John Bills: Professional Idiot

Posted on July 24, 2014


Taken with not my camera

Taken with not my camera

The sun is beaming down on Ljubljana, I’m sat drinking black coffee out of a glass, there is a construction site down the street in front of the place I need to be and my moustache has taken over my mouth. Normal state of affairs then.

At In Your Pocket we frequently run polls for the Best of Ljubljana and Best of Slovenia. Incidentally, we’re currently running a World Cup of IYP Covers, so go to this link and vote for your favourites (your favourite is Ljubljana. Your favourite is Ljubljana. Your favourite is Ljubljana). When these polls end, I trudge to the winners, give them their certificate and take photos, smiling broadly and having a lovely time. Today was time to run the awards to those Best Hotels, and of course, everything was going to run smoothly. Everything always runs smoothly.

The first place on my list was Celica, pretty much regarded as the best hostel in town. In a similar way to Majdas in Mostar, when I traveled around the region I rarely met anyone who had stayed somewhere else in Ljubljana, it has a pretty solid monopoly on the hostel world here. Housed in former army barracks within the infamous Metelkova compound, I had never actually been there myself until today. Truth be told, it was as expected, full of people and with a genuinely good energy, and this coming from someone who generally rolls his eyes whenever people talk of ‘energy’.

In order for a hostel to be successful, it is no cliche to say a huge responsibility sits on the shoulders of the staff, and boy is it hard to resist making an Atlas reference there. Staff truly make or break a hostel. The Celica staff, even in the brief 30 minutes I spent with them this morning, are as infectious and natural as hostel staff should be. At times in the past I may have dismissed Celica’s success as being down to its unique location and history, but consider me converted. Gorgeous, gorgeous people. Despite my inherent nervousness when meeting new people, the common subject of hostels in this part of the world makes things a lot easier for me. My time at Chillton and Majdas opened me up to a world that was previously mythical, and I genuinely enjoy talking about the hostel industry. Sure, its a shame that mine and Eric’s Hyper Dobro Hostel (or Fucking Hostel, if we had the balls to go through with the wittiest thing I ever said) never happened, but vicarious living is better than no living.

But still, I was there for ‘work’, and the award was passed over. All that was left to do was to take the photograph, surely the easiest part of the job. Being a former prison, the photo was to be taken behind the bars in the style of (admittedly well dressed and well kept) prisoners. I opened my bag, plucked out my camera and everything went smoothly.

Except I had forgotten to bring my camera. Really, todays work only required two things; 1: Certificate and 2: Camera. Being the King of the Idiots, I successfully completed 50% of this. Who goes somewhere purely to take a photo and doesn’t take a camera? This guy. When they open the Museum of Idiots, I’m pretty sure I’ll have my own wing.

Luckily for me, the Celica staff are awesome, and after rightfully taking the piss they provided the camera. Alls well that ends well, especially when my absent mind is involved and catered for. Now, to try and navigate this construction site…