BARFUS, The Bad Humor Man!
January 16, 2009 by rtwsenior
(This is my third blog of the day, so check previous ones to see if you have read them. Stuff happens fast and furious when you´re having fun. I`m going to quote from the journal entry I wrote over my salmon quesedilla today. This one is a work in progress.)
“Well, something funny is happening at the hostel, after all. I`ve had a lovely, laid-back morning spent in long conversations with Caroline, from Switzerland; Andrea, from Salzberg, Austria; and Hannah, from Berlin; as well as my new roommate, Derek, from Australia, who checked in with his guitar soon after I changed to this new three-bed dorm room from the six-bed room I spent last night in. We had a short chat and then I went off to the internet and he went to sleep to recover from his bus trip.
Several hours later, I returned to the room and found him still out like a light. But, a new man, sitting on the third bed, turned with a frown and snapped: “This is a men`s dormitoree.” (French accent) I simply said, “No, it isn`t. It`s a mixed dorm and that`s my stuff over there.” Good thing for me that I had arrived first. I bit my tongue to avoid telling him that he was actually invading MY territory.
He huffily went back to pawing about in his duffel bag and then, after a heavy silence, stalked into our ensuite bathroom. Since Derek was asleep, it wouldn`t have been right to talk very much, anyway, but this guy`s mood was black, even without words. He came out to put on a white shirt with light blue accent lines and two words embroidered on the back. I noticed matching shorts and decided on a friendly approach, so I leaned over to whisper, “I`m guessing that you are a soccer player from Israel.” I came to that conclusion because one of the words was Ben and that is sometimes included in an Israeli name.
What a haughty, insulted look I received for that impertinent surmisal. “I am French!” he announced, disappearing back into the bathroom. Supressing a giggle, I imagined him tearing his hair and muttering disgusted French phrases to himself as he desperately wondered how to get out of this one. I made a decision to see if, somehow, I could win over this fellow`s friendship. The first thing would be to leave unsaid all of the smart-mouth phrases that were crowding to the fore, such as: “So, is this your first time in a hostel?”
Under different circumstances, his face would have been composed enough to be called handsome…say if we were standing on a hotel terrace, being introduced by a mutual friend. I might even have been granted a perfunctory kiss on the fingers instead of a handshake; and his role of Lady Killer Charmer would have come very naturally to him, especially as MaMere had surely trained him to be polite to women and certainly, those more along-in-years.
But, this did not apply here and now. Suddenly, his very masculinity was under attack now that his assumption about being in a Male Dormitory was being blown apart by a white-haired old woman who was so adacious as to even suggest that he was an Israeli soccer player! Mon Dieu! I speak no French, as you might guess, which I hear goes very hard in making friends with certain French people.
At last, that super-stylish young man (I`m guessing he`s in his late twenties) emerged from the bathroom and headed for the door. There, this obvious descendent of a long line of French Barons, suddenly seemed to remember his manners: “It was a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Stunned, I murmered something genteel, with what I prided myself was Great Restraint, biting back my more natural responses of “Yeah, right!” or “You call THIS acquaintance?”
So went the first round. Ghosts are much easier to deal with, in my opinion. You can`t see them and their single bed is not a mere two feet away from yours. For the moment, and until proven otherwise, I shall affectionately call him BARFUS, a fitting contraction of the words on the back of his shirt.
Derek stirred awake as I headed out the door with my arms full of dirty clothes for the laundry woman. I asked if he had met our new roommate and I guess he had perceived his presence and maybe muttered greetings, but he had slept through our whole exchange. I filled him in and we both laughed over the utter nonsense of it all. Derek is my buddy. We shall see where Barfus chooses to fall, in the overall scheme of things.
The moral of this story is: “Don´t mess with us Ladies who have both two blogs and a book to write.” Somehow, the story is gonna get out.
More later on this developing news flash!
Later: He checked out after only one night. But, I did stop at his breakfast table in the morning and asked how his night went, stuck out my hand and we managed a name exchange. His first name isn`t Ben. Fortunately, other hostelers don´t act the same way and his replacement is Jacob from Denmark, an old friend from the Medellin hostel. We`ve already had a very long conversation and there is a totally different atmosphere in the room now.