An Open Letter From the Hostel Snorer
Dear fellow bunk-bed dwellers at Mana Mana hostel,
As you may remember, it was a sultry night in that little township on Spain’s Costa Brava coast. The window was ajar and our room was blanketed in a fine coating of sweat. It was 10pm and everyone had opted for an early night after a big day of ocean frolicking, awe-inspiring hikes and a cheap tapas.
30 minutes or so had passed and the creaks and groans of the metal framed bunk-beds had all but silenced as a light veil of sleep passed over the room. That was until “it” started. No doubt your ears perked up as a soft purr could be heard faintly buzzing from my bottom bunk, a purr that soon turned into a growl. You tried to bury your heads deeper into your pillows to drown out the noise, but it didn’t stop there. The growl grew louder, deeper, more ferocious until it was no longer a growl but a force that had transcended reason and become a bone rattling thunder that shook the room like a derailed freight train crashing through the wall.
I awoke at around 8am feeling well rested as I nestled myself comfortably on my side to check the time. None of you noticed I had woken up, so you unassumingly carried on with your conversation.
“That noise wasn’t fucking human.”
“I didn’t even get a little bit of sleep, I was so close to punching him in the face. But even that probably wouldn’t have woken him.”
“Probably not. I had to go two floors down to the kitchen and sleep on a bench only to be woken by the cleaning lady at 6 am. I’m changing rooms today.”
“I’m glad I’m checking out, I’ll probably still hear him from my bus.”
You both laughed.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that not getting enough sleep can be frustrating, even more so when it’s because of someone else, so you are rightly justified in being shitty with me. However, I write to you, as the man you vilify with your resentment, in the hope of giving you a bit of perspective.
Meeting people and making new mates are the pillars of travelling, with a lot of these new mateships blossoming from none other than the humble temple that is the hostel. In recent times, I’ve come to be aware of this particular habit that I can’t kick, but rather, leaves people wanting to kick me.
I am the dreaded, the loathed, the feared dorm room snorer and it can really fucking suck. I must reiterate that I do understand the dilemma facing non-snorers: hating on the guy snoring in your dorm-room is like being angry with a baby for crying in a doctor’s waiting room. You shouldn’t be because you know they can’t help it, but you still want to kick them.
Aside from the projectiles I’ve had thrown at me, including but not limited to thongs, water bottles and pillows, I’ve been sworn at in an impressive amount of languages. I’ve driven people to storm out of the room in the middle of the night to sleep in common areas.
This can leave one feeling pretty damn shit, but what’s a man to do? A money-tight backpacking man nonetheless, who doesn’t have the luxury of spare dollars to book a private room and wants to experience travelling like the rest of you. It’s important to remind yourself that you are staying in a hostel, a space on the cheapest end of the accommodation spectrum, so you’ve got to be prepared for anything to go down. And in the greater realm of things that can happen in budget dorm-rooms, I’d daresay that snoring has got to be one the tamer occurrences.
If there are any other closet snorers out there burning in shame as they read this, let me offer some words of advice. Nothing soothes the seething backpacker like a set of “forgive me” earplugs, so it’s always handy to pack some extra ones with you. Breaking the ice before night falls and having a pre-emptive chat with your roommates about the potential chaos that may be inflicted upon their ears can also help, at least allowing them to mentally prepare themselves for what’s to come. If you’re lucky you’ll find yourself with a group of friendly folk to have a laugh with. Getting the crowd onside is key if you don’t want to face a battlefield of disgruntled humans the next morning.
And to the non-snoring folk sharing my dorm, I unreservedly apologise, but let it be known that I’m actually an alright guy when I’m awake and do remember that these things are beyond human control so try not to be too salty.
That Snoring Guy