yogyakarta: the hostel trope(s)

i’ve touched a little bit on this on a previous post regarding my hostel in jogja; how i saw a romance unfold and a couple that is product of actual hostel romance. now on to other hostel stereotypes that were especially prominent in my stay there

Characters from All Over

i know to others in any hostel setting, i also come off as “a character,” the lone asian girl who looks like i don’t to make friends (in the mornings, this is true) due to my resting bitch face. i’m sorry, i’m a natural introvert who never makes the first move to talking to strangers, but i swear i’m nice when on acknowledges my presence

these characteristics, while also manifested in normal settings, are highlighted in unusual settings. think reality show, when a normally calm person becomes a war freak due to induced stress. hence it’s so much easier to characterize people in a hostel because there’s a lot of us, we’re in a different environment, with different personalities and different, whether it’s politically correct or not. it also doesn’t help that it’s like a revolving door of people. it’s really not realistic to get to know everyone beyond the stereotypes we project of ourselves

The Guy Who Does Nothing but Sleep/Boxers Guy/Talks on the Phone Loudly Guy

he’s mostly the korean guy, but really, he beat me in the “not doing anything but sleep” department. we were in the same dorm for three days, and he really was sleeping all the time in his boxer shorts. he leaves the dorm with his boxer shorts too. that happened 3x: when i arrived way early in the morning; when he talked to his baby-cute sounding gf on the phone (and that’s only because the girl encouraged him to get out, and he’s like “i’m lazy;”and for lunch. actually, lunch and gf happened at the same time, so actually on 2x. then next thing i know, he’s gone

Smelly Backpackers

a good friend once exclaimed to me: a backpacker that smells good??? that’s unusual. i never really understood that because so far, most of the people i’ve met in hostels don’t smell. but these three, shit

they weren’t stinky in all accounts, but as i was reading a book in the living room, i instantly knew that someone has invaded my privacy because of the smell. i can’t explain it. it’s probably a mix of sunscreen+sweat+stinky clothes+grime+something else. it wasn’t invasive, but it smells. and i was like: a, so this is what my friend was talking about

Where the Fuck Do They Get Their Funds Guys

there were 2 in the hostel: the kiwi who’s been traveling 14mo straight and the chinese guy for 2yrs. both have similar stories for funding, but going about traveling differently. the kiwi said he was working a good job when he started so he was able to save a lot. he started out with 20,000 dollars (i assume that’s usd) and now he’s left with 7,000. he’s been to europe, asia, and US (he worked as lifeguard there) and only couch surfed in russia. he looked the part too (i should say i found this out because he and british girl were talking loudly)

as for the chinese guy, let’s add another stereotype

The Easily Taken Advantaged Guy/Always Smiling Guy

meanwhile chinese guy worked for a bank for 2yrs and has been traveling for 2 yrs. unlike the kiwi though, he doesn’t string all the trips together. sometimes he goes back to china and…get visas i guess.

he does not look like a backpacker at all. he looks clean, he’s clothes are polo-shirt nice, and he’s always smiling giddily. so it was easy to ask him for favors because he’s easy to talk to. just speak slowly because he’s engliish is not so good. so here are the favors he gladly gave us:

  1. he let me borrow the scooter he rented for 2hrs without me paying my share (i offered)
  2. he also let the hook-up couple to borrow it one night
  3. and my personal favorite: the hook-up couple, on the first night they hooked up, was in the private room. they only had it for a night and in the morning didn’t realize that the next guest (said chinese guy) was already waiting outside. so while they were going at it, chinese guy was patiently waiting in the dining room

poor guy 😅. but although he didn’t look the part, he acted the part. he went to the market to buy food he cooked for dinner and shared with us. nothing better to bring down your cost than cooking your own food

The Couple

just read about them here

Plans Up In the Air Peeps

that’s what i enjoyed most about indonesia; most of the people you talk to don’t have immediate plans. if they have, those are flexible, can change in an hour. i felt like i was with my people there, no pressure, no judgement

The Social Glue

this one kinda shocked me because he’s from china, and they’re typically more reserved. but he was the one who actually invited EVERYONE present in the hostel to have dinner. which led to a nice night out. and he talked a lot too! unfortunately 2 of us were leaving for something early the next day, so we had leave early

That Night We Went Out and Translated Everything

so off we went for a warung dinner (nasi goreng for IDR13,000 yo!). the cast of characters were:

CONVERSATIONAL ENGLISH – ABOVE AVERAGE: me, a moroccan living in singapore, the chinese student, and a french guy



we went out for drinks at a reggae bar to celebrate french girl’s birthday. it was really an interesting night, because even though most of us speak english, we use and understand it differently. idiosyncrasies exist, and because of this english had to be translated to english. jokes lose its luster because things had to be explained. but the highlight for me was when we compared how much paid leaves we get:

me: in sg and ph, we get 15 days leave

chinese guy: oh, we get 5 days, plus the national holidays

japanese guy: we have leaves…and national holidays, but we can’t take it because the boss will be like

he actually did this

french guy: we have 6 weeks of paid leave, but actually it’s 9 if you include the holidays


and a few hours later, i left yogya. managed to be FB friends with french girl and japanese guy, and got the number of the chinese guy in the hopes that we’ll see each other again when we’re in their hometown. hopefully. maybe


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