Bearded Drunk Guy, Brazilian Slut, and Sexy Austrian Nurse

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Palmers Lodge Hostel in Swiss Cottage on a typical overcast day.

For many nights, I’ve had the four-bed mixed dorm room to myself. I got to Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage Hostel in London on January 2, 2020. I’ve heard passing talk about the Coronavirus in China, but it’s something to feel bad about for people to the east, not in the west.

 
I’ve been alone in the dorm because the Brazilian Slut is out meeting and staying with guys, and the Sexy Austrian Nurse is out spending time with her Tinder men. During this first European adventure of my life, I’ve decided to sign up for mixed dorms because I like guys and girls, and I sometimes get along with guys better. But more than that, it comes down to money and space: the four-bed dorms are mixed-only, and I’m not ready for a 10- or 20-person dorm, even if it is all-female. And the Brazilian Slut is practically female anyway with our easygoing banter about guys and I know that I don’t have to worry about his interest in women, because he has none.
 
Tonight, for the first time since I got here, both of my roommates are staying the night in our dorm! We’re chatting, and I’m excited to finally get to know my new roommates, whom I’ve only gotten to chat with in snippets of time whenever they’re around, which isn’t often.
 
I had a great roommate in the fourth bed the night before and she was from Washington, and spoke in a British accent because she’d picked it up while in London, (and her mom is British), and she loved all things Harry Potter, so she’d gone on the Harry Potter tour all day, and she loved to read and she loved trees, so we talked about all these things. That bed is on my side of the room, in the darkest corner furthest from the only window.
 
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Diagonal Alley from Harry Potter is sort of a real place in London.

But tonight, the fourth bed is empty.

 
Or so we think.
 
“So what was last night’s guy like?” I ask Sexy Austrian Nurse, whose bed is across the hardwood floor from mine.
 
She scoots to the edge of her bed, and Brazilian Slut and I rearrange ourselves in order to better hear tantalizing details. “Well, you know, he’s a nice guy, but not really my type,” she begins in her flowing Austrian accent, which sounds nothing like British. “You might like him actually,” she says to me.
“He’s a professor. I bet you’d get on well. But I like a man with a full beard. I like my men muscular. I have to tell you about tonight’s adventures!”
 
There’s a fumbling at the door, and we all stare at it and think the same thing: Shit. In stumbles this tall redheaded, bearded guy. Sexy Austrian Nurse looks at me from across the room and widens her eyes in anticipation. I can tell that he’s just her type. He’s got a liquor bottle in a brown paper bag in one hand and a small plastic bag of clothes in the other. This isn’t going to be fun.
 
Sexy Austrian Nurse says, “Hey, what’s your name? Where are you from?”
 
“Norway,” he says, falling onto the empty bed. A few minutes later, he says, “Iceland.” And from there his speech falls off significantly, and we can barely understand him. I want him out. I want him gone. He rifles through his bag of food, spilling its contents onto the floor. He mumbles to himself. Then he dumps everything onto his bedside table and runs for the door, farting the whole way.
 
“Oh my god, he’s disgusting!” I say, once he’s gone. “He’s fucking drunk, and he probably just ran out to throw up. And he’s homeless,” I add, motioning to the grocery-store bag of clothes beside the bed. I’m not sure why this bothers me, except that he’s so clearly unprepared; were his things stolen or did he bring very little with him? I don’t believe he’s actually homeless, because all he has is this one small bag of clothes and nothing else. He’s probably just a local out on a bender. And I really don’t want a practically incontinent drunk person in our room.
 
“Yeah, I thought he was cute at first,” Sexy Austrian Nurse says. “But he’s definitely not all there.”
 
“I’m scared, guys,” Brazilian Slut says. “I don’t feel safe around him.”
 
When the Bearded Drunk Guy comes back from the bathroom, he gets a call and goes out again. I leave the room and take a short walk around the hostel to breathe for a few minutes. It smells horrible in our room now, like sweat, booze, and farts.
 
When I get back, Brazilian Slut and Sexy Austrian Nurse are getting dressed, and the nurse has got her purse. The stranger is passed out on the bed. There’s a new smell of fried chicken emanating from the greasy paper bag on the floor beside him. I look at both of them, and they at me, and I grab my most priceless possession that I left out—my phone—and we leave the room.

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The room isn’t big, but it’s pretty nice. Imagine hand-washed clothes hanging over the bannisters, the heater in the way back of the room, and the headboards, and that’s pretty much what it looked like all the time. My bed is to the left, with the light on in this pic.
 
“What the hell happened?” I ask.
 
They wait to answer until we’re in the hall, going downstairs, leaving the attic. “He said some fucked-up stuff to him,” she said, motioning to Brazilian Slut.
 
“He scares me,” Brazilian Slut says. “I don’t think he likes gay guys. I think he’s dangerous.”
 
“We’re going to get him thrown out,” Sexy Austrian Nurse says.
 
Downstairs we talk to the desk guy. “All of us want him out. He’s drunk and throwing up and eating in the room. He’s breaking all the rules,” we tell him.
 
“I’ll go up there. Give me a few minutes—I’ve got to help someone with the washing machine first.”
 
We wait in the common room. While waiting, we learn that Brazilian Slut doesn’t have a job; his father will support him until he gets married. So right now, his dad is paying for his apartment, his food, and this trip, and until recently he was also paying for his education. He’s telling his parents that he’s here with a friend, but really he’s exploring Europe alone. “I don’t want them to worry,” he says. “I can’t tell them the truth.”
 
Sexy Austrian Nurse lived and worked in Cameroon, Africa, for awhile, and she’s not even twenty-three yet! She got all dressed up earlier that night and went to a play party with her new guy friend. A play party is a place where people who are into kink gather to have fun. I’ve only ever been to one small play party, but it’s a place to talk about what you’re into sexually, and wear revealing clothes (or no clothes whatsoever), and sometimes there’s equipment with ropes or whips of varying styles for really fun play.
 
“Oh my god,” I say, “Did you love it? Was it, like, BDSM?”
 
“Whoa,” she says, “I had no idea that you even knew what it was!”
 
“I’m unassuming,” I say. “But I’ve actually always been into a little bit of kink. I know a lot about it, and I have friends who are in the scene.”
 
She shows us pictures of her outfit: black knee-high boots, short skirt, dark bra, everything barely hidden under thin black netting. “I had so much fun,” she tells us. And just like that, she changes tactics, showing another, more proper side to her personality: “And tomorrow, I’m going to have a traditional English Breakfast.”
 
The staff member comes in and tells us the guy is out and we can go back now. The room smells horrible, but the drunkard is gone. Sexy Austrian Nurse opens the window, I roll up the guy’s sheets and throw them in the hall, and I instruct Brazilian Slut to throw away the guy’s pile of garbage. “Why should I do it?” he says.
 
“Because I rolled up the sheets, and she opened the window,” I say. He does so, and we throw the garbage can in the hallway. They talk long into the night, and I try to sleep with my headphones on, to no avail. I roll from side to side for hours, wishing suddenly that we had not become friends so I could just sleep.
 
In the sunroom dining area the next morning, I meet a nineteen-year-old who, I find out, shared one of the 24-person rooms the night before with the drunkard. Instead of kicking him out, the guy at the desk just put him in a different room. I feel bad for the kid getting stuck with him, but also glad he didn’t sleep with us. I’ve seen very few women get as drunk and nasty as our near-roommate did. And now I understand why some people choose all-female dorms. I’m a convert.
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Entrance and exit to Palmers Lodge

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