When I returned to my old Rome hostel this afternoon — Gulliver's House — I hadn't yet checked in. And it seemed unlikely that I ever would. After my time down in Sicily, I haven't just grown careless about guarding my personal possessions: I've also come to be slack about making advance reservations. I have no booking; and Gulliver's (along with every other decent hostel in Rome) is completely full for the next two nights. Eek! Had I not stayed at the place before — and had I not happened to run into some very nice and sympathetic staff, who are working there at the moment — I doubt that they would have even tried to accommodate me. But I had been there before, and I'd just been robbed, and I was desperate: so they worked something out for me.
The two guys running the place at the moment weren't there, the last time I was in Rome: one is a dark guy from Mozambique; and the other is a guy from Brazil, who's always either listening to loud music, or sleeping on the couch. These two guys sleep up in the attic of the hostel, where there's a rickety ladder providing access, and where there are two beds in a makeshift room up there (also where various crap seems to be stored — this is where my backpack has been sitting for the past three weeks). After much sob story-telling and much pleading, the Brazilian guy finally caved in, and offered to sell me his bed in the attic for two nights: same price as a bed in one of the dorms, and breakfast and use of all facilities still included; only difference was that I gave the money straight to him. He was happy for the extra cash — and he said that he sleeps on the couch in the lounge most nights, anyway.
Although it was foolish of me not to make a booking, I don't know that it would have helped for tonight. The hostel was actually severely overbooked — I think they had some guests there who weren't feeling too good, and who they weren't prepared to kick out despite the beds being booked. For most of the people that arrived tonight, they were actually sending them to other hostels, with whom they seemed to have some kind of reciprocal arrangements. It all seemed very dodgy — as does everything here in Rome — so I was just happy that I was able to find a bed.