I'm going backpacking in Scotland (and some other countries). Do not say when, crazy stalkers may ensue.
I've carefully chosen my hostels in order to avoid 24/7 party moods and STINKING PEOPLE. "Oh, let's save 8 bucks per night so we can spend it all on beer, shall we?" Vade retro!
If you see things my way, you must have some guidelines in order to make the best of the available data. One of them is finding out which is the town party district (there is often more than one) and STAY AWAY of the damned site. Just take a look at the map of the hostel's location and see if it's far enough from the party 'hood for you to have a nice sleepy time. It's important to sleep well to fully enjoy your trip -- you don't wanna be half asleep and irritable when you find your email-pal to be.
Another pointers are:
1 - TOO CHEAP - like I said, cheap youngsters tend to save on the littlest things so they can get very wasted. If you do the same thing due to financial reasons, you'll be stuck with all the bad things extreme drunkeness can bring with it - use your imagination about the creepy stuff, but I should warn you: it can even make you spend harder, if they trash the room, for instance. Or you can say what the hell, befriend them, overdrink them and become their problem. Your pick.
2 - AVOID BOARDING SCHOOL DISTRESS - I often wonder what kind of people craves to sleep in a dorm with another 15 unknown human beings -- and the answers I've come up with are not enticing. The least appalling of them would be a compulsive friend-maker -- a kind I've come to hate. Do not stay in huge rooms with many beds.
3 - LINEN IS GOOD - and so are towels and breakfast. But try to find out which kind of "breakfast", "linen" and "towels" you're going for. The reviews by former guests of your prospective hostel in many sites can help you do that. If you're going to travel during chilly times, you don't want to pay through your nose for an extra duvet. Or proper heating. Or a nice hot shower. Maybe it's better to go out and pay for breakfast than paying "a little extra" for the in-hostel "goods" and getting hungry, frozen and annoyed.
4 - INTERNATIONAL DORMS - A good friend of mine said that, when in hostel dorms, she usually woke up twice at night: at four, Americans and Canadians coming back drunk from the club circuit; then Koreans, Japanese and Chinese at six o'clock, so as to get their cam schedule started. That's it; there's nothing you can do about it. I intend to do some clubbing and some sightseeing, so I intend to use the Asians as alarm-clocks sometimes. If they're OK I may team up for some clubbing and sightseeing as well. Or not.
5 - MIXED OR SORTED - I've heard horror stories about mixed rooms. Most Europeans are pretty cool about it, but let's remember: in hostels and trains we have people from different cultures, who may not be used to seeing a pretty girl sleeping in their pajamas beside them. As to avoid distress and have the best experience possible, I always go with female dorms. Which, as we know, is not 100% creep-proof but it's nicer. Besides, most lesbians are against rape.
6 - JUDGING BY THE LOOK OF IT - Would you be a good secret agent? Just by the uploaded pics and info of each hostel you can muster an idea of what they actually are. While looking at those pictures, you must take into account: 1) what they did not show or say (wonder why?) 2) the kind of people who occasionally appear in the pics (party animals? jocks? evil staff?) 3) the layout of the rooms (too busy? too much light? bad mattresses?) 4) the overall cleanliness (consider the cleanliness displayed should be an exemplary one for their standards, as they were taking pics for marketing purposes).
That's all for today, folks.

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  link to this post ~ 9:56 AM
blog_sibylla (English version) - by Simone Campos

New novel

Don't bother to buy any of it, it's all in Portuguese.
Title:A feia noite
Style: obsessive, grotesque, baroque, fabulous
Plot: a political consultant with scruple and a libertine with a cause go awry.
Release: september/2006.

  • Prologue and 1st chapter (in portuguese)
  • Maria Luiza's blog (in portuguese)
  • Bygones

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  • More of the same

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