Being a horribly territorial and private person, it was therefore a challenge to myself when I booked for a bed in the 10 person mixed dorm room during my last solo trip to Kota Kinabalu (KK). This wasn’t the first time I stayed in a mixed dorm though. A few years back, I stayed in another backpacker lodge located exactly in the same city with a bunch of friends. Even though they were friends, I was enough uncomfortable with it, let alone sharing a room with bunch of strangers with different colors and background. In fact, I already made the mental preparation to request for room upgrade in case I couldn’t adapt to the crowd. Another concern of mine was bedbugs – I had read many online reviews about this problem plagued in the lodge I was gonna check in.
Anyway, all turned out to be fine – no bedbugs and no creepy roommates. I got along with the two girls working there, but not huge fat cat they owned. And the place couldn’t be lovelier – balconies, spacious cozy living rooms plus the location was strategic where airport bus drop-off point and other attractions aren’t far away. There were 8 of us from 4 different nationalities in the room on my second night. As expected, personal items were all over the floor, underneath the bed or seen hanging everywhere. Obviously I shouldn’t have been too concerned about my image – how I slept or positioned myself on the bed. Maybe that’s the best thing about living with strangers, instead of own friends. The only problem was some of them slept in early thus switching off the lights before some of us got back from outside. The shared bathrooms and toilets on the other hands were mostly clean, but it was understandable if they got dirtier because everyone was using it and not everyone was considerate. Same could be said about the room.
Because I left, I made friends with the two Malaysian guys sharing the dorm. Three of us from totally different backgrounds (one 19 y/o, me 25 y/o and the other 36 y/o) ended up having some drinks and nice conversations on a raining night. It taught me to be less stuck up – my world or life is not everything.