Friday, January 7, 2011

A Whole Boatload of Crazy

I like to joke around with my friends that I like crazy women.  To be honest, I like women who meet my definition of crazy.  By this I mean that I like people who are spontaneous, weird, and just generally a lot of fun to be around.  I call it crazy just because crazy is a catchall for what I'm looking for.  However, my experience at this hostel has been something of another type of crazy all together.

For starters, for those of you that have never stayed in a hostel it is quite an experience.  I say it is quite and experience because when you get a good hostel, you don't want to leave.  When you get a bad hostel, you can't wait to leave.  A good hostel may party, it may not.  However what every good hostel has in common is a group of travelers who are passionate about travel and very friendly.  The hostel I am staying at is no different.  Upon arrival I quickly met a Pole who lives and works in London.  We spent an hour chatting about travel and where we had been and went to get lunch together even though we'd only known each other about an hour.  This is quite common.  In fact this is exactly how this story starts. 

On my second day in Singapore I was chatting with a girl who is sleeping in the same dorm as I am.  She happened to be in the common area the same time that I was and that is cause for a conversation in most hostels.  During our conversation she asked me if I'd like to go get a bite to eat.  I had already eaten, but I told her that I would as soon as I finished doing what I was doing which would only be about 15 minutes.  She waited and we headed off so she could have some food.  Upon arrival I noticed a few things were a little off about this girl, but I chalked it up to simply a fish out of water traveler.  Someone who thought they could do it by themselves but found the experience too awkward and didn't know how to interact with fellow travelers.  Try as I did during her meal to hold a conversation, I just couldn't hold one down because the standard lines of conversation (travel, life, education, ect) and the non standard ones were being met by rather unintelligible responses.  She would half answer half not answer.  Ok, no big deal, I have students and know people who are just really not comfortable with themselves or with other people so she's awkward, that's not a crime. 

Well, during the meal I noticed she kept making a few "crazy faces" and I even told her about it.  She took it in stride and actually laughed about it.  After the meal she asked if I'd like to go for a walk which I willingly obliged.  Half the fun of traveling is walking.  We ended up walking for five miles in which the highlights were her not wanting to go into a temple because there were bad people in there who wanted to hurt her, and a little bit of paranoia when she looked at me and said some poor dude manning a shop was one of them.  Most of the walk passed in relative piece and a disturbing amount of quiet because I had given up trying to keep a conversation going.  Upon arrival back at the hostel we grabbed a bite for dinner at a street place close to our hostel.  I figured at this point that I was done with it, and had lost nothing more then a little bit of time in which I did what I wanted to do anyways.  No big loss.  I decided that I was going to lay down on my bed and do some reading.  About thirty minutes into it she walks into our dorm.

*Enter the boatload of crazy*  As she walks in I look at her as she states "What did you put in my food.  I'm going blind what did you put in my food."  For the record we ate the same meal family style.  I'm a little shocked by this, but being a single female traveler I can understand being a little paranoid about some guy you just met.  I tell her nothing and that I ate the same things she did.  She became visibly relieved and then asked me again.  I gave the same answer and she became visibly relieved again.  Rinse and repeat for the next ten minutes.  As if this wasn't enough, she then launches into a full blown meltdown talking about the CIA tracking her, that I'm working for the CIA, the hostel has put sars in her bag, the police are protecting perverts, how soon is too soon to want to have sex with someone, the police are following her, people are poisoning her food, etc.  Somehow, and I do mean somehow I managed to maintain my composure and while I felt like my mouth was agape I know that it wasn't.  The only point I got a little antsy was the moment she placed her hand inside her purse and left it there.  I wasn't fearful, but this girl had just proven herself to be a paranoid schizophrenic who thought I poisoned her.  Who the hell knows what she had in that purse.  Needless to say I slowly backed up out of lunge distance and brought my hands to my side just in case. 

After about twenty minutes of this, with some weeping intertwined, she recovers and walks out of the dorm.  I stand there shocked for 30 some odd seconds before laying back down and continuing to read.  I am also suddenly a little fearful that I have to sleep in the same room as this women.  About 45 minutes later she walks in and says "I don't think you put anything into my food, I'm sorry.  I'm just scared all the time and you were the first person who had been nice to me."  Sadly, while this apology eased my nerves about sleeping there it didn't make up for the sheer level of crazy she had unloaded on me.  The next day, needless to say, I was out of the hostel before she even woke up and was out all day.  . 

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