Hostel people

Picture this, we walk through the front door of a great looking hostel located in. How do you know how to speak with, who to avoid and who to chat up? Below are some pointers to surviving hostel people.

Reception staff

Generally good looking females in their mid to late twenties. There are two reasons a good looking twenty-ish year old lady will find herself behind the chipped counter with check-in forms photocopied beyond recognition;

  1. She needs to the money to be here
  2. She is in love with a local

The lady who needs money to be here will hate you on principal as you are just bumming about. The lady who is in love with a local does not find it endearing that you wrote “Yes please” instead of male or female and that your job is apparently “Exotic dancer”. She will just want to finish her shift then hustle over to Juan’s place forsex. Despite neither receptionists being friend material be polite…be very polite. These ladies hover their fingers over that door buzzer as you frantically dial the intercom at 3am and watch as a lynch mob of unhappy husbands or wives close in. Be polite.

You get to your room and carefully try to fit your valuables into  locker the size of a postage stamp, on the bottom bunk seemingly dead is

Catatonic person

Two reasons can explain this catatonia. Either this person is a hard core solo traveler, they will ghost themselves away in the early hours and explore more of this country before breakfast than you will in three months. Not friend material. Even if they are lovely people, you would never keep up. The other explanation is that this bag of meat on the bed imbibed too much last night, no bother, you will meet them when the bar opens.

You have a shower, pick month old hair from your toenails, dress in your traveling best and go to the bar. Look around but don’t rush to sit down, a mistake here could be fatal to your friend mission. Leaning against the bar are two seasoned

Hostel hoppers

Don’t go there. These guys can travel for months or even years without seeing the outside of seedy hostel bars. I once stayed in a Peruvian hostel for one night before embarking on an epic two week trek in the Andes. Upon my return I saw the same two people guys holding up the same bit of bar and having the same generic “My what a cute accent, Annie was it…” conversation as when I left them. They will most definitely want to be your friend, that is until a cute German girl is in range, then they will just mock your Australian-isms and shun you in a feeble attempt to look cool.

Keep looking, oh those guys at the pool table seem to be having fun.

Pool table jocks

Pool tables are to bar conversation what internet dating is to awkward people breeding. Pool table jocks are neither interesting nor engaging. They use pool as a lubricant to try to hide the fact that they have nothing interesting to say about, well anything. Keep it in your back pocket though. You notice that hanging around the bar are some locals

Local lurkers

A risk, sometimes a risk worth taking. Generally locals come to hostels for one of two reasons; Shag a backpacker or to sell drugs, sometimes both. They ingratiate themselves with the pool table jocks in the vague hope that the pool table jocks will draw some good looking, fun girls into their net.

What about the bar tenders they look friendly, clean….

Bar staff

Bar staff are the male equivalent of the reception staff with a much higher sex drive, they would root their awkward auntie patsy if she put on a nice frock. Bar staff are great to chat to for the first few drinks but invariably the conversation will quickly descend to a one sided discussion about which girl in the room looks to be a sure bet. Get in, learn the cheap tours and sightseeing tricks and get out.

God, this is looking grim, what about that gaggle of good looking girls sitting apart from everyone else?

Pretty girl table

Now this pretty table of girls invariably will have inherited a male guard dog at some point in their trip. The girls keep him around in a hope that he could provide some protection from the pool table jocks, the guy hangs around in the hope that at some point he could get laid. In nature this is called a symbiotic relationship. If there is no guard dog go for it, have a chat. If there is, steer clear, generally guard dogs take their duty very seriously.


Well the dusty old mexican looking dude pushing the broom. Always a sure bet for some stimulating conversation, try to see him looking for a cigarette then whip in with one before he can say “Hola”. Locals working in hostels are always a sure fire bet for a good yarn, local intelligence and a laugh. You will not regret spending that $1.50 shouting any of them a drink, usually. But he finishes work and goes home too quickly. Look around the bar, what about that weird, lonely looking dude staring at his laptop?

Guy sitting by himself on computer writing about people in hostel – Hi, what took you so long?

2 Responses to Hostel people

  • Freya says:

    This is a hilarious look at hostel people. I don’t stay much in hostels, but maybe I have met the “hostel hoppers.” In my experience, they don’t go out at all, and just prefer to stay in the room the whole day, just reading, sleeping and eating. Probably they are burned out travelers. :D
    Freya recently posted..Inca Trail Day 2 – Dead Woman’s PassMy Profile

    • Ben says:

      Yeah the hostel hoppers may be burnt out travellers, maybe I should have been a bit more generous! Glad you enjoyed it :-)

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