Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Hostel Characters (With Affection)


Argentinian, 23. Recently relocated ‘Journalist’ who never seems to have any work to do. Very little English. Possesses a thick drawled Rosario accent that makes him sound like a man twice his age and is utterly unintelligible to me most of the time. Hilariously screams down the walls of the hostel when Boca win, lose or draw (but bizarrely doesn’t seem to display the slightest curiousity in going out and seeing the city from which they herald). Speaks with genuine affection (and shows you numerous pictures) of his girlfriend back home whilst taking a wholly democratic interest in the continuous influx of pretty young backpackers passing through the place – with no small amount of success (allegedly). Thinks most modern and latin music is shit but is evangelical in his support of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and George Michael.


Belgian, 32, builder by trade. Has been everywhere you care to mention and is rightly proud of the achievement. Is an enthusiastic supporter of Pearl Jam, travel and meat – any kind of meat. Has a pathological tendency to pre-empt ‘Pedestrians Walk Now’ signals in a country for which traffic laws are a complete anathema. (Making me feel rather like his mother as a result). Shows incredible guile and altruism in hiding the ‘Before 11am’ breakfast comestibles from staff, to the grateful advantage of his later rising hostel mates. Is equally hospitable in his invitations for evening meals (which consistently involve meat) – a condition that seems to prevail regardless of whether or not you continue to live in the hostel. Couldn’t give a rat’s chuff for art or its discussion. Displays an irrational hatred of Radiohead given the fact he’s seen them five times. Is an excellent drinking buddy and a genuine, funny guy to hang out with. Eats an incredible amount of meat.


American (San Franscisco), 23, dropped out art student with a passion for alchohol, Hunter S Thompson and my cigarettes. Possesses a remarkable knowledge of the film Withnail and I (which I confess disproportionately biases him in my favour and from which we have been known to loudly quote at inappropriate times). Has a tattoo design derived from an album by The Mars Volta on his chest and seems to wear the same low V necked T-Shirt for weeks on end to make sure nobody misses it. Writes and seems inclined towards bouts of solitude and introspection when sober, lively and occasionally pretentious when drunk. Is relentless in his pursuit of a night out and inclined to call you a coward if you don’t share his enthusiasm (because he’s too scared to go out on his own). Is generally perceived as a bit of a mixed up kid who is younger than his years and over-compensating but, and I know how patronising this sounds, reminds me a bit of myself at 23 and, probably with a fair dose of warped narcissism, I can’t help liking as a result. An american that gets irony √. 

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