Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Staying at Hostel 7 Santi – Firenze

Morning came and it was time for me to check out early as it is. By 8 am I was out and slowly making my way by foot to the cheapest hostel in Florence I could find. It was a long walk about 4 miles plus I was navigating off the map. The local map did not cover parts where the hostel was hence very local.

10 Bed Dorm ... Mine on the Btm Left
The hostel used to be a convent dormitory for the nuns and is right beside the church. If looked carefully you can see that it’s actually part of the church but cleverly separated with fence and whatever side door entrance carefully hidden from the backpackers. Most backpackers won’t even notice it I presume. I wouldn’t have notice myself if not for the internet and hostel background check I did.

I checked in for three nights and had to hang around till noon before I could go into the rooms. I guess no one wants to be woken up by a newly arrived backpacker. The rooms were neat and clean and naturally I took the cheapest 10 bed dorm which had a bathroom in it. Barely anyone was there and I proceeded to wash up and do the sink laundry quietly.

I wasted the whole day doing nothing in the hostel as I was tired and the previous night was no help in obtaining rest. Study of the maps of Florence and more study of possibility of day trips to Pisa and Siena. Evening soon came and one by one my roommates checked in.

Ups and Down of a 10 Bed Hostel

Some people shy away from large dorms as it could get pretty ugly and weird. There would be the snorers … (I contributed of coz), the smelly, the messy, the grumpy, the weirdo, the dainty, the creep, the whatever you can think off. Yep there is all kind of people out there and normally the poor budget backpacker resort to the big dorms.

I myself rather live with a little discomfort and save the money for food and a longer trip.

However sometimes due to all budget people taking chances you will most probably make more friends and good companions in big dorms then in small ones. This one bet was the case for me.

My roommates …. Or the one I remembered was a notorious mix of people and somehow it was totally weird cool ??

Everyone came in slowly while I sat on my bed writing into my journal of how much I needed to move on and leave Italy for another country. *Scruffy* came in with his backpack and pointed on a bed … “is that taken?” … dun think so I said and he settle down to unpack.

*K-Pop Boy* soon came in with barely a hello and proceeded to his bunk close off from the work with his earphones and laptop. Twinzies a pair of Australian girls came in and minded their own business as well. All while I continue writing into my journal.

*Tweety Pie* & Friend (Both PRC Girls) came in looked around, looked at me and determined since I was coated Asian Chinese proceeded to ask me which bunk was taken in English. I pointed and off they went unpacking next to Scruffy. While they talked in mandarin I couldn’t help but listen in. I haven’t heard the language in a while and it was fascinating. They asked me another question (I couldn’t remember what) but I unconsciously replied in my poor mandarin and it broke the ice and introductions were made. Somewhere in between Scruffy joined in and all four of us exchanged greeting and the usual backpacker questions.

Scruffy was backpacking across Europe for three months and was towards the end of his trips … a few more journeys down south to Rome, fly to Spain and back to the US. One of the few good buddies I have met during my travel. I would later visit him in the following months, to his hometown Colorado, USA

Tweety Pie was so exited I could speak her language although broken, was more than happy to jump on my bed and help herself with all my books and travel maps of Florence which I was studying at that time. Tweety and friend were master students in Holland going on a weekend short trip to Florence, Pisa and Rome all in three days. As I was planning a daytrip to Pisa the next day I extracted as much as I could on travel methods and found it quite cheap to go to Pisa to my delight. However it also meant that Tweety Pie would be visiting Florence and leaving for Rome the next day as well.

“She kinda likes you”, Scruffy nudged me jokingly grinning…. I just shrugged
I would later in the months to come drop by Holland to experience my first Couchsurfing with Tweety Pie.

My bunk buddy came in later that night when most bed was taken up and when she asked the same question again of which is not taken, I just pointed above.

*Raphaela* from Estonia.

“Where the hell is Estonia?” I blurted

… and she smiled and said next to Russia. I had to look into my lonely planet book for a while to find it …. Damm Russia is huge … She asked where I was from naturally and I said Malaysia.

“HUH?? Where is that?”, She asked smiling … ( she got her payback I suppose )

Raphaela was an art student in Florence. How cool was that!! She called her top bunk her NEST over the next few days while scouting Florence for a more permanent place to stay during her university exchange program. All the while Scruffy and I torment her of the horrid horrible landlords and landlady of rent and staying with people. Party life young student apartment or family house room or old dying lady house room …. Yep we had fun tormenting her … Partially both of us did not wan to shoulder the blame if the place she rented goes bad so scruffy and I made sure to balance the extreme pros and extreme con of each choices giving her torment and dilemma :p

I would have to split this hostel experience into a few post as it was one of my most memorable one, still that was the beginning point of the adventure. A few key player had yet to arrive *Puppy Eyes*, *Dopey*,  

To be continue ….

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