The Etiquette of Mooching

Are you currently sleeping on an acquaintance’s couch/ in their closet, resting your head on a questionably stained pillow, freezing your ass off because of the sheet you were given (note: when you accepted it you said, “Oh, no! This is PERFECT! I am always way too warm.”) covers only your left butt cheek? Is your sleeping space so small you need to contour your body into a Cirque de Soleil position? If yes, keep reading. If no, keep reading.

Chances are, as a traveller, you met someone who said that they lived just outside of ______ (insert the name of a wicked city). The stranger danger warning signs were high but in your drunken state, you exchanged names and upped your online friend count by 1. Naturally, four years later, you are booking a flight solely based on dollar signs and it just so happens to be to that aforementioned wicked city. What pops into your head?

“It would be lovely to catch up with that person from that city.” FALSO

More realistically, you’re thinking;

“It would be lovely to catch up on some zzzz’s in that city.”

Flash forward to you spending 26 euros and 42 minutes on a bus that takes you “just” outside the city. After walking in the wrong direction from the middle of nowhere bus stop and nearly falling into a ditch you finally arrive and are greeted by your “friend’s” six housemates. All of who seem to love everything you despise; going to bed after 11:00 pm, having no toilet paper, loud volumes, using the ground instead of the garbage can, social gatherings of more than 4 and long hair on guys.

After you exchange some very surface-level conversation with your “friend” he shows you to your sleeping quarters. He offers you everything he can because he is a poor minimum-wage member of society. If you are lucky enough to be in a closet with a lack of blankets, there should be a variety of coats and bath robes for you to bundle up with. Be warned; the next morning people may step on you thinking you’re a dirty pile of laundry.

It’s 2 am and you’re sticking bits of the pillowcase into your ears so you can drown out the beats, which some may refer to as “sick”, from upstairs. This is coupled with the fluctuating television sounds from downstairs. EEEEEEEEEE mumble mumble CRASH mumble mumble. It sounds like they are watching Mulan or someone just tripped down the stairs.

It’s now 4 am and you’ve been holding in your pee for longer than medically advised. The warmth just came back into your toes. Three hours of slapping and shaking them with your hands sure helped. You’ve made a damn good fort out of everything in that room (does it count as a room if you there is no roof?). Out of respect for the other people in the house, you don’t want to leave your sleeping base in case your footsteps sound or the toilet flush wakes someone up (just kidding, no one flushes in this household).

It’s 7 am, and you’re lying awake staring at the ceiling. Back when asking for the WIFI code was considered rude, people used to do things like sing to themselves or draw funny pictures in the air with their index fingers. It is a work day so the guy you are staying with is getting ready.

You get up to thank him because although he lives 42 minutes outside the city, although you slept like shit and although his housemates were unreasonable YOU HAD A FREE NIGHT’S ACCOMMODATION and you are near a town that’s close to a really wicked city.

And that is what adventure is all about.

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