There’s no worse feeling in a hostel than the angry stares and frosty greetings I often get in the morning. I volunteer a friendly ‘good morning’ but all that is delivered in return are some grumpy mumblings. Through bleary eyes, the others in my dorm room seem to seethe with a passive hostility that’s struggling to break out from the cage created by our lack of familiarity.
You see, I’m a snorer.
Without ill intentions or deliberate malice, I manage to disturb the sleep of most people in a dorm room. I’m like a garbage truck collecting the trash, that unwanted alarm clock when you need more precious dozing, or the late night return of your drunken partner. In fact, if you combine all those things and then play them out constantly through the night, that’s me.
I hear (during my quieter conscious moments) people always complain about snorers. Sometimes friends in the same hostel but different rooms will moan over breakfast about the nocturnal trumpeting fanfares of another traveller while I just sit there and concentrate on my toast while my face turns the same colour as the strawberry jam. If the conversation topic comes up on the road, it’s normally accompanied by the stories of all in the vicinity who want to share tales of sleepless nights in the presence of what could have passed for a jumbo jet taking off.
Oh, it sounded like a bear was eating someone did it? How awful for you, I offer quietly.
Nobody ever feels sorry for the snorer, though. There never seems to be a thought spared for the poor fellow (and, let’s face it, it’s normally a fellow) who goes to sleep each night knowing that he will have created a horde of enemies by the time he awakens. Never have I met someone in my travels who has volunteered condolences to the man who knows he will arise from his slumber to a room so frosty there would be no need for air- conditioning.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, this is my manifesto and I think it’s time things changed.
I am tired of being the bad guy. (I’m also just generally tired, but that’s quite possibly caused by a sleeping disorder.)
You have no right to be angry if someone snores in your hostel dorm room. You have made a decision to stay in a communal space and you must wear the consequences like the strange smelly hippie in the lower left bunk wears the same thing every day.
You have the option of earplugs or music if things truly bother you that much. (Although, having heard what some travellers consider to be ‘music’ I don’t understand why they wouldn’t prefer the snoring.)
And ultimately there are some things in life you can’t control – taxes, death, your crush on the strange smelly hippie in the lower left bunk… and snoring. This is not a voluntary or a governable action. It’s important you always remember that.
Please, my pleas to you are to not be angry with the snorer in your dorm room, to feel a slight pity for them and to not hold it against them. To snore is human, to forgive divine.