Hot 'n Fun

Trip Start Aug 14, 2010
Trip End Sep 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Montenegro Hostel

Flag of Montenegro  ,
Saturday, August 21, 2010

How has Montenegro been so far? This music video sums it all up quite nicely - Hot 'n Fun!  Though Budva is a confused kind of place, it still was loads of fun, despite the trashiness, tackiness, and infinite cheese.  It seemingly hasn't decided on what it is yet - it's seemingly on its way to high-end resort town, but is stuck in this bizarre parallel universe of Russian kitsch.  Nik described it best, saying it's the kind of plastic place where Russians go to show off what they have, but it's not truly a place for the wealthy - places like the French Riviera would be reserved for the richest of the rich.  But of course, wealth is all relative - it's not like I have a porn yacht named Mint to call my own ... 

Today, it was time to move on to Kotor - less trashy, less tacky, and less cheesy than Budva.  Both Nik's and Chami's accounts are that it is a phenomenal place, so I was really looking forward to it.  First good sign - checked into the Kotor branch of the Montenegro Hostel, and the lady that owns it, Gordana, was really pleasant.  Didn't know what to expect, since some internet reviews suggested she is rude, but I sensed nothing of the sort.  The second and even BETTER sign - three Spanish senoritas were waiting around the hostel to speak with Gordana - I didn't even need to hear them speak, I knew at first glance where they were from.  All from Barcelona ... ahh ... can't wait to go to Barcelona ...

Funny thing - I've noticed over the years that Spanish senoritas seem to prefer traveling in groups of three.  Even funnier thing - whenever I can, I book dorm rooms with four beds, in the hopes that the other three beds would be filled with Spanish senoritas.  Don't laugh at how pathetic I can be ... I can't help that my severe case of the Spanish Flu forces me to do such bizarre things!  Turns out that they were staying in one of the dorms that was located away from the main hostel building, which made me regret the reservation I had made, which specifically was for the main hostel building ... sigh ...    

Not much was planned for today - just a stroll around town that confirmed how gorgeous Kotor's Stari Grad is, and a bit of time on the beach with a quick dip into the Adriatic.  The beach is tiny here compared to Budva's, but at least it isn't packed with people or cheesy attractions.  One bad thing is that the sun disappears behind the ridge on the opposite side of the bay fairly early, so beach time gets shortened pretty quickly.

Kotor does suffer from growing pains due to tourism, just like everywhere else in the country - all of a sudden the power went out and we lost the fans in the dorm room.  A Polish girl named Anna had been here the previous summer, and told me that there are occasional power outages and water shortages during the summer, because tourism swells the population substantially.  The infrastructure simply can't handle the crush of the tourist crowds. 

Dumb luck - not planning for this, I stumbled upon Kotor on Boka night, the biggest festival of the year in the region.  Stari Grad was CRAZY tonight, as it seemed like the entire population of the surrounding bay had come to party.  Needing to escape the heat from such a crush of people and also the city itself (the city walls and buildings seem to be brilliant at absorbing the sun's energy all day and radiating it back out all night long), I found a nice little spot just outside the walls overlooking a small stream, which provided a nice refreshing breeze.      

Stumbled upon something else when I tried to go to bed - inevitably, staying at hostels means at some point, you will come across a couple going at it.  The room was pitch black but as I opened the door and walked into the room, light from the hallway briefly illuminated the bunk beds facing the door, and I caught a glimpse of a couple in the same bed ... if you remember the movie "Fight Club", there was a scene where the Brad Pitt character was explaining how you could splice in a frame of something inappropriate into a movie, such that it wasn't enough for anyone to be aware of it on a conscious level, but it was enough to disturb their mind in a subtle way.  Well, it was kind of like that ...

They were merely, shall we say, in the opening act, fully clothed ... at first, I didn't really know what to make of it, and it wasn't until I sat down on my bed when I thought "Did I just see ... what I think I just saw?"  There was a moment of indecision - do I just put in my earplugs and try and sleep?  To be honest, if the light never shone on them, I would've been none the wiser - the nightclubs outside were so loud that you couldn't hear anything but bass.  Do I leave?  The problem was that the common area of the hostel closed at midnight ...

So what to do?  The bad thing was that I had left the room door open a crack for additional ventilation, and a wind gust slammed it shut.  This happened a couple of times while I gathered up my stuff, trying to figure out what to do, and it probably made the couple think I was playing some sick voyeuristic game, trying to disturb their festivities with door slamming.  I fumbled around in the dark and eventually found my netbook and its charger (didn't want to bother with my flashlight, as that would've made things even weirder ...), and went out to sit on the lone chair in the cramped little kitchen.  About an hour later, the hostel worker came in and joked with me "What are you doing here?  Go out and have a drink!"  I didn't feel like having a drink, but also didn't want to tell him that I was afraid to go back to my room and shine the light on something I didn't want to see ...
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