I'm going to write a sitcom pilot called "Hostel Takeover" or "Hostel Territory" or some such punny thing. I envision it being something like Fawlty Towers meets Melrose Place. Basically, lots of miscommunication and lots of vengeful sex meet to make Primetime gold.

I'm not exactly a pro hosteller, but I've stayed at quite a few and I'm starting to notice a pattern.

There's the popular guy (popular because he's perfected the art of persuasion (in case you came here to learn something today, all it takes is a small amount of peer pressure and a large handle of vodka)); the weirdo who smells like mothballs cooked in concentrated scalp oil (whenever s/he enters the common room, everyone scatters); the hostel ho (self-explanatory); the hostel Mommy (also self-explanatory, that's weird); the coma victim (it's a sign of the apocalypse if you see this person awake); the interminable cold/flu sufferer (often British); and the German (often interchangeable with the weirdo (sorry Germans, you're a lovely people but you kind of scare me with your dark abyssiness)).

Guess which one I am? The answer will be revealed next week, after I get my first abortion in Auckland.

Just kidding. Obvi. They don't just hand out abortions like candy here. I have to wait at least 6 weeks for an appointment. The upside is, it only costs $25! We Americans need to get on that socialized medicine bandwagon ASAP.

Anyhoots, I was making a puttanesca in the hostel kitchen the other day when this German girl came up to me and said, "Wowww, an American who can cook!" like I was a manatee knitting a tea cozy. Then she said, "But you're not really American, are you?" I didn't know whether to feel flattered or slap the shit out of her doughy Deutsch-face. Yes the fuck I am American. But she was trying to be nice, so I said "Thanks," because I'm American, and Americans are polite as shit.

Guys, listen up. There's a stereotype out there about us. Besides being geopolitically ig'nant, we don't know how to cook because we eat McDonald's everyday.

Mmm. McDonald's.

If you're going to travel and you want to meet and befriend the locals, learn a few simple recipes. Stop embarrassing yourself. Because you're not just you, you're us (US) too.




  1. Oh silly Hana. If you had an abortion right now, then you would use up a great deal of your american tampons. If you waited longer, you could extend the time tampon-less, and preserve you precious commodity. Its simple economics really. But yay for cheap healthcare!

  2. Great... now I am going to be the creep that brings up tampons, but that my my first impression from the first time i visited, and as they say, first impressions stick

  3. lol, oh you and your tampobsession.

  4. "Americans are polite as shit." - YES! WE! ARE! good stuff. My sis ran into the same attitude about Americans everywhere she went. She had to explain to them that the reason the Simpsons is funny is not because they are typical Americans.

  5. A tampobsession? I like it. I actually got into a conversation with some Alum about tampons and the diva cup (just from what I learned in your blog, and I think the girls were either fascinated or freaked out.
    I am really going to enjoy this blog, as it is something that I would love to do, and you will probably get some more comments or whatever from me.

  6. Hana, my love. When we go to the Motherland, will we be considered Natives or Americans? Do I need to learn how to cook for the Motherland? Will they judge me for being an obese giant? It's hard enough to fit in when I'm eating in Koreatown...but in the Motherland, it won't just be a single NYC block's going to be a whole country...i'm scurred...