I am not sure why you were told all Americans slept nude because that was not my experience of Americans in youth hostels. I slept nude and so did some of the others in the male dorms but most seemed to wear what we in Britain call y-fronts. These did not hide much when it was time to get up,
I was staying next to the Dead Sea, alone in a long line of
Until that is I was aware of three of them crowding around and almost touching me. Please could I tell them how to turn the showers on, they had never seen a faucet like these. So I had to give them a demonstration. A testing time!
The attached pictures try to convey some of this. A few of the hostels could be old and basic, like the first photo, others might be more comfortable like the second. The third image illustrates the cameraderie. The fourth an impression of what it was like huddled together in those open showers.
On Wed, 13 Apr 2011 22:03 +0200, "Fred Stein" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Bring back happy memories. I was very young in the early 70´s - before the interrail - lifting around Europe - living in Youth Hostels! In a way when the world still was innocent for a young man. Think of some stories but probably a bit off-topic - f.i. how I was taught that all Americans sleep nude (at the Youth Hostel in Hannover) .... I would love to hear stories from your days meeting guys a bit more simple as today...
Sorry for my English - not my native language ....
Same experience here, Atitlan. I traveled much of Europe via International Youth Hostel Association. In more cases than not, the hostels were reasonably modern with large dorm areas -- a dozen or more sleeping areas in a room. Even those which were older, and re-structured from former usages (large homes, etc.) had shared accommodation with "total strangers". Nudity -- and by that, I mean, non-sexual and comfortable nudity -- was common: changing clothing, sleeping, showering and traveling to-from the showers. Conversations like, "I have 60 Swedish kroner. They're worth just a little more than a French franc. I'm leaving early in the morning on the ferry and won't be able to get to a bank. Do you have enough francs to exchange for me?" were conducted nude, and the exchange made.
Admittedly, this was in the 1960's and 70's. It was definitely a "different time" from today's common "shame in nudity".
---------- Another Forwarded response to the above messages ----------
A real feeling of camaraderie could build up. Strangers became fast friends, particularly if they met up again at another hostel later on. When I was 17, I hitch-hiked up to Scotland and found myself constantly bumping into a handsome dark-haired French lad of the same age. His name was Thierry and he wanted to be a brain surgeon. One evening I persuaded him and a girl to go for a walk in the forest outside our Scottish castle hostel. I still remember the intense look he gave me and the feeling of his hand on my shoulder but we were not alone, nothing happened and we never met again.
My most eye-popping experience of youth hostel nudity came when I was backpacking around Israel. I was staying next to the Dead Sea, alone in a long line of
Suddenly the shower room was invaded by a dozen American 16 year-olds looking very fit in their white towels. These were quickly discarded and it became clear they were far more dirty than me, covered in mud from a caving expedition. They were full of excited chatter about the events of the day. I was unsure where to look. With difficulty, I averted my gaze and got back to washing myself. Until that is I was aware of three of them crowding around and almost touching me. Please could I tell them how to turn the showers on, they had never seen a faucet like these. So I had to give them a demonstration. A testing time!
The attached pictures try to convey some of this. A few of the hostels could be old and basic, like the first photo, others might be more comfortable like the second. The third image illustrates the camaraderie. The fourth an impression of what it was like huddled together in those open showers.
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