I’ve always been known as a bit of a story-teller and travelling has certainly given me good material. I often share stories on Facebook and many people have suggested I add these stories to my blog. Therefore, I am starting a section called Tales and Fails. I will include funny stories, things I find interesting, or just my random and sometimes alcohol induced musings. This is the first installment about an amusing evening I spent in Kuala Lumpur (KL) involving being snuck into a hostel.
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I had met some people on a tour in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. One of them, a young German fellow, was going to be in KL the same time as me so we exchanged info to hang out. Upon arrival in KL, he texted me to come meet him and his two new German hostel mates for drinks.
I agreed to meet at their hostel, which was called Reggae Hostel. For the record, it is a fantastic hostel, set in a colonial style building close to Chinatown and Merdeka Square. Anyway, I sat down at the restaurant to wait for them. My friend shows up with his two new German bros and we all exchange pleasantries and ordered some food and drinks. Actually I was the only one who ordered food because they had already eaten at Burger King.
As the conversation goes on, it becomes apparent to me that these are not men in their mid-twenties, as I had assumed. Which by the way is still WAYYYY younger than me. I’m
42 33, by the way. One of them, let’s call him “A”, pretty much just graduated from high school. I’m thinking he was 18 or 19…I didn’t want to ask. My feelings became a strange mixture of uncomfortable and amused. I could barely listen to A talk as I thought: “I wonder how old they think I am”, “God I hope they don’t ask”, and “I wonder if I’m older than his mother”.
But since I’m
drunk cool AF and very used to hanging with younger people I just drank and went with the flow. At one point I asked if we were going out and they said yes, but first we would have some drinks in the room. They had purchased rum and coke at the 7/11 (man that place is everywhere, huh?) and generously were going to share with me. The catch was that the hostel had a no guest policy and I had to be “snuck” up to their 16 bed mixed dorm.
Once again I thought “WTF am I doing…hanging with 19 year olds and sneaking into hostel rooms? How old am I ? Who am I?” But vacation Cherene just goes with the flow. The next thing I knew A is saying “Stay on my right side and walk fast” as we slip through the guest entrance. I have to admit I got a childish thrill out of all the sneakiness.
As we drank rum and cokes, we had a nice convo. Others in the room joined in including a hilarious Irish guy (is there any other type?) and a nice Dutch girl. Her first words to me were “Make America Great Again.” Oh the shame of traveling while ‘Merican. I loosened up and seriously forgot how much older I was until Irish guy mentioned how old he was at 25. I almost choked on my mostly cheap rum concoction in the coke bottle.
We ended back at the hostel roof top bar sharing some huge bucket of alcohol with three straws. It was just myself and the two Germans, the one I had met prior, and A. We had the best conversation, ranging from travelling, world politics and the refugee crisis in Germany. I was astounded at how worldly, educated and astute these guys were. I honestly can’t even have conversations like that with 50-year-old doctors I work with.
The lesson here is definitely not to assume anything about someone because of their age. I would hate if anyone assumed I was a normal 42-year-old! The horror! Oh and if you ever have the chance to be snuck into a hostel, do it! Why the hell not? Well, unless it’s a crime in whatever country you’re in. I guess I should pay more attention to such things!