Tourism is currently suspended and billions of people around the world are under restrictions of movement. Borders are closed and planes are grounded. It will be a while before the industry picks up again. In the meantime, I am reminiscing about the good old corona-free days. In today’s segment of Tourism Memories, I take you through my experiences sharing a dormitory with strangers.
After an adventurous day along the Rutsiro segment of the Congo Nile Trail, I made it to Karongi late and hanged out with a couple of tourists until midnight. Then I headed to Home Saint Jean and spent the rest of the night in a dormitory.
I hadn’t slept in a dormitory for about 25 years. The experience rekindled memories of my high school days.
There were about ten bunk beds in the dormitory and half of them were occupied. It was late. The lights were off and the strangers with whom I shared the dormitory were already asleep.
I walked in quietly and slipped under the sheets without waking up anyone. Two guests were still awake though. I couldn’t see their faces but I could see bright screens of their devices. One of them was chatting or browsing while the other one was whispering on the phone. I bet the person he was talking to could barely hear whatever he was murmuring.
I was the last guest to step into the dormitory and the first one to leave it. As comfortable as I felt, I had to wake up early and indulge in more adventure before returning to Kigali.
I left Home Saint Jean before sunrise and rushed to a neighboring fishermen’s camp to buy some sardine-like delicacies, popularly known as sambaza. I checked out when the strangers with whom I shared the dormitory were still snoring.
I didn’t have to switch on the lights even for a second. Locating my flip flops at dawn, in total darkness, wasn’t that hard. The strangers with whom I shared the hostel were still in slumberland. I avoided being the reason someone’s sweet dream is interrupted. It happened to me many years ago. It has been a long time but I have not yet forgiven the punk who made me wake up in the middle of a sweet dream.
Although I was in darkness throughout my stay, I left the dormitory convinced it was clean. I could smell cleanness. Besides, the bathrooms were super clean. When the bathrooms are clean, the facility is clean. Period.
I would have loved to say good morning to the strangers with whom I shared the dormitory but I was afraid of cutting short someone’s sweet dream and commit an unforgivable sin.
Home Saint Jean offers a variety of accommodation options to cater for different budgets. From dormitories to standard rooms and apartments, there is something for every one. Given the choice between a cheap guest house and this dormitory, I would choose the dorm any day.