It's Friday night, it's warm outside and I'm painting my face, base heavy in my ears, while the rest of the room prepares for bed.
It's a wonderfully odd experience to be sharing a sleeping space with seven strangers. All female, as the sleeping quarters can be gender specific, which I chose. We're an eclectic mix. Two asian girls traveling together, young, probably early twenties. A mother daughter couple, also asian, with the daughter being early twenty late teen. Another lone girl of mediterranean heritage. And a lone woman I'd have to guess to be in her late sixties. I have, overall, seen much more families and elder people staying at this hostel than my prejudices would have assumed.
The elderly woman have sat herself on the cold tile floor, legs folded beneath her and knees hidden under the bed. She's clad in a threadbare t-shirt styled nightgown. Reading glasses on as she leans her sprawled out elbows against the mattress, on which she's strewn papers and a couple of books. Her handwriting is small and ubiquitous. The kind which makes you forget there even is any white paper underneath it. Even had I known the language I'd still not be able to discern any words. Centuries of work, treasure hunts and passion is what it touches upon in my mind. But it is too out of place. Alone, tired bone structure and in a hostel. It doesn't add up with the tiresome and tireless pursuit of research.
Her bed is closes to the door, mine furthest away, we both have the lower ones. In between us resides the mother and daughter. I can't help but to flex my back muscles in tiny jolts as a favorite beat reverberates and regurgitates nights before and promises of soon. Isolated hip movements and the rhythm sliding down thighs, there are continents between us now. While I've been trying to tame the flush in my face due to the humidity the daughter has climbed down from the top bed and is squeezed in next to her mother on the lower. Despite her age, despite the very tiny mattresses. It reminds me of my friends back home, who also share a bed seeking the embrace of their mothers.
There is a very homely feeling that's grown forth. At first I was sketchy, stuffing my things in any obvious hiding place, more the cause of any irregularity then any of them. A pre-acquired guilt regarding my electronics and the safety of any belongings; why bring such value if you think they'll be stolen. But now I'm much more relaxed as everyone else are too. Smartphones, computers, wallets strewn everywhere. And over the iron rails of the bunk beds hang hand washed cotton underwear.