June 2nd, 2012
Location: Sanlitun Hostel, Beijing
Time: 8:18 am
It only took 21 months, but I finally made it to the Great Wall of China. Worth it. But this post isn’t about the Great Wall of China – it’s a story of a different kind.
This tale begins in my eight-bed dormitory at Sanlitun Youth Hostel. At around 5 in the morning I woke to the gentle stirring of the locks clicking back and a swath of light brushing past my face. A young woman climbed the rungs of our shared bunk and settled in for the morning. Moments later an Australian boy who she’d apparently been out with started to speak to her in what he thought was a low whisper. It wasn’t. He then hauled himself up the ladder two rungs, and proceeded to hang onto the side of the bed as he attempted to cajole the girl into letting him join her. No dice.
Their back and forth went on for a good half-hour, with voices slowly but steadily rising to full-on I’m still at the bar with blasting music in my ear volume and the shaking of the bunk as he emphatically stated his cause. Right about here is when I not so politely suggested they take their conversation outside. They returned to whispers long enough for me to drift off for another 10 minutes or so.
I then woke to a voice saying “You tried to rape me over there!” from across the room. The girl had removed herself to a bunk with a different man and her ardent lover had followed her to that bed and was continuing the conversation from a new ladder. Next look, he’d hoisted himself into the bed to have a little powwow with the other two occupants.
The conversation continued like this for the next 45 minutes:
Girl: “Rape, blah, blah, blah. Giggle, giggle.”
Boy 1: “I can’t believe you’d say that! I just like you. Some nonsense about other girls, drinking, girls, bar, etc.”
Boy 2: “Mate, I like you but I don’t want to see your face. F#@& Off, mate.
Boy 1: “What about your misses downstairs?”
Boy 2: “F-Off, mate.”
Girl: Giggle, giggle (Internal monologue: I can’t believe these boys are fighting over me. This is just so silly. I love it.)
Either I fell asleep through it, or Boy 1 finally gave it up for lost. I don’t know. Here’s what I do know: when my alarm went off 45 minutes later, Boy 1 yelled “Turn of your f’ing phone!”
That’s rich, guy. Really rich.
After my return from the Wall half a day later, I was not surprised to find Boy 1 and Girl still in bed, although for some reason I was to decipher later, they’d switched beds.
I found out at 6 this morning when they stumbled back into our dorm.
This time, Boy 1 returned first and quietly climbed into bed (again, the bunk above mine). Moments later, Girl appeared. I assume she did a quick assessment of the room and realized Boy 2 wasn’t there, and attention whore that she obviously was, she started in on a conversation with Boy 1. Of course, Boy 1 was all game. After a recap of the night where he kept saying something about trying to “pull” a girl, and some fat bird in a red dress, he once again tried to get the girl into bed. Just spooning, mind. No hands. Well, like 70% of the time. Okay, 80%. Alright then, 97% of the time. Giggle, giggle. I have to brush my teeth, let’s continue this conversation when I return. Giggle.
Shoot me in the face.
Girl then proceeds to say she can’t get into the bunk because of her swollen ankle. Ah, so now I get it. In an act of chivalry (or most likely just trying to get in her pants) Boy 1 had swapped bunks with Girl because of this supposed ankle injury that in no way impeded her ability to dance ‘til all hours of the night in heels, but certainly couldn’t handle a ladder.
Now, somewhere in this, Boy 2 returns.
Recap of night again: tried to pull, red dress, blah, blah.
And then Boy 2 crawls into bed with Girl and I decide sleeping is futile and I roll out of bed to see Boy 1 staring forlornly at the canoodling couple.
Can’t win em all, Boy 1. I suggest you try conquering the Wall instead. It’s killer on the knees, but at least she isn’t a tease.