Allow me to explain.
Earlier this year I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was quite an experience.
I got there on day 1 and checked into Reggae Mansion Hostel. It’s a fancy shmancy hostel that looks exactly how it should… like a mansion. You know, rooftop bar and beautifully painted and decorated hallways. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have a couple crazy nights at a party hostel and this was the place to do it.
The first couple days were fine… made some friends, fell asleep on the bathroom floor, etc etc. The usual.
After the second night, a girl I met named Jas and I had the brilliant idea to switch to a more budget friendly hostel. On the way out our bunkmate Doug said to us, “It’s cheap for a reason.”
Famous last words.
We checked into our new hostel called Fern Loft after Jas did the appropriate googling (or so I thought). It was… dingy, to say the least.
The moment I walked into that 24 bunk bed room and looked at those mattresses I just knew.
“Jas, this place totally has bed bugs.”
“What? No they don’t. It’s fine.”
Fine. Okay. I’d never seen a bed bug before… how could I know?
We left our things and headed to the streets in search of a good meal.
Along the way a random malaysian man was walking passed Jas and “accidentally” touched her boob. Startled and shocked she whipped her head around and grumbled a curiously confused “Huh?… What… What the fuck?!” as she stared at the man.
It really didn’t look like an accident to us, but we figured we may be just as well off not trying to figure out what just happened so we walked on.
Moments later… there he was again! Standing there in front of us holding himself in his hand asking Jas for 1 ringgit…
Yes. Standing there holding his penis asking US for money. Goodness gracious me. I was so surprised that I stood there frozen for a moment.
Jas looked straight at me and asked 4 or 5 times “Did you see that?… omg did you see that?”
Apparently this is a thing in Malaysia? There is a name for them. I think they call them “flashers” ? … not the most original name, but then again, they don’t really deserve a cool name. It’s really not that cool to go around flashing your uglies at people asking for money.
We went back to the hostel for a night spent inside. It was full of couch cuddling and journal writing. Funny how close you get with people when you travel. ❤
The next morning I woke up and Jas left to go to a family friends birthday party.
I decided this was the perfect time for me to take a long cold shower. A much needed relaxation period before what I was about to find lazily strolling across my bed when I came out.
A bed bug.
“OMG… Umm… excuse me, do you know what a bed bug looks like?” I said to the girl on the bunk across from me.
“No, I’ll look it up…”
She turns her computer to me and says, “Yeah, that’s a bed bug.”
Fast forward to 5 minutes later when we found out that literally every single bed had bugs in it. Tons and tons of little baby bed bugs… chillin’, iust waiting for somebody to fall asleep.
When I told the front desk the manager, he just looked at me as if I was the biggest idiot he had ever met. Why was I so surprised that he wasn’t surprised? Obviously, he already know that he had a bed bug problem.
“Every hostel has them, okay?”
Uhhh… wait, whaaaat? No. No, they most certainly do not. Cockroaches, yes… Lizards, always… but not bed bugs.
As time went on, him and his staff proceeded to get angry with my bunk mates and I claiming that I had no right to tell the other people in my hostel room and that I was making a big deal out of nothing. Luckily, my bunkmates were on my side and stuck up for the fact tha, yeah, DUH I’m going to tell the rest of the people in the hostel room that there are blood sucking bugs feasting on their bodies at night.
They offered to spray our bags with rubbing alcohol.
Alcohol?! These things are desperately difficult to get rid of! You can’t just get them drunk and hope they leave you alone! Alcohol is not going to solve anything!
A friend and I got a refund, packed our bags and left. (Jas was still at the party this whole time so I grabbed her bags as well.) Luckily there was another bunkmate (who actually decided to stay another night at that infested hostel. No idea why) who helped carry the extra bags. (I never got your name, but thank you, wherever and whoever you are.)
We walked back to reggae mansion promising to never stray from it’s beautifully decorated halls again.
I threw every belonging of mine into the wash and dry, twice.
A few days later I got back to my apartment in Bangkok. A bit paranoid, I threw my belongings into the dryer for another hour before even going upstairs to my room. Better safe than sorry.
The next morning I woke up with tens and tens of super itchy, red bed bug bites all over my body. As it turns out, they don’t show up on some people until days later.
I had them on my legs… my arms… my back… my butt… and my face. These nasty little devils were crawling on my face! UCK!
Anywho, I feel like I got pretty lucky! Well, as lucky as you can be having bed bugs while traveling.
Have you ever had bed bugs? Share your travel stories with me!