It’s raining in Prague. It’s one of the only times it feels truly authentic. With the gray clouds above us and cobble stones beneath us, it really does feel like a medieval city. It feels like it’s only been a day or two since I was here last, but in reality it was closer to a week. Right now, I’m done with the booze. That train ride in from Munich almost killed me. I need to decompress and get a decent night sleep before heading to the next city on my journey.
We check ourselves into the hostel. It’s already quite a bit nicer than the hostel last time we were here. We still had to conquer several flights of stairs to get to the new one but there is a bed at the end of the road. The first thing I notice when we get into the hostel is that there are actually people staying here. Our last hostel felt more like an old office turned hostel.
When we get into our room. I collapse on the bottom bunk exhausted and stare up at the bed above me. “BED BUGS! SLEEP WITH THE LIGHTS ON!” Is scrawled across the wooden slats that support the top bunk. There are also drawings and arrows all over the the wall pointing out that there where the bed bugs are coming from and where their “shit” is. This freaks me out. I’ve been hearing about bed bugs for the last couple months, and this was my first encounter with them.
I scramble out of the bed brushing myself off and quickly make my way down the hall in bare feet to the check in area. In her best broken the receptionist she tells me that the bed bug situation has been taken care of, there are no other rooms and that she can’t give us a refund. Basically, we are fucked. I make up my mind and decide to spend the night here. I don’t know where any other hostels are other than the last shitty one we stayed in and it’s getting late.
When I get back into our room I pull the bed off the bunk in search of life. Nothing. I make sure my bag is away from any cracks in the wall, and dark spots. Rowan’s doing the same. It’s seems to be an unspoken thing to do. Eventually when we’ve decided we are “safe” from the threat of bed bugs we decide to call it a night. I’m going to be sleeping in my clothes above the covers in my silk sleeping bag liner tonight I think. Oh, and with the lights on.
Just as I’m starting to drift off the door swings open, and our newest roommate bursts out laughing. An American girl about our age with two backpacks looking more like hockey bags than backpacks. She makes fun of us for a few minutes talking about how stupid we look. After she seems to have had her fun at our expense Rowan mentions that there might be bed bugs in the room.
With the her new found knowledge of the supposed bed bug infestation she asks, “Can we sleep with the lights on?”
The next morning there were no signs that I had been eaten alive by those carnivorous little monsters hiding under my bed. It was fairly clear that Rowan and I certainly didn’t want to relive that night again. We packed up our gear, and went in search of another hostel in Prague.
The best hostel we could find had no bed bugs, but it did happen to have a series of exploding bunk beds.