One hostel, one night, one room, one girl. This is a survival story, with a less than threatening plot and extremely imagined danger to my life. With that said, it’s a mildly amusing story.
I had been on a full day tour trip in Australia to a place called Phillip’s Island. I signed up for a two day tour where you stay overnight in a hostel nearby, however I only found out after that I was the only one signed up to do so. The rest in the group of 25 were going back to the city. The next day I would be picked up by another tour guide and a new group of people. The main event on Phillip’s Island is hundreds of little penguins coming in from the ocean to their home in burrows on the surrounding hilly area. They come in around sunset and after dark. While the day was chocked full of fun and the penguins were downright adorable, that isn’t the main part of my story – for today. By the time penguins came in and everyone got their full enjoyment stalking the little creatures, the tour group was getting ready to drive back to the city by 9:30pm.
The guide was a 20 something guy with a black cap and an pseudo enthusiastic attitude that said ‘I like you guys because I’m getting paid but I hate this late night gig where I could be kicking back with my mates and drinking a few beers instead.’ I mean yes, tour groups are uncool. Actually they’re checking out the flabby back side of uncool with envy; they scream tourist and practically ask to be subjected to commercialism at least fifty times throughout the day, not to mention putting up with your co-travelers where you always get that one person who wants to be tour guide and tell everyone, everything they don’t actually know. On the flip side, tour groups also bring together such a variety of people from all over the world that there really could be a tour group to tour the tour group. So if you’ve already weighed your options and have decided a tour group is the way to go, you pay all that money to stick out like a sore thumb and take a few thousand pictures then you want an enthusiastic guide that can tell you a few interesting tidbits.
Now, honestly I wasn’t sure exactly how the whole overnight thing was going to work and the more I talked to the others I thought maybe I joined the wrong tour and there was no overnight stay. So I approached the laissez-faire guide and ask about the situation around 3 in the afternoon.
Him: Oh yeah! That’s right, I’m not sure, let me look at my papers.
Me: Okay cool.
Him: Yeah so actually after this I’ll be taking you to the hostel
Me: [I nod contemplatively] Really? I thought I signed up to go the penguins today
Him: Oh right, you’re doing The Prom tomorrow. Okay yeah so after the penguin I’ll drop you off at the hostel.
His lack of information left me feeling weary, but I got on with the rest of day quite well. As we’re getting started on the drive back to the city, I have my fingers crossed that he would remember to drop me off. His announcements pre-departure that night included no mention of that portion, so I was concerned. I would be staying on the island for the night, and as we neared bridge that would lead off the island I contemplated saying something, but I decided to wait until we were off the island, I didn’t want insult him. Although based on the day’s events I wouldn’t put it past him to forget.
[Because it’s kind of a long story I broke it up. I’m sure every reader will be absolutely nail-biting in anticipation as they wait- will he remember? If you aren’t, I understand, but I will still be posting Part II in a couple days. Cheers]