Jazz on South Beach Hostel

Miami Travel Blog

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As the great lyricist William Smith once told me, “Party in the streets when the heat is on, all day all night ‘til the break of dawn, welcome to Miami.”

“Uh yeah uh uh.”

This should have forewarned me slightly of what to expect…

It started shakily. Literally. I’d decided to get the airport express bus to South Beach as it was a modest $3. All this should involve would be stepping onto the appropriate bus, feeding three dollar bills into the machine then getting off at the last stop. Textbook.

Over the course of the twenty minutes or so that I’d been fannying around in tropical heat looking for the bus stop, the dollar bills in my pocket had degenerated somewhat; indeed if I’d pulled the bills out of a hamster’s cheeks then they would have been slightly less damp and crumpled than the ones that I had to produce from my pocket.

Miami heat

As I was the last person on the bus the driver took off at breakneck speed the second that I stepped on. The sweaty bills, my general ineptitude with the dollar machines and my hefty sack swinging me off balance at every corner meant that it took me the best part of ten minutes to get the final dollar bill in, raising a small cheer from the other bemused passengers.

The bus terminated at 14th Street, so my hostel was a mere ten streets away on 4th. ‘Mere’ in this case was a twenty minute walk in 32 degrees and ridiculous humidity, rendering my inappropriate attire (jeans and a thick shirt) to the hamster-cheek state.

When I got in the room it appeared  about as clean and orderly as a trifle that had been smashed with a lump-hammer. In addition my bed looked to be already occupied and I could smell Lynx.

A lot of Lynx.

“Bienvendo a Miami.”

I spent the first night drinking cans outside the front of the hostel. After a while I started to broach conversation with a few people - generally the same format - where you from, tell me about your travels etc. (I still keep forgetting to give/ask names, which is a bit odd, but then I keep forgetting them anyway so figure what’s the point?) After a few stilted conversations with people who were so foreign that it was an afrontery to Avalon, and a few people who were on holiday for the ‘badass clubs’ and used the expression ’totally wasted’ a little bit much for my liking, I started to miss my little friends in England and wondered why the fuck I’d thought traveling would be a good idea.

Things got worse over the next day - I managed to get a cracking mosquito bite on my nose and a sore throat from the air-con. All I wanted to do was sleep, which is easier said than done in an eight bed dorm, particularly when a newly formed romantic couple is in the bed next to you.

The good news was the day after my throat cleared up and I met some people that I quite liked. I spent days on the beach, cooked my own healthyish meals, used a laundrette without too much trouble, went to an out of town mall where I was accused of being Brazilian (operation look-like-a-Mexican obviously coming along nicely) and started to feel that everything was going to turn out fine.

I had a good night out in some dive bars until 5 in the morning, and another night I ended up in the VIP area at Mansion, which was all very confusing.

I grow hair
The oddest part was when a host of seven foot bikini-clad models suddenly appeared on a catwalk that was close enough for me to be able to see the odd ingrown bikini hair and (non-size zero model girls may appreciate this) a smattering of cellulite.

Everything was going great… then Batista arrived.

Batista was a short, alarmingly muscular fifty year old inventor from Miami, claiming to be both descended from Cuba’s Batista (“It’s in my DNA”) and to hold the key to the elixir of life. He also had a revolutionary design for a pneumatic bike,

and the knowledge of how to cure cancer with a hairdryer. As well as the knowledge of how to drink Corona from about 9 a.m. onwards and subsist entirely off tinned pies.

Batista paced around the room in a bright yellow Hawaiian shirt and white cricket umpire hat, explaining that as a millionaire looking to move apartments within Miami, a $15 dollar per night hostel was the obvious choice of lodgings. He occasionally twitched or waved his bottle of Corona around for effect and offered jobs, shares in one of his four companies to each of us in the room at some stage. Imagine Robin Williams on crack and you’re halfway into the nightmare.

The guy was no doubt intelligent - which he proved by talking to each person in the room about their specialties and either proposing wonderful new ideas in the field, or somehow bringing it back to the super bike,

Maybe all that he said was true (aside from “Everything comes in twos - look two beer bottles, two light bulbs - why can no one else see it!? Well actually two, two, two, two, five and three, two two two two five and three… but mainly twos.”). Either way I felt a lot less comfortable when he was around but still wouldn‘t be entirely surprised if I did hear of him or a successful invention of his in the future. As long as the government/Harvard don’t steal his ideas, which they are trying to. They are trying to.

 

brennkelly9 says:
Hello,
Very interesting article, it deserves to be shared… I am a frequent traveler. I am addicted to the beautiful locations of USA, Central, North America and Europe along with the accommodations of Corporatestays com everywhere…
Posted on: Jul 23, 2012
Stigen says:
Great stuff !
Posted on: Aug 03, 2011
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