When the girls got home drunk on that saturday night in the horrific hostel they all went down to the kitchen to make themselves a “cup’o tea” before they went to bed. A cup of tea I thought? They were so drunk, why in the heck would they want a cup of tea at this hour? Fiona and Adrienne said that they always have tea when they come back after a big night out at the bars, “it just makes you feel better”, they said. I gave them this look like, WTF? In America when we come back from the bars we have pizza or fried food; guess that explains why we are chubby! They went on to say that, they have tea for all types of occasions; good or bad, sad or happy. If someone breaks-up with their boyfriend they’ll put a pot on, if someone gets a new boyfriend they’ll sip some tea, if someone comes for a visit they’ll serve them a cup’o tea, if something sad happens to a friend they are invited over for tea. Tea is for everything Fiona said because it’s comforting and makes you feel better when you drink it. Well good to know, maybe I should start doing this instead of eating chocolate!
When I checked into the YHA hostel, it looked pretty nice and there were tons of old people! Is it odd that my heart skips a beat from joy when I see old people at hostels? I was absolutely delirious from fatigue since I had only slept for 3 hours the night before and all I wanted to do was lay down once I arrived. I merrily walked down the hallway after checking in and entered what I thought would be an all-girl room and found a couple lying in bed. They weren’t doing anything but I lost my $#iT!!! I took one look at them and turned around and walked out. I marched back to the desk and asked to be switched to another room and he told me that unfortunately they were fully booked and he was unable to change me. I took a deep breath as tears started to fill my eyes and I looked at him and begged and I mean begged him to give me another room. Since I was so tired, I now see that I was rambling; telling him that there was no way I could stay in that room with a couple, that I was up all night, that my hostel the night before was unbearable and asked to PLEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAASSSEEE switch me, I beg of you! Maybe the tears worked or maybe he just wanted me to shut up but he ended up “finding” a room for me. Now wouldn’t it have been easier if he could’ve done that from the beginning? Relieved that I had new arrangements, I went to my room and when I opened my door I realized that I was in a 4 person room with 3 dudes. I just stared at that room and felt completely defeated. I placed my belongings down, knowing that I couldn’t switch and walked out. As I was coming out I was crying and ran into this guy from my bus, Sam, who had just joined the group 2 days before, whom I barely knew.
He asked what was wrong and I explained to him the whole long story about not wanting to be with a couple but now I was in a room with all boys, etc. He too, knew that I was deliriously tired because he was on the same floor as me the night before. Sam is from England and when he saw me crying, he gave me this comforting look and said, “Mandi, come on to the kitchen with me and I”m gonna make you a cup of tea and everything will be all right”. When I heard that I started laughing through my tears because had my Irish friends not told me about the tea ritual the day before, I would’ve been thinking, what the heck does a cup of tea have to do with this? That tea was one of the best cups I’ve had in a while, not sure if it’s because I was so upset and anything would’ve taste good, because a British person made it or because, as the saying goes, “a cup of tea makes you feel better!” And it really did! That and the fact that while I sat and sipped that hot cup of tea I booked myself into a 4 star-hotel for 3 days in Queenstown the next day. I just couldn’t do it anymore and I heard that Queenstown is like Mardi Gras 24/7. There was no way I could stay there for 3 nights in a hostel.
So it turns out that, yeah, Queenstown is the most expensive town in NZ, meaning I’m paying a pretty penny for the hotel that I am sitting in as I type this, while I sip a cup of tea 🙂 But I have no roomates, fast wifi, no flip-flops needed for my morning shower, multiple plug outlets, no bug bites while I sleep, fresh linens, multiple clean DRY towels, and peace and quiet from 7pm- 11am. It is worth every penny of the $212 it costs per day and then some! I know that traveling for 6 months calls for one to live on a budget but it’s ok to splurge sometimes, this is vacation after all!