The Golden Sickle Hostel
27.03.2008 - 27.03.2008 15 °C
On arriving in Prague I loved it and went for a giant walk around the beautiful city. Finally I arrived back at my hostel at 11ish and went to bed. Prague is absolutely huge with people wanting to party at night, so backpackers were coming in and out of my room all night. There were two rooms in my section, I was in the first and to get into the second, backpackers had to go through the first, so everytime a group came home, they would stomp through my room, half drunk and I was woken up 5 times that night. The main group of about 10 British 20 year olds came back at about 6.30am. I kept my eyes closed and tried to keep dozing. then two Spaniads came into my room and started having showers. I heard a man whisper in a panicked voice "Where is the key?" and when I opened my eyes a slightly older guy was trying to get into the second room with his girlfriend...so I kept dozing. Seconds later the two English boys in my room who were sleeping bounded out of bed and shouted "Who the fuck are you? And what the fuck are you doing with my phone?" The Spaniads came in and started yelling too then. The robber looked bewildered and backed off, but one of the Spaniard was REALLY angry. The girl with the thief stood close to the door. He kept saying "Im sorry, Im not going to hurt you...Im sorry"By this time the two English boys, the two Spanish boys and I were screaming at them and approaching them. The thief pulled up his pant leg to his knees revealing huge bloody sores and angrily shouted "I came here to use your bathroom to wipe down my legs. This is HIV" Those words saved him, because Im sure the Spaniad was about to hit him, but he backed off then.
"Im sorry" said the thief, "No one was harmed, we will go outside now and leave you", but the Spaniad replied "No. Thats not going to happen".
I found the number for the police and we kept them in the bathroom, while calling. Seconds later, both of them were gone...apparently up the pipes outside the bathroom...which was at least a 5 meter climb!! The police came and the receptionist, who by this stage knew everything that was going on, found someone to communicate what had happened to the police. But because nothing had been stolen, notjhing could be done. Those 4 boys were checking out that day, so I wanted to leave the hostel too, but becasue Id paid, they just wanted to put me into another room- a second room where it would be harder to break in. So thats what I did. I told them Id heard the thief say.."Where is the key?" and the repose was that sometimes they get the keys to the rooms because backpakers lose them when they get drunk at the pub next door...but they would put me in a different section, where chances were the thieves did not have a key. I knew the whole situation was very dodgy, but the Spaniards convinced me that for tonight, this hostel would be the safest, because they would not come back that night. So I took the room. Later that receptionist told me those two thieves had hit the hostel before, and they were heroin addicts, who were looking for things to sell for their next shot. He said that they were harmless though. I was still very uneasy about the whole situation and kept my backpack inside my sleeping bag sheets that night.
When I returned to the hostel for my second night, there were about 5 American backpackers (studying in England) in both the 1st and the 2nd room. One who had been in the first room the night before had had her bag (with passport, wallet and phone) stolen!! She had been fast asleep when it happened though. When she went down to report it to reception (the SAME reception who had helped us with the police) he told her there had been a break in last night, but he didnt know anything about it. He told her it was pointless going to the police and obviously just didnt want to help her. But why? Was it because he was lazy, or was there something more shifty going on. Even now I feel as if the hostel possibly has something to do with these robberies...were the robbers really getting the keys from the pub??
After speaking to lots of people it seems that Prague is just FULL of thieves and it doesnt matter if you are at the cheapest hostel, or the Hilton (just at the Hilton, the maids would be the thieves). I heard of two others that were pick pocketed too...but there is little violent crime. Just desparate people wanting money. This has probably been somewhat caused by the political unrest over the last few years and the swarms of tourists that go to Prague (I read at one stage, Prague had a greater number of hotels than the number of streets!) It seems the police do nothing about the theft and those that live there are largely indifferent, it probably even pays to be a thief in Prague.
The last time these thieves hit the hostel (according to my untrustworthy receptionist) they were caught by one of the staff and beaten up. The robbers left their bags at the hostel while the police took them to the station, and a couple of hours later they were back at the hostel asking for their bags!!
Obviously this has put a massive negative spin on my opinion of Prague, but the city itself is quite lovely...Ill tell you about the nice things next time.
But if anyone is planning on going to Prague, please do not stay at the Golden Sickle Hostel and be very very careful...
Bye for now.