Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cultural Volume

It became really obvious the other night that few of the people in the hostal have been Americans when a group of Americans showed up at one in the morning. Part of the group might have been European, because I could barely make out enough of what they were saying to discern an accent, but several of them excitedly, innocently blabbed, filling their room and the adjoining rooms with their clear midwestern voices. I had to put my earplugs in. By morning, I'd taken them out, and was awoken by the same voices excitedly chattering about how cool the hostel was, oblivious that other people were trying to sleep.

They left their room, and I fell back asleep, but a few minutes later, I awoke to a terrible crash, like someone dropping a television down the stairs. The loudest of the American guys had been up on the terrace, and had stepped over the wall onto the roof where he tried to stand on the corrugated plastic of a skylight. It cracked under his weight, sending the brick weights flying. Fortunately, I guess, he didn't fall all the way through. I found out what happened without leaving my warm bed because he came downstairs loudly embarrassed, recounting his stupidity in the half-ashamed, half-proud all-loud way that only Americans do.

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