hostel bathrooms are sometimes full of (imaginary) terror.

The following story is one many of our readers may be familiar with, as it’s one I enjoy sharing despite the fact I nearly died of fright while living through it.

My boyfriend at the time, James, and I were in Bali with a group of friends during a Korean holiday (we all worked at the same school in Paju, and had decided to go on a group trip). We’d flown into Jakarta, and had made our way to one of the Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan. The island is so small there are no police, and miniature horses wearing bells and pulling tuk-tuks rein supreme.

We were staying in rather shifty hostel. My ex and I were sharing a room home to many spiders, with the kind of floor you don’t want to put your bare feet on. The bathroom was frightening. It was long and narrow, covered in dingy blue tile. There was one lightbulb dangling from a string, and it was damp and musty. The movie “Saw” managed to capture this hostel bathroom perfectly:

Minus the blood. Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time in it. Our first night, we got into bed and I put my glasses on the floor next to me. Legally blind, I can’t see anything clearly if it’s further than two inches from my face. This bothers me sometimes, as I worry about things creeping up on me in the darkness, and I won’t be able to see them coming.

I was fast asleep when James nudged me.

  • James (whispering): Wake up!
  • Me: Ehhhh
  • James: Katie, wake up!
  • Me: What?
  • James:There are two men standing in the doorway to our bathroom.
  • Me: WHAT?!
  • James: Zzzzzzzzz [had fallen back asleep]

After I’d determined James really was fast asleep and would be of no use if someone attacked, I lay like a corpse, hoping I was invisible to the men in the doorway. I didn’t want to risk any movement, so retrieving my glasses from the floor was out of the question. I lay awake the rest of the night, next to my snoring ex-boyfriend, petrified, expecting at any moment to be slaughtered. The next morning, when confronted, my ex had no recollection of waking up at all, and no idea what I was talking about.

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