Hostel endings and Corporate Capitalist Consumerism : an update from Hell

Where has Jo Hell been? What has she been doing all this time?

This is an update from Hell:


The Hostel lifestyle that Hell was living eventually came to an end after all of a month. Hell had not been deterred by the constant whisperings amongst staff that the Hostel’s boss-lady was actually an evil dragon disguised in a mousy bespectacled French woman disguise; nor had she been put off by the rude and demanding clients that harassed her daily. Hell actually enjoyed working in the Hostel. It kept her busy and vaguely entertained from time to time. The days actually went quite quickly. No, she left because the Hostel-ship was sinking.

Read more:

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Back from the Dead!

Hello faithful readers, especially those of you who like to consult my Huey P. Newton book review! (Who are you? Are you preparing an essay on Newton? Speak to me!)

I am deeply regretful that I have disappeared for so long. My personal life ran amok (relationship-wise), I sold my soul to the Corporate Capitalist fatcats (job-wise), and all my inspiration went dry (Cue Natalie Imbruglia “Torn”).

For the moment I will give you some concert reviews that I’ve been doing on the side with

Welcome to Jo Hell Tales new feature section Hell’s Concerts!!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Hell’s Travels

Hello Readers,

Welcome to a new chapter in Jo Hell’s Tales,

Hell’s Travels

Check out Hitch-hiker’s Hell

Hitch-hiking is often considered by Westerners as a very dangerous means of transport. Whenever I have the opportunity to relate my hitch-hiking tales, I am often met with looks of puzzled horror.

“But weren’t you frightened that you would be raped, killed or tortured?”

“Yes! That’s exactly what I was hoping for!”

I didn’t choose to hitch-hike at first; it was merely the result of an unfortunate turn of events.

Read more

“Jilted Youth” Interviews Sept. 2011

A bit out dated, but relevant more than anything for a brief insight into Paris’ youth and their vision of this World and it’s politics.

These were conducted in the streets during Paris’ tense pre-election period. Jo Hell was at that time working as a translator and assistant to an evil dwarf disguised as a journalist.

I had to ask these young people what they thought of Europe, and whether they considered themselves as part of the jilted generation, as in comparison to the golden years of the 50s that their parents were supposedly born in.

Arnaud, 18 yrs old

Mona Lisa, 19 yrs old

Sophie, 20 yrs old

Oirdia, 21 yrs old

Adrien, 24 yrs old and Armand, 24 yrs old (friends)

 Li, 22 years old

Aline, 25 yrs old and Renaud, 27 yrs old

Sabrina, 28 yrs old

Tedious questions and man-child tantrums

When recently complaining to a girlfriend of mine about how tedious some of the questions that my hostel clients asked were, she shared with me some of her own experiences from when she used to work as a hostess in one of Paris’ prestigious grand concert halls. This job entailed meeting and greeting the 1000-strong concert crowd; receiving their tickets and guiding them to their seats at the beginning of the concert; taking their coats and various personal belongings into the cloakrooms; and most importantly, answering their tedious questions…

Check out Hell’s Hostel’s new post:

Tedious questions and man-child tantrums



Tagged , , ,

Hell’s Hostel

Read Hell’s Hostel’s new post:

Hostile Hostel Beginnings

Contrary to my initial idea of the Hostel working environment, being an international hostel receptionist isn’t all “Thank you so much for your help. We really enjoyed our time here. Here’s a $20 tip.”  Perhaps if my hostel was built on a smaller scale, with a modest fifty-odd daily turnover of clients, I could engage in friendly conversation with the latter and allow myself a few minutes to breathe now and again. Alas we provide 150 beds, I work eight hours a day with no official break- who will take over the desk if I’m not there?- during which an average of 100 people present themselves to me for check-ins and check-outs, for random questions or complaints; the telephone rings permanently with inquiries about our rooms- “Bonjooour, euuuhhh do you speak English?”; the front doorbell shrills every three seconds as people must be buzzed in to our locked hostel; rooms must be called on the arrival of their occupant’s taxi or shuttle bus; cleaning ladies must be signed in and appointed daily tasks; WiFi coupons are distributed; cold drinks, towels and washing-machine tokens are sold; directions are given for the train station, to Paris’ three airports, to anywhere the customer wants to go- “Euhhhh where is a shop to buy toys?”, “Where is the nearest pharmacy?”, “Where is the Arab neighbourhood, I want to drink mint tea?”, “Where can I eat steak tartar?”, “Where is a fun bar?”; directions are also given for the hostel’s toilets, to the dirty linen deposit, to the rooms, the kitchen, the laundry room, the baggage cupboards; reservations must be verified; room attributions must be changed around to suit people’s needs- “But I wanna be in the same dormitory as my friend!”; electronic room cards are magnetised by a machine that hates me and refuses to work when I use it- especially when I have ten people waiting impatiently for me to give them the card to their rooms; rooms must be checked for abandoned articles of clothing or mobile phones, and for lazy guests who haven’t hit the road at check-out time; faxes, emails, post, broken lifts, missing objects, customer’s bad breath whining endlessly… I would say that it is plausibly possible for one to loose one’s temper. One certainly starts to loose one’s patience and one’s friendly desk smile ( … )

Read more

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Return brings a new chapter to jo hell tales : hell’s hostel

This September, like every September, I have conformed to the Parisian tradition of La Rentréemeaning quite literally The Return. Every year in France starts in September and terminates in June or July, depending on how lucky one is to receive proper paid holidays. The French calendar is thus organised around that of an academic school year. One returns back to their normal humdrum life in September after all those luxurious holiday moments of bliss that made up one’s Summer. August is the official holiday month, transforming Paris into a deserted phantom land, where only hungry, overbearing American tourists, and the city’s mentally insane, too poor or too spaced out to leave, roam the streets. I stayed in Paris this August. Although I wouldn’t consider myself as one of the crazies, muttering and rambling through Paris’ neighbourhoods, insulting my mother and random passers-by,  I didn’t have enough money to go anywhere. It was a very long and depressing month, waiting for something to happen, for shops to open, for jobs to become available. It reminded me of those three lonely months at the beginning of my first year in Paris, June, July and August, throughout which I would walk around town for hours on end desperately seeking something to do or someone to meet. Sometimes I would go swimming at the local pool. Other times I would hang out in a public library checking out the sad little shelf that housed the English-section. Most of the time I walked just to exhaust myself.

September’s Return back then, however, put an end to all this introspective solitary suffering. I got a job working in an English speaking call-center; I made new friends, a few successive boyfriends, and my French started to improve enabling me to actually communicate with the locals. This September, ten years later, the Return had the same therapeutic effect on me; I found a job, got some easy-peasy translation work on the side, and started to feel on the whole more positive about my life. In this respect, France’s Return is comparable to the Anglo-Saxon’s New Year’s. We make resolutions; promise ourselves that we’ll stop smoking, take up yoga, make To Do lists, find the job of our dreams; we ride on a refreshing wind of hope; we become new again. It lasts a few months, weeks, days even, and then we go back to our miserable, self-negating true selves.

Click here to read more and to check out Hell’s Hostel, an entertaining glimpse into the mind-boggling day to day shenanigans that take place in the Hostel World.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned. William Congreve

Sorry for the long absence dedicated and avid readers. Check out Jo Hell Tales new poetry section:


Hell Poems


Read Her and my Man

Read Jaded Love

Read Ode to Emotional Pain


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.