It was a ground zero for dickheads. The opening night for a chic new hostel at the base of Buttes Chaumont. A backpackers for the almost-made-its, where the journey to success could now be that little bit more comfortable – as long as success meant a weekend in Paris in the recently remembered deep 10th.
Generator is its name, a 900-bed behemoth, with everything from 10-bed dorms to two-bed rooms, roof terrace, Moroccan stylings; the ultimate filing cabinet approach to bed space, perfect for former backpacker-types whose expectations of success perhaps exceeded their salaries (but watch this space!).
It was one day before its doors would open, and the PR list had been carefully cultivated: designer, geek, techie, trendy, or owner of horn-rimmed glasses and a five-panel cap. If any of these applied, you were as assured of an invite as of receiving this year’s census.
But a glitch in the system had allowed +1s (read: zeroes) to tag along. Thus my trusty Billy (effectively a +1’s+1, or shall we say, a 2?), and I found our way in.
Billy was already three sheets to the wind by this stage, and I get the feeling many more had he found the linen closet.
It was fancy, I won’t lie. Fun in fact: terribly so. Not just free champagne, but free bottles of champagne. Great music, an enormous sprawling dance floor in the basement, and rooms offered to those who couldn’t face leaving the 10th – and I know that feeling.
At 3am I managed to escape – both the clutches of Billy and the hotel – and wandered home, conveniently down the road.
(I say convenient because it has happened that when friends have visited for the weekend they have been left locked out and in need of emergency cheap local digs.)
The next morning, a message from Billy, on Facebook.
“Have you seen my phone?”
“No. Why not return to the hotel and see if they have it?”
It was well into the afternoon when I heard from Billy, again over Facebook.
“No phone then?”
“Oh man. I’m so embarrassed”
Relax, I told him, forgetting shit when you’re drunk, it happens.
“It’s not the phone that’s the problem,” he replied. “But when I asked the bouncer about the lost phone, he said I should be more concerned about forgetting the fact I’d peed all over the lobby before leaving.”
The lesson: when it comes to piss-ups for chic hostel openings, it pays not to invite degenerates.