Snoring in Warsaw – The Sound of Ripped Beds
Warsaw is a slow down city. Even the nightlife is relaxing, I think to myself with elbows stuck to a pavement table in the Polish Chelsea. Arriving at night acquainted me with the sleepy elegance that suspends every pedestrian. Dainty, muscular buildings administer a full dose of upstanding theatre – expansive structures steeped in the self-applause of monstrous beauty. Warsaw too is home to the most fascinatingly understated accordion player – an ageing man seated in a pleasant square of cobbles; a character of effortless confidence, well softened by the idiosyncrasies of his music, face framed distinctly with a fine white gilding of beard and flat cap.
Diving below middle life in Warsaw finds me restlessly welded onto sleeping position in the early hours of one dark dormitory. Across from my squeaking bunk a desperate, asphyxiated snore wheezes magnificently, abstaining cyclically as it peters out before grunting up louder again, stabbing my eyelids open with its blade. This is definitively the worst sound I've ever heard by a long stretch – this vile, dry and painful wrenching protest issuing from a man wallowing inside a thin bedframe, floundering against the cloud of sweat-filled air in a helplessness fuelled on watermelon and waffles. The lacerated groaning, by now well angered-up and swollen pink, smacks through glass to disturb the wiry shadows of the oldest street in Warsaw. Then another male organism directly above my forehead takes over the nose–throat chorus in relay... standard rhythm this time, no ascending dance to a choke-ready break in the ripping sheet performance.
The truth is that a quiet hostel is as elusive as counterfeit rhinoceros milk. The Warsaw backpacker to avoid – this late-July snorer perfectly concealed from etiquette by darkness – is the traveller's demon, and he's everywhere! He gobbles up all danger of ruining oneself with too much comfort... that sensation manifested far away private noiseless beds. But I'm invigorated the next morning after writing this in the 4am black... raw, over-spaced night writing that only your opposite hand sees. Ruminating over this phenomenon drew back the desire towards awaking my torturer with a ruler, a tool ready-customised to steam and stretch his nostrils with a measure of excellent sulphur. Finally, however, after extended hours, I'm relieved to be post-hypnotic, appreciative of discomfort.... of losing the sleep competition. Full gusts of daylight bring an end to it. Discomfort accelerates sensations. It lends rapid vigour to everything except the stubborn passage of time.