I’m writing this from my hostel bed in Takayama, Gifu ken.
It’s nearly four am and we are getting up early for a bus tour to Shirakawa-go, a UNESCO world heritage site famous for its traditional Japanese style housing which is still in use today.
But the point of this post is not my adventures in Chubu region, the point is to query hostel etiquette.
I have stayed in countless dorm rooms in cities around the world, and to this day I’m not 100% sure on what constitutes good dorm room manners.
For example, how late is it acceptable to turn the lights on when you come in at night?
Is it unreasonable of me to be grumpy if someone is up and having a conversation at 6am?
And, in this situation, what is the appropriate response to a man snoring loud enough to have woken me up for a second time?
Should I just accept it as one of the quirks of budget travelling, or should I go down and prod him with a stick?
And on his part, knowing he is a heavy snorer (and there is no way he doesn’t know) should he have booked himself into an 8 bed dorm room?
I have put my pillow over my head, listened to music through my earphones, tried breathing in time with his snoring (he has NO sense of rhythm), all to no avail.
It’s been almost an hour and he shows no signs of stopping.
Good manners or not, I’m going to beat him over the head.
So in the end I went down, pulled back the curtain across his bed and hissed “ex-CUSE me. OI!”
He didn’t wake up, but he did stop snoring long enough for me to fall back asleep.
Until five thirty when he woke me again.
I did the same thing, hissing at his slumbering form with the rage I normally reserve for people who confuse ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’.
Again, he stopped just long enough for me to go back to sleep.
When he woke me again a little after six, knowing I had to be awake at 7, I didn’t bother getting down to beat him senseless, but I drifted in and out of a doze in which I dreamed of chainsaws and trains.
And when everyone had left in the morning, as he snored thunderously on, I must be honest; good manners or not, I took some malicious pleasure in slamming the door in the way out.