There are Do’s and Don’ts of life. Things you shouldn’t do if you want to be a good citizen and get along with others you live along side. In crudest terms it might be just the ‘Don’t be an asshole’ approach.
Im not saying I’ve never been one but I generally try not to be. Respectful is my general philosophy. And here on the Camino there are some easy tips on ‘How not to be THE asshole Peregrino in an Albergue.’
Numero Uno: Don’t come into any Albergue dormitoro and assume you can make as much noise as you like. People are sleeping. Could be 3pm and they’re napping after walking all day. Or it might by 8pm and they’re still wrecked from walking 35 km. But there will be sleeping. Be quiet unless its a small room and you can see everyone is awake.
Numero Dos: Don’t come in loud and drunk at 10pm and decide that nows the time to organize your pack, call your Mom, recount the good times at the bar with your friend. NO!! Just NO!! We’re not all 20 on a gap year!
Numero Tres: Don’t pack your stuff in noisy plastic grocery bags and rifle through every one of those bags multiple times at night and then in the morning. Use cloth stuff sacks! Like a human. And don’t sit on your bed next to me opening your plastic wrapped breakfast protein bar after your very loud phone alarm goes off!
Numero Cuatro: And speaking of alarms – DO NOT set an alarm on anything but silent/vibrate. Then put it under your pillow to wake you up. Not Everyone gets up when you do. Especially if you came in drunk late. See Numero Dos.
I like to think of it this way. Imagine you have a colicky baby who never sleeps. But finally you get them to nod off. You put them in their crib for some blessed quiet. Ask yourself ‘What would I never do while standing next to this sleeping angel?’ And then don’t do that in an Albergue.
But I gotta go now, apparently. The Janice of Spanish Albergue’s has dictated I will not get 5 minutes of sleep this night. Stay tuned for our next episode ‘How NOT to be an asshole over cafe con leche in a Spanish cafe,’ And feel free to share this with anyone you may know who is even remotely considering walking the Camino. As a public service.
Still – Buen Camino