While I didn’t want my first post from break as something so negative. However, I feel I have to post something before it isn’t relevant anymore.
I had an interesting time in Prague. I met some great people, had a great New Year’s Eve celebration, saw a lot of sights and more. However, there was an incident at my hostel, I need to address because it’s circulating quite quickly. I stayed at Sir Toby’s Hostel in Prague. On the 2nd of January, a group of like five Italians were staying in the same 16 bed mixed dorm room. They came in at 5 am, turned on the lights and were screaming about how cool the club was. First thing was everyone else in the dorm shouted to turn off the lights. And they didn’t. I realized they didn’t speak English so I said in Spanish (which is similar to Italian): “Why are you yelling?” and “Can you please talk somewhere else?” They didn’t care. So I shut off the lights and laid in bed. They started yelling again so I went to the front desk and said, “There’s a groups of guy in my room yelling and turning the lights on.”
And the first response was, “Well, it is just you in the room?”
“No there’s at least four more other people.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Can you talk to them? Warn them it’s not okay? I want it on record that they are being rude.”
“If you want to make an official complaint you need to speak to the manager at 10.”
“I have other things to do. It’s your job to handle it.” So he comes up.
He says, “Hey, guys, be respectful.” Then leaves. Then the Italians start shouting, “Mulan, Chinatown,” at me. I say, “Callate, tontos.” Then the guy sleeping below me gets up and says, “I don’t know what language you speak but you need to be respectful. There’s other people here.” I just go to bed and in the morning, go sightseeing. Now, at this point I should have switched rooms but part of me figured the management should handle it and I’m sure other people in my room will complain.
The next day, I notice they have not been kicked out yet other guests are telling me these guys are being really creepy and even a staff member mentions that the guys are out of hand. So I hang out in the lounge until about 3 AM. I go to bed figuring: maybe they’ll better and if not maybe they’ll ignore me if I just bury my head under the sheets. So again they come in screaming at 5 AM. The guy above me says, “Is this your guys’ last night? You need to be gone!” And I say nothing. I pull the comforter over my head and someone actually puts their hand under the comforter to pull my hair. I yelp and look up and a guy is standing there are says, “How much?” I get up and go to management and tell them the story and say, “I want to switch rooms now.”
He responds, “What do you want me to do? They are a bunch of drunk guys.”
“Switch my rooms and let them know it’s not okay, or kick them out.” He literally rolls his eyes. A girl in the lobby who was checking out offers her bed to me.
I tell the guy, “You need to come up with me so I can get some of my stuff and they won’t bother me.”
He says, “Okay, I still don’t know what you want me to do. Call the police?” he rolls his eyes, “If you didn’t want to get messed with you shouldn’t have been in a mixed dorm.”
“This isn’t my first time in a hostel. This is not acceptable. I’ve never had this problem before and I don’t appreciate you think this is a joke. If I had been raped I’d be calling the police and suing this place. Then it wouldn’t be a joke.” He rolls his eyes. When we go in the room I collect some of my things and he says with a smile and laughing, “Hey guys, you should calm down. I know you’re trying to have fun but some people think it’s too much.” So I get my stuff and go to another room.
In the morning, I go to management at 10AM and explain what happened. The girl at reception says, “I’m so sorry. I’ve already spoken with the guy at reception. I’ll switch your room to an all-female dorm at no extra cost and here is a breakfast voucher.” The male manager says, “Look, that’s all we can do. I don’t know what you want me to do about a bunch of drunk guys. I’m sorry but that’s all we can do.”
So during all of this I posted on a Facebook group for female travelers, to get some advice about the situation. The girls were so kind and even some personally called the hostel to let them know that this isn’t going to be a quiet incident. People know what happened and if things aren’t handled properly, my army of social media bad bitches will torch this little hostel to the ground on all available media.
I did get an email from the owner of Sir Toby’s stating that he is shocked at the reaction of the staff, he is issuing retraining for everyone and deeply apologizes.
Now I think this situation was handled very poorly. This was literally every female travelers’ worst nightmare. How it should have been handled is first off, the first time I made a complaint the person should have told the management themselves, not leave it to me. I have a short time in Prague I’m trying to waste as little energy and time on idiots. The management should have found someone that spoke a Latin language to sit the guys down and say, “Hey, don’t play stupid. You guys need to know how hostels work. You need to be respectful or we will kick you out and keep your money.” When I worked at a hostel, that’s how my manager handled it because the victim shouldn’t be wasting anytime with this nonsense. Between all the staff and all the guests and all translation apps, the management can communicate with these guys. Two, the second time, I shouldn’t have been victim blamed, they should have been kicked out, the police should have been called and I should have gotten a free night. The rhetoric used by the male staff was horrendous however the female staff apologized to me several times in person.
I think this is a teachable moment. If you feel uncomfortable get out, don’t be afraid to be loud about it and remember social media is really powerful. If a hostel treats you badly, you can end their business. I know that the hostel has learned from this experience but I want other female solo travelers to learn too. There’s no reason to take bullshit. There’s no reason to take excuses. And there’s no reason not to complain.