Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Youth Hostel, where is your youth?

Just to inform you, this will be a slightly whiney post, primarily because it's that time in my travels, and I have no one to vent to privately :)

I generally think of myself as a fairly tolerant person. I have many friends from many backgrounds, I enjoy conversations with young and old alike and diverse perspectives interest me.

On this trip, I am staying in Youth Hostels. In Italy/Switzerland, I stayed in independent hostels and now I'm in Hostelling International Hostels. In England and Wales, it is called the YHA (Youth Hostel Association). When I think of Youth, I think of folks between, say 15 and 25. I don't think of my grandparents and I don't think of 10 year olds. But, that is not to say that they are not the primary clients of the YHA though.

This is the second hostel on my trip where I have yet to see anyone within 3 years of my age (either direction) who is travelling on their own (aka not a leader of the school group). Most of the independent travellers are in their late 50s, early to mid 60s. Not that I am generally social in places like this, but the older folks are just downright anti-social: either because they don't speak to others or because once they open their mouths they will not be quiet. I'm not sure why this is.

The other end of the spectrum though, is the children. The screaming school children. I don't quite know why they are here, I suppose for the history. But they scream. And then you try to get away from the screaming...but you can't, because everywhere you go in the hostel you can either hear the screaming children, or quiet children have taken over (like the TV lounge) or there are no seats.

In other news, I am in York. It is quite odd walking around, not a stranger, but not exactly at home either. Things have changed since I was here last. Shops have moved, shops have closed, shops have opened. There is massive construction on campus and I don't fit in there any more. Hopefully, when I go by tomorrow, the CS building will be open and I can sit on a computer for free and write my presentation and do email, etc etc.

Tomorrow night, I may go to a concert. I know at least one person in it and it sounds quite random... I think it's a musical about Herod dating back to about 1300. I'm off now. It's amazing how much sitting on a train for 6 hours can wipe you out!

No pictures today, hopefully more tomorrow :)


Simon said...

York! I miss it so.

Sorry about the evil children and peculiar old folks. I'm sure there's some way to get revenge, I just wouldn't want you to get arrested in a foreign country.

Katie said...

Yes. I thought it was bad yesterday. But, surprisingly, today it is worse. Over 50 children...between about 8 and 11...cleverly taking up every single table in the dining room and then running around the internet table. I have discovered that it is not in fact, screaming children, necessarily...it doesn't have to be. Each one can talk at a normal volume and it raises to a loud roar. This is why I don't think I could ever have 10 kids. Not that anyone was asking, I just felt like sharing...I like my quiet. Ear plugs are quite useful!