Hi there & welcome back to a reader’s feature! This feature is from Hannah Phillips, you can find her blog here.
“On the evening of 25th January 2019, I landed in Seville.
On collecting my luggage, I made a beeline for the bus. Destination: San Bernardo, followed by a brief stroll to Lemon Gardens, my hostel. Being the person that I am, I felt overwhelmingly excited to be staying in a place called Lemon Gardens. The name seemed charmingly romantic.
I arrived at 23:00 pm. With the dust of the day having already settled, and the neighbouring houses lost in deep slumber, I decided to go straight to bed. I lugged my cases to the dorm, my body heavy with drowsiness. Resting my head on the pillow, I gazed dreamily out of the window. The soft glow of the moon glistened against the blazing tangerines which reposed peacefully on the trees; the trees of marmalade city, nestled in the leafy foliage of Lemon Gardens. I thought to myself, I must have arrived in the Citrus Capital of the world. Shortly thereafter, my body gave in to sleep.
The next morning, I woke to a languid dorm softly stained with tangerine-coloured hues. A subtle wind twisted its way through the casement windows. Breathing in the morning air was like taking gulps of cold water, sharp and refreshing. Despite the gentle push of the breeze, the window held its ground, remaining ever so slightly ajar. I pushed it wide open, inviting a crescendo of melodic chirps into the room. There I lay, drowsing in the mellow sun, losing myself to the symphony of birds before allowing myself to slowly come to. By the time I pulled my body to me again, all the other bunks were empty. Not many people make time to listen to the birds.
Swinging my legs over the bed, my ears tuned into the soft hum of activity happening outside my door. My dorm was located right next to reception. I liked this. It meant that I could listen to the comings and goings of the hostel, without necessarily being involved. Everyone likes to earwig sometimes.
On the penultimate night of my stay, an Asian boy settled into the bunk bed just ahead of me. There he sat, tucked so tightly into the sheets that they almost seemed to mummify him. His computer rested snugly on his lap, his head propped up by a plush pillow and his lamp meticulously positioned. Once comfortable, he picked up his mobile, rang the main desk and requested for the Wi-Fi passcode. He was on one side of the wall; the receptionist was on the other. Had the wall not been there, they would have been sat uncomfortably close to one another. Suddenly, the receptionists voice came flooding into the room. It crashed into the paper-thin walls like a cataract, so that the entire conversation was audible for everyone there.
- The Wi-Fi password? You must be staying at the hostel to receive the Wi-Fi password.
- I am. I’m in room 1.
- Room 1? But that’s next door?! Why don’t you come to the desk?
- Because I’m all settled.
- I can hear you! Are you on the other side of the wall? Come to the desk.
With that, she swiftly hung-up the phone. However, this negativity would not deter my roommate! He decided to try his luck for a second time, and re-dialled. This is my favourite part. When the receptionist picked up the phone, he retorted ‘me again!’ It took every single fibre in my body to suppress my laughter. I had nothing but respect for this boy and his astounding confidence!
Soon after, the matter was resolved. A man in the bed below knew the Wi-Fi code. I felt a little disappointed with this resolution. I was quietly hoping that no-one would intervene, thus leaving the situation to unravel on its own. Eventually, one person would have to out stubborn the other; would it be the caller or the receptionist?
I knew the Wi-Fi passcode too, I just refused to disclose it.”
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Keep traveling, keep safe.