One thing we learned as a backpacking family is that kids are like a virus. All of these hip young single people from all corners of the globe staying at hostels are just looking for a little fun, maybe some romance, and when you tromp through the hostel courtyard, whining kids in tow, they look at you like you have a disease. A highly contagious disease, which could be likened to a form of birth control. I’m sure condom sales went up around every hostel we stayed at. We were a sign of the possible repercussions of their hormonally driven actions, and we felt the glares to prove it.
We had checked out a few of the hostels in the area, which ranged from uber-modern, plastic everything, computers and big screens everywhere, to old school Victorian buildings with winding maze like corridors and wrought-iron bedframes. We settled on the latter, feeling a connection to the antique world-worn charm of the Original Backpackers Hostel, and felt at home with the clientele, a good mix of mostly twenty-somethings with a healthy case of Wanderlust.
At The Original Backpackers, we began to notice a pattern to the evening entertainment. The OBH is in the Kings Cross District of Sydney, one of the hipper and more happening areas to be, and it seemed like most of the special evening events were organized around going to some bar that was offering a few free beers to any large group that showed up from a hostel. The hostel circuit is a great way to experience the nightlife of a foreign country, and allowed people to live in a continual party state. Feeling the need to connect with my fellow vagabonders, and the city at large, I went on a few of the evening outings (purely for research purposes of course,) and for the sake of curiosity, also sampled a healthy dose of the local liquid libations. My loving wife kindly indulged me in these evening outings, and would bring me a cup of “coffee” in the mornings to soothe my aching head.
One particular morning, as we prepared for a trip to one of the city’s many sights, I sat down with Violet at one of the large communal tables in the outdoor courtyard, breakfast in hand, nursing a slight hangover, decidedly swearing off of the Sydney nightlife. A hush and a murmur came over the courtyard as a trio of ladies who were later described to me as “the epitome of Swedish blonde-haired blue-eyed beauties” sauntered into the courtyard and proceeded to make their way to our table. My devout faithfulness to my lovely wife combined with my splitting headache was no doubt the reason why I scarcely noticed them, but I did hazily take note that every male in the room was dreamily casting their glances in their direction.
The trio proceeded to sit down with us and appeared to be fascinated with my sweet cherubic young daughter, striking up a lively conversation about unicorns, and the crystal clear lakes of Switzerland in which they liked to swim naked, pretending they were mermaids. I could almost see the thoughts crossing the minds of the young men in sitting near to us that maybe having children had some perks after all.