It may come as no surprise that I have yet to meet many people on this trip as old or older than me. It seems that people do this sort of thing when they are 21 (or younger), the oldest person I have met would of been the lovely Candice on that very long train journey. Travellers in Australia seem to be getting younger and I am wondering how they got the money together to get the ticket over here? Oh well not my issue, the thing I am having to pay attention to is the fact that these kids sometimes get themselves into some sticky situations. They live precariously, drink copies amount of alcohol, are no doubt a bit promiscuous which is all very well and good if they play safely (ark at me the wise traveller who would not know how to be promiscuous if you gave him a manual on how to do so). Still there are times when I am forced to intervene.
In search of free inter webs I have changed hostels away from the beaches of St. Kilda the the more central part of Melbourne (known as CBD). My new hostel is very busy, they have lots of backpackers there, too many for me but at least I have free access to the web and easy access to central. My new room consists of five German guys, an english girl, a dutch girl and of course me. It’s a bit of a squeeze in there but when you want to pay £20 a night for a place to stay that’s what you have to deal with. As previously mentioned I am the oldest person there and because I am not drinking at the moment this may also make me the most boring/sensible. Last night the two girls came back to the dorm about midnight wasted. They had obviously been drinking a lot and got to that point in the night when bed seems the most logical option. As a seasoned drinker I can tell you I have been in that state and sometimes I have stayed up past that instinct to pass out just to drink some water or go and be ill (There is a story behind that, remind me to tell it one day). I have (so far) only ever been sick in bed once in my life, it’s not a pleasant experience I can tell you and there were two things going through my mind.
First of all if either girl was sick, the guy underneath her (luckily not me) would not benefit from it. Secondly if either girl was sick there is a chance that they might choke on their own vomit because of the amount they have had to drink. I personally do not want to smell or hear people being ill in the middle of the night but again this is the price I pay for cheap accommodation. A fellow traveller told me that she once experienced a guy who got out of bed and was promptly very ill into his backpack, on one hand that’s very considerate of him to contain it, on the other hand it’s not such a clever thing to do in general. Of course while I was worried about these two young girls this went through my mind but both were on top bunk and both had trouble getting up to top bunk before crashing out so I doubt either would have the capacity to climb down, remember their keycard (to get into the bathroom) run to said bathroom which is not as close as you would like it in such situations, be ill, then make their way back. We heard retching sounds from the dutch girl and I tried to talk to her to persuade her to go to the bathroom but she would not move. I tried to persuade her to drink more water but again this did not work. The German guy under her was very concerned that he was going to be rudely awoken by a vomit shower. Eventually we left them be, the German guy made a makeshift damn between his bed and the top bunk by plugging up where the dutch girls head would be with his towel, a clever move perhaps.
This morning I was up early and had a call with the UK quickly about potential work upon my return, I had breakfast and returned to the dorm to get changed to head out for the day. I bumped into the German guy who said he had a very worried but thankfully dry sleep. So we were right to leave them but it was not easy for me to step away from the problem. This is what my life is going to be like for the next 2 months or so, no doubt I will be dealing with drunk people while I remain sober. No doubt these people will be younger than me and I will have to say either “You have been there Chris” or “If nobodies dying it’s not a problem you need you take on” or something to that effect.