Last week I traveled to Copenhagen by myself for job interviews and to visit some apartments as we're planning to move here. My first night I was harrassed by a big guy in a group of 5 in the street of the hotel I'd stay at, a tall building in a street full of office buildings. It ruined my night and the hotel, being the cheapest option in Copenhagen, appeared to be a hotspot for middle-aged cheapskates, lacking in manners. One man was bargaining with the receptionist about the money he had to pay (apparently he already managed not to pay in advance for two nights). Other men were talking loudly in the hallway, and at night I woke up from people pounding on doors as if they were trying to break in (I thought I was going to get killed). 

The thing is that I booked this hotel for two nights only to have a private room to do a Skype interview which I canceled as I felt some moral objections towards the company after learning more about them. So I was in this hotel for no reason now, and it sucked. The second night I got frightened to death again and I was so happy to move to the hostel I booked for the next 5 nights. As the initial hostel I'd booked appeared to be in a street full of sex shops, I'd changed it very last minute to this one.

Arriving at the hostel and in the room I felt relieved. No one in my room of 6 beds, it smelt like laundry and there was a nice, cool breeze coming through all four open windows. I sat down and wrote a blog post that afternoon, as two Australian girls arrived and would take up two of the other beds. They were friendly and laid down on their beds to chill for a while. Suddenly, a guy came in. He was wearing capri pants and what Americans call a wife-beater (there's a reason for that). 'HiiIIiiiiiii' he said loudly, in the creepiest voice I have ever heard. We greeted him politely, although all three of us seemed to be a bit worried as he shut the door and stood against it for a while. I didn't look up as I was still hoping this wasn't going to turn into the nightmare that it would. Apparently he was trying to shut his friends out, two fat guys smelling like alcohol coming into the room a bit later, filling up literally all of the space in this tiny, tiny room crammed with 3 bunk beds and a table (where I was sitting, getting surrounded by fat bodies smelling of sweat). Most certainly this wasn't what I had hoped for when I came to this hostel, but surely they didn't feel comfortable either, being crammed into a tiny room with strangers, did they? Oh hell. They did. They sat down in front of me, pushed away my stuff before I had the time to make space, and when I moved they started opening packages of ham and other meat, bread, and they put a giant bottle of liquor in the middle the table. The fresh breeze and the scent of fresh cotton seemed nothing more than a vague memory at this moment.

I had just read the email from the hostel again to check their cancelation policy as I was getting extremely uncomfortable, so I learnt that alcohol was forbidden in the rooms, and I told the guy. 'OoOoh, is it?' he spoke, in his Russian accent. 'Yeah..' I was packing my stuff, a little nervous but my heart was pounding in my chest and as I was getting scared the adrenaline was rushing through my body. The skinny guy (imagine the worst creepy pedo character from a thriller movie, well, that is what he looked like) stared at me mockingly. 'And can I eat here?' It was obvious that he didn't give two fucks if he could actually eat here 'cause he was going to do it anyway, but he couldn't let this occasion to make fun of me towards his mates slip away.
'I don't know. All I know is that it's not allowed to drink alcohol in the rooms.' 'Well. I am going to eat, and if I eat, I also have to DrInKKk!!' At this point I was convinced that these guys were not just comfortable being in this tiny room with strangers, they were also willing to make everyone else uncomfortable. I put away my stuff in the locker underneath the bed (being only a few centimeters away from the giant, gaping buttcrack of the fat guy that had taken my place on the bench right in front of my bed) and left the room. 

I asked the receptionist if I could change to a female-only room. He said that they were fully booked for that night, so then I asked to cancel my stay. He said I could, but I would lose the money of 2 nights. When I agreed he asked me why I wanted to leave and when I told him, he said that I should have said that immediately since eating and drinking are not allowed and the guys could get kicked out if they did it again. He offered me to change rooms and would only go talk to the men after I'd come back down having checked the new room. I checked the new room (there was only one, calm guy there at that moment and I learnt that the others seemed normal too - anyway they could not be as insane as the three Russians). Going downstairs again I checked AirBnb on my phone, found a nice, affordable room still available and I told the receptionist that I would only change rooms for the 2 nights I couldn't retrieve, but I would cancel the rest of my stay. He understood. When I wanted to leave the hostel that night for dinner, the guys were sitting on the bench across the street. I was so scared as they would know that I told the receptionist and they looked and acted as if they would beat a woman, so I waited for a few people to leave so I could hide behind them.

The next day I found out that the two girls had also tried to move rooms but there weren't any beds left so they decided to stay there and see how it would go. As they came back from a walk the men would have been completely drugged, smoking in the room, and the girls were moved to an emergency room on the top floor. I don't know what happened to the men, if they were kicked out, but it was the worst hostel experience of my life. Sleeping was almost impossible (even with ear plugs) as the windows were open to have some fresh air but the music from the hostel bar was blasting until 4 o'clock.

I don't have to tell you how happy I was when I came to my AirBnb, where I have a bedroom to my own, a bathroom with a shower curtain, a kitchen to cook and have my own food in the fridge (which, weirdly enough, wasn't the case at this hostel) and especially: calmth. 

I am never sleeping in a cheap hotel alone again, and although I have slept in many good hostels, I think this was my last hostel experience ever as well. Tomorrow my boyfriend will finally be here with me and I will crawl up against him and forget about all this.