At night, at the DC hostel, they give out free beer. It encourages people to mix and get to know each other, and it's just... kind of fun. A dozen people were in the common spaces and we talked and spent time and it was good. A random Swede named Stephan was tooling around drunk and stoned and trying to push his intoxicants on the other guests. He was far enough gone that he gave me his tequila and asked me to hide it until tomorrow so that he wouldn't drink any more of it. Apparently he also started to get naked at a certain point, which from what I gather isn't that weird for Swedish people. It just freaked out the other guests.
Stephan, if you ever read this, I'm sorry I never got a chance to give you back your tequila before the staff evicted you from the hostel. If it's any consolation I really enjoyed it once I realized you weren't coming back.
As things wound down I went a couple doors down the street with two of the other people in the hostel and got a beer and some pub food and I realized that talking with strangers is one of my favourite things ever. I was also a little bit fragile from my time in New Orleans. The pub had a themed event - a screening of the Fifth Element, with themed dishes around the 4 elements. I tried a beer, plus "fire" and "earth." It seemed safe at the time. The restaurant was one that gave none of the indicators of being unsafe but I'm pretty sure I got food poisoning. I started to get really, really sick.