Prejudices! ….. we can all stereotype about and give each other a hard time about doing so, some of us are not big fans of “them”, and some of us are open-minded giving each interaction the benefit of the doubt till proven otherwise… Well anyway whatever your stance, and however many of “them” you meet or indeed however many you know and love, the guys we met today at our new destination really took the biscuit!!
A morning of packing, brekkie, some admin followed by a 3 hour bus journey (and yes it was only 3 hours, and the driver was even nice enough to stop on the way out of town for everyone to get some final photo´s of Fitz Roy as we waved it goodbye) delivered us in El Calafate where we made our way to our new hostel by about 6pm. This one is an old hotel that´s been converted to a hostel; there´s no bunk-beds which is a bonus; great wifi and pretty flash bathrooms –nice! The beds are even comfy, thanks Matt and Sophie for the recommendation. (they´d been here already and had returned for a few more days down time).
Top priority was laundry and after dropping it of we provisioned for a nice meal of Carbonara and as there was a DVD room at the hostel the plan was a nice relaxing night in watching a movie – Inception.
We also arranged a car hire for tomorrows trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier (the main/only reason to stay in El Calafate). We were hoping one of our new family might join us and chip in for the cost of the car but each one we contacted had either already been today (most of them travelled down yesterday) or were booked on a tour bus.
As we eat dinner we heard from Sarah who was due to get a 0300 bus to Ushuaia (the end of the world!) and would be up for meeting for a drink as she wasn´t planning on sleep before hand, instead she joined us for food and the movie. This is also the point where “they” come in. We´d been talking to the guy, Shane, in the kitchen while we made dinner, he seemed to be on his own and was also making dinner, turned out to be for him and his girl, they were from Boston. They sat on a neighbouring table and then asked to join us. Fine we all thought – the more the merrier. They seemed normal enough and got pretty chatty. They even donated a little of their wine to us, declining our offer to join us watching the movie.
Inception is a great movie and guessing you´ve all seen it but if not, go do so now! In true Hollywood marketing style and as I´m sure you´ve noticed too, the sound is really variable throughout. All the shot-em-ups are REALLY loud to the point of being deafening but if you lower the volume too much you can´t hear the talking in the next scene…. Why is that?!
Well anyway this proved an issue. A big issue! Here we are: us, Michael and Sarah in an open planned attic DVD room watching an action packed movie that we start watching at around 2145, not late for a Saturday night and certainly not for Argentina, most locals would only just be sitting down to dinner!!! We invited Matt and Sophie up too and they were going to join us but they´d seen it already and found something else on their dorm TV (oh did we forget to mention, we had TV´s in our rooms?)
Well their room was right below the DVD room and early on in the film when we were trying to get to grips with the volume control Matt came up to let us know it was really loud below. The added issue was that being open plan if our volume was too low all we could hear was the music playing in reception two floors below. We explained to Matt our efforts to avoid blasting them and understanding our challenge he snuck off back to his own film.
About 40 minutes later a guy came up, he was the late night receptionist, to ask us to turn down the volume as people were trying to sleep, it had just gone 11pm. (There´s a notice above the TV asking users to please be considerate and keep the noise down ….. after 1am!) He seems quite embarrassed and you can tell he really didn´t want bothered again as he even suggested we turn on subtitles so we can read the plot rather than try to hear it!!!
Shortly after this Matt and Sophie come up and joined us. We presumed because their movie had finished. Well partly, their roomies had come in, gone to bed, and then requested they go down to reception to watch the end of their film as they couldn´t sleep for the noise. The same roomies who had complained to reception about the noise from us in the DVD room, the same American couple who´d had sat with us at dinner, knew we were watching the movie, could have joined us, could have come and spoke to us themselves…. When the movie ended Matt and Sophie found a note outside their room from them saying they had a “white-noise” app running on their ipod to help them sleep – it was louder than the TV had been … All we can say is GET A LIFE, enjoy Saturday night, don´t stay in a dorm if you can´t hack it or a hostel for that matter!!!! Unbelievable!