Monday night at the hostel is Pasta Dinner night. That means the hostel makes about twenty pounds of pasta with meat sauce, and we hostelers flock to the kitchen like the homeless at a soup kitchen. It’s delicious, and you get to meet all the randoms who travel during the week. I made friends with an Australian named Heather, and we quickly started chatting about our travels. After dinner, we decided we’d play Cards Against Humanity with a couple other people in the hostel.
Now, if you don’t know what Cards Against Humanity is, it’s like Apples to Apples, but for horrible people. Literally, the cover says, “A party game for horrible people.” So, of course, the internationals loved being introduced to this all-American game.
At our table, we had one Australian, two Germans, one Brazilian, and one Italian. And me, the lonely American. For kicks, let’s include the Korean that was passed out on the couch for most of our game sesh.
We quickly made a rule that we could discard cards we didn’t understand. “Tasteful Sideboob” was one that was discarded immediately. (How does one explain with precision what the fine line is between tacky sideboob and tasteful sideboob? And what sideboob even is?!)
Explaining American terms to internationals is funny because cards get played that you think you may have to explain, and then you don’t have to. Like JUDGE JUDY!? Marcel, the German, explained that, of course he knows who Judge Judy is, his grandparents watch her on TV all the time. I’m sorry, Germany. You’ve given us great beer, and all we’ve seem to give you is Judge Judy.
And then the Italian played the “Trail of Tears” card. He didn’t know what it meant, but he thought it sounded funny. One of the other internationals asked what it meant, and I had to explain about the Cruel White Man of the Old Days and the tensions they had / have with the Native Americans. #Murica. Whoo.
Of course, Mechahitler came up. Of course. And ethnic cleansing. WHY. WHY.
It’s also funny to see what internationals think of us Americans.
Another anti-American pick:
Question: “When I am president of the United States, I will create the Department of ______.”
Answer picked: “The violation of our basic human rights”
After we were done playing, we went out to a pub for a couple rounds. The Germans drink SO much, and I can’t keep up with them at all. But it was fun enjoying one pint as they downed three like it was water. We compared cultures in a tiny pub, and listened to Irish musicians playing acoustic renditions of 90s American songs. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m actually, really, over here. I think George Washington would be proud of me.
And while some may take advantage of the ever so prevalent hook-up culture that staying in hostels presents, (“What happens in the hostel, stays in the hostel!”, and, “I’m on vacation!” mentalities are usually harmful when you use them long-term…), I’ve really enjoyed talking and meeting new people just for the good company. I kind of prefer to have friends all over the world, versus hook-ups all over the world. My bunk-mate, a French guy named Jann, says that “Monique” is, “Yes, a French name… but it’s an old lady French name… like a name my grandmother may have… no one these days is really named Monique.” And I like that. Classy and old-fashioned.
And that was my Monday night. I’m going to start taking more pictures, promise. It’s hard to remember to drag out the camera. Tomorrow I’m moving into my apartment, so things are going to start to be very different around these parts. I think I may miss my ten-to-a-people room. Not the snoring, but the constant interaction with different people, always down for whatever. We’ll see what happens, I may end up being that person who becomes a long-termer and “lives” in the hostel!