Hostel Lessons



10 Things I Learned By Staying in a Hostel During AWP

  1. Not only do I talk in my sleep, but I also yelp, so there goes any sense of moral superiority I might have had about not snoring.
  2. That new guy from Austin may seem nice, but when he asks for a favor, it’s OK to say no, especially when he says, “Can we go out into the hallway so I can ask you?” At that point, it’s a relief when he only asks to use my laptop.
  3. Next time I forget my key card, I should check inside my boot before paying $10 for a replacement.
  4. Stashing the replacement key card inside my laminated AWP ID badge is easy and convenient. Inadvertently displaying my room number to thousands of AWP attendees in no way makes it look like I’m trying to lure men back to the hostel.
  5. Some people go to AWP and wake up next to strange men. I wake up next to strange phones. It was not because I had sleepwalked my way down the ladder and stolen someone’s phone. Nope, I’m too busy yelping in my sleep for that. Instead, the sweet girl in Bunk E heard a phone going off on the floor next to the bunk and assumed it was mine. I appreciated her thoughtfulness, even if I did glance at the phone while half-asleep and wonder exactly when I had switched to Verizon.
  6. Fitted sheets will always hate me, regardless of if I’m making a full-size bed in Spokane or a twin bed in Seattle.
  7. That guy in Bunk D with the hipster mustache? He’s not here for AWP. He’s “just hanging out.”
  8. Creepy hallway requests aside, people possess a remarkable ability to be nice to strangers who just happen to be sleeping in the same room. Yes, even writers have this strange and mysterious power.
  9. Always leave the window open. Sure, the view is nice, but not waking up in a puddle of sweat is even nicer.
  10. Rooming with fellow writers means thoughtful, reasoned discussions on the nature of writing, grad school, and funny euphemisms for, you know, sex stuff.


  • I like how systematized and simultaneously chaotic the hostel feels in this list. There’s a sort of strange peacefulness that you’ve captured here. Although, when I went back and revisited the first point here, I did think it said you Yelp in your sleep, and I was about to be extremely impressed by your sleep-eye coordination and your impressive thoughtfulness for reviewing foodstuffs even in REM. But I’m sure that’s for your next post. Welcome to Bark!

  • Sam Ligon Sam Ligon says:

    Yelping and talking in sleep is probably better than snoring.

  • Kristin Gotch says:

    I met the sweet girl in bunk E at the VIDA party. I lost her email address in an Orange Cab, and I feel really bad about that. She was great.

  • Anastasia says:

    AWP Missed Connections

    You: Sweet girl from Hostel Bunk E, livin’ la VIDA loca (doing your thing at the VIDA party, that is). Me: pixie poet gettin’ Squatchy by the refreshment table. Sadly, your email address rolled out of my life in an Orange Cab. Call me maybe! (509)867-5309

  • Brittny says:

    I love that one of the tags is “yelps”.

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