hostile hostel?

In japan, travelling on January 25, 2010 at 3:45 pm

so I’ve moved from Osaka to Kyoto, from one hostel to another. I’ll post up some bits about osaka in a little bit. But right now I’m in a noisy lounge/common room, at K’s House in Kyoto, listening to the young backpackers from around the world, using english as their communal language, describe their lives, bond, and chat shit, over beer, whiskey and various other alcoholic beverages. And it feels vibrant and exciting, and interesting, and what travelling should be like. Exchanging stories of where you’ve been, where your planning on going, what you like, dislike, love, hate, can’t stand, can’t do without.

Its a far cry from the International Youth Hostel I was staying in, in Osaka, nice facilities, but who new Shin Osaka, wasn’t actually in Osaka, but on the outskirts. Its a bit like staying in a hostel in Newcastle to find out that actually its in Gateshead. So add in the extra ten/twenty mins to get into the center of town, with the curfew (a gotdamned curfew in this day and age), doors closed at 12,  so if you missed it, sat out until 6 before you can get back in, but then vacate your room by 10 so they can clean it till 4. Only use the showers between 6 and 9 or 4 and 12. And the rules just kept mounting up, and up, and up, just oppressing the free westerner in me. It made me want to rebel.

It felt like going back to school after drinking shots till noon in university. I’m pretty sure it had a big impact on my feelings towards Osaka. I’ve just arrived in Kyoto and spent the last four or so hours just riding aimlessly around, without a care in the word about the time, I’ve got a key, I’ll be quiet when I get back, I won’t make a mess, or wake the neighbours, and it frees me to just explore, to search and see whats out there without worrying about a time constraint.

I want to be free, to do what I want, any old time!!!

K’s House treats me like an adult, and though the young westerners are loud, and raucous and want cheap alcohol, for me I can relate. The silent, taciturn japanese in the other hostel (unless of course they are mumbling to themselves, whilst watching the tv, scare me slightly. You know the one crazy person on the tube, whose gaze you catch and you know it’s just going to go downhill, imagine eating/blogging/drinking – cause you can’t in your dorm – in the same space, knowing that once your eyes meet it will be all kinds of wrong) didn’t feel the place with life and vigour, maybe it was their age. I’m not exactly setting this place alight right now, but meh, right now I’m documenting not participating. Maybe it was the fact they were just passing through, maybe they were quiet because westerners were there, who knows. I just know I won’t be heading back to any hostel run by that organisation on my forthcoming travels….

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