One Day in Italy, This Happened…
I roll over noisily in the surprisingly empty 16-person dorm room.
“I think we’re losers,” I say to my friend Cee, who is reading in the bunk below.
She laughs. “Apparently going to bed early wasn’t the best decision,” she says.
I sigh. “I can’t believe there’s no way to turn off the lights in here!”
We’re trying to fall asleep in a brightly lit room in the Venice hostel we’re staying at. Twenty minutes earlier we had been completely stumped with figuring out how to turn off the dorm room’s lights when a helpful fellow backpacker walked by us searching around the doorway and mentioned that the lights are automatic and don’t go out until 11pm. It was 10pm.
I will myself to fall asleep with the lights on – something I’m not very good at. Sleep…sleep…sleep…
I wake up to the face of a British girl I had briefly met the evening before lightly shaking my shoulder.
“Sorry!” she cries when I blearily open my eyes. “But I saw you two still sleeping and wanted to make sure you knew about the lock-out.”
“Huh?” I say blearily and sit up.
“What lock-out?” Cee asks from below, also now awake.
I put on my glasses and see several girls on their way out the door. No one is still sleeping.
“The hostel has a lock-out from nine-thirty to one for cleaning,” the British girl informs us. “You have to be out of here by nine-thirty.” She pauses. “Which is in five minutes.”
“Seriously?” I ask as I bound out the bunk. “How did we miss that rule?!”
“So much for showering,” Cee mutters and also gets out of bed.
We thank the girl for waking us and look at each other.
“Ok, five minutes,” Cee says emphatically to me.
“We can do it!” I reply, punching my fist into the air. I smile at Cee’s doubtful expression. We both know she can get ready in five minutes no problem. I on the other hand…not so much. I’m always slow in the morning and sometimes it takes me half that time just to get my contacts in.
We run into bathroom. Showering was definitely out of the question. I splash water on my face, put in my contacts, brush my teeth, run a brush through my hair, and put on extra deodorant. I look at myself in the mirror and shrug. This was as good as I was going to get.
We head back into the room and throw items quickly into our day packs as fast as we can and then run down the stairs at 9:34 – without any Italians yelling at us we’re late.
“We made it,” I say breathlessly as we ascend from the hostel door down some steps into the sunshine, which was sparkling down onto the wide canal in front of the hostel.
“Yeah, let’s not do that again,” says Cee.
That night we headed to bed after 11pm and had the opposite problem – getting ready for bed in the dark.