January 29, 2006
Last night I stayed in a really bad hostel. It was just some guy's house, and he threw a bunch of beds into a few of the rooms to make dorms. The owner told me I could use the Internet last night. A few people were waiting to use it before me, so I waited patiently for over an hour. Before I had a chance to use the computer, the owner quickly turned it off and then got mad at me for wanting to use it! As much as I tried, I just couldn't understand why he would do such a thing.
The hostel owner was in a bad mood all night, so today, John and I packed up and left at 1:00. When we paid for our room, the owner got mad again and told us that checkout was 10:00. John doesn't understand much Spanish, so he thought the owner was asking for 10 more pesos. When John looked confused and didn't say anything, the owner said in Spanish "You understood me." I've probably stayed at fifty different places on this trip, and they all have different checkout times. It's not at all unusual for me to leave a hostel late in the afternoon. If the owner wants us to leave at a certain time, it would be helpful to know what that time is beforehand.
I've noticed a trend in this region. Tourism is growing rapidly here, and the locals want to get some of the tourists' money. They turn their house into a hostel, but they don't care about anything other than making a few extra bucks. Then they get mad at the people staying there for breaking the rules which have never been written down or even verbally communicated to anyone. I would think it would be common sense that if you want to open a hostel, you should at least have some desire to meet people from other countries, and have some social skills. Anyway, I found a much better place to stay with a pleasant staff and clearly communicated rules, so hopefully I won't have to deal with these problems for the rest of my stay here.
I didn't get much done today because of the late night last night. It's Sunday, so almost everything in town is closed anyway. Tomorrow, I'll probably go on a trek of some sort with John and possibly Kevin from New Jersey, who I met on the bus yesterday. There is a lot to do in this area, so I may stay here for awhile.