world, party and have fun. There is lots of the pre-mentioned partying and a fair share of hooking up, which is all fine and good till there is a 38 year old guy acting like he is 24 and trying weasel his way into younger girl’s underwear. Generally this guy is tolerated, as he tells the others that age is just a number and that he’ll never conform. The old guy playing young generally creeps out the girls and is a source of amusement for the other guys.
As they say, time is money and because of this we never have enough time to see all the things that we want to. Reality dictates that many decisions have to be made in terms of the things that you are going to commit yourself to see. With that said, what if someone offered you a trip to either Rome or London. You wouldn’t be able to go to both – a tough call, right? This blog is going to try to offer up some assistance by considering each of these world cities along three dimensions. They will be weighed against each other considering; the aesthetic of the city and how it looks overall; things to do – which takes into account the city’s attractions, sites, and outdoor features; and lastly fun – which considers the restaurants, cafes, nightlife, and the attitude of the people.
London is stately and has a palatial feel to it, but Rome is Rome and there are few cities that can match its wealth of scenic beauty. Ancient walk ways lead to wondrous Roman spectacle after spectacle, the number of plazas and monuments leave tourists awe struck and looking around in a daze… perhaps aiding the city’s large pick pocket community. As attractive as London is, it pales to the grandeur of Rome. As they said in the antiquity, “see Rome and die.”
Things to Do
The category of “Things to Do” in each city bring up some interesting differences between these cities. Rome has so many wondrous sites like the Vatican City, the Coliseum, and the Pantheon while London has more modern, though still classical, sites like Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey. BUT, London also has the overall sensation of walking the streets in a world class, cosmopolitan hub where street walking alone is a spectacle of different world fashion and city vibe. The battle between things to do is close, in these vastly different ways, but in the end there can only be one winner and it is London.
Result – London
Same as the first category there is a clear cut winner here. London is one of the funniest cities in the world! The night life never stops, the pubs (a hallmark of English life) always have people in them, and the restaurants are diverse and world class. Rome does have aspects of this, but a country mile from what London brings to the table. The fun of London as was touched upon in the last category is also just the feeling of the streets too.
Rome is an amazing aesthetic spectacle and a great vacation for lovers of history and culture, but London is a world class mecca and really must be explored at least once.