#99 Never open the door, unless you know who it is

Especially in a youth hostel.

Listen carefully Lottie as the fable unfolds…It’s Newquay, 2004.  We’re young, we’re free, we’ve got no plastic cups so we’re drinking Malibu and Coke out of cereal bowls, we’re eating nothing but instant mash or Somerfield Sandwiches, and we’ve never been happier.  We’re on holiday at Surfers Lodge hostel, packed in to a dorm with fourteen of our nearest and dearest.  Life doesn’t get much better than this.  Generally the week is good.  Vicky Callicot’s sandwich gets stolen by a seagull and there’s a flasher on the green at one point, but otherwise it’s smashing fun.  Most days are spent down on the beach.  The evenings spent in The Beach.  A night club. You’ll find us drinking neon shots, participating in the foam party and trying to catch the attention of the nice boys from Princes Risborough. 

Our youth hostel is owned by a crazy Australian called Joel, he’s in his twenties, and I have a hunch that he runs a youth hostel in Newquay because that’s where all of the post GCSE / A-level girls go.   

One evening, your mum is out.  She’s partying with one of the boys from Princes Risborough.  We’ve all gone to bed.  It’s 3am and there is a huge thwack at the door.  And then again and again.  Half asleep, I presume it’s your mum coming home,

“I think it’s Em!”

Our friend Hannah is seconds away from opening the door when someone from across the room yells ‘Don’t open it!’  She jumps back.  The banging continues, more ferocious, then shouting, bumping, banging, a scuffle, more shouting… by now the lights are on and we’re all standing around in our pyjamas, baffled as to what’s going on. It goes quiet.  Less than a minute later the commotion restarts down on the street.  Looking down from our fourth story room, we see is Joel wielding some kind of javelin, chasing and shouting at a random man – who flees pretty quickly.  Joel’s shouting and spinning the pole like a ninja (slash- a madman) long after the guy has scarpered.  The next morning at breakfast (Tesco value bread served up by the hostel) we learn that the guy Joel chased away had broken in to the hostel while on a heroin trip and was hallucinating outside our room, trying to kick the door in.  Close call. 

Surfers Lodge, a place I’ll never go again, BUT a place I’ll certainly hold dear in my heart.  Aware of his flirtatious towards most girls in the hostel and not swayed by his heroic act, I remained weary of Joel, but after the incident, I figured that as long as I kept my distance, he had us all covered.

(This blog could also be entitled, beware of youth hostel managers.  Though I’m sure most are safe, fine, lovely and nothing like Joel.)

Us, a bit older on an LA beach.  Can’t find my pics of Newquay…

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