A hostel and stories

The Netherlands

The Netherlands


The day, the Chilean co-worker moved on, farewells.

Let me describe how much I’d suffered in the beginning of my journey, in order to get a YouTuber. From getting rejected and being broke, to escaping into the east. Saving lives and rescuing girls. Being a thief and a drug dealer.

Time I’d spent there:

  • 05.15 – 06.15
  • 1 Month

Reason I’ve went there


Utrecht’s Old Town

I just started Ranik Vlogs at that time and my aim was to get greater attention, by traveling like a maniac through the world and its seas. It was my great goal to cross the Atlantic Ocean by container ship, so I was on the road looking for a decent port, that would actually take me there and I randomly picked Amsterdam out of all ports. I realized later, that Rotterdam of course was my actual place I had to go.

My story

After taking a cheap bus from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, I felt the greatest of great. Nothing could stop me, my adrenaline level was over 9000. My god, just when I think about my times back there, I can really spot a megalomaniac with an OverTheTop idea. Almost cute, almost sad.


I’d arrived in Amsterdam and had the idea to ask random teenagers for an opportunity to get an accommodation, because I’m an adventurer, because I’m Ranik! It failed of course so I went on asking about where to go, cause I could not find Amsterdam in the beginning. Finally I’d asked someone who responded with such hints: “Yo-you ju-ju-just have too… Uhm, like just go there like”. I was on right tracks indeed, since he was clearly high as heavens door. I’d only spent one night in Amsterdam, because it was enough. I’ve encountered a cheap hostel in the center of the city, met some people, got straight that hash brownie gifted by some backpackers and got out into the evening. Honestly, I could not feel the brownie. Maybe I was high in general. I also smoked pot for the first time and it had no effect at all. There were so many people and touristy stores in Amsterdam.. I think it’s sad, because it rather makes an impression of an adult Disney world, than an actual city. Of course I’d been told that there is no actual port here and I should be going now to Rotterdam, the biggest port of Europe. Next morning I took off to Rotterdam, always meeting new people and telling them about my incredible idea. I made absolutely no pictures until Rotterdam. It was also then, when I opened up Instagram and pictures started to get more recent.


With that huge blue suitcase and my guitar, I’d arrived there and I immediately started to look for the port. Of course I had refused any chances of buying a ticket for public transport, only used the metro once. I was walking the whole fuking day around the city, asking at different ports until I found the port I was looking for. Then I walked another few hours and soon desperation started to set over my tiredness. I was a trainwreck, when I discovered the international trading container ships.

Port of Rotterdam

Rotterdam, the biggest port in Europe

The ports were already closing, so I tried my last options out, to ask for a job on a ship. Unfortunately, I had no chance of entering or asking, because it was 2015 and people needed insurances and shit. The entrances were guarded and I had no options left after I got stamped as mental ill and crazy, by several security guards. I will never forget the moment, I sat down on huge loose pipes stacked up on the coast between two huge container ships. I sat on them and watched into the sunset, between the two ships. I was mentally destroyed on such a beautiful scenery (RanikVlogs Video). I, the great traveler, could not even do this one. I had spent already lots of my budget to get here and it was all for the trash. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to sleep and no aims, despite the fact, that no one cared about my YouTube channel.

I did not die and if you don’t die, well, you gotta do something else then.

I dragged myself back downtown and stepped into a fully booked hostel. I realized, that Friday in Rotterdam gives you no options about sleeping cheap. Booking.com discovered 80 euros as the cheapest option, which was not even possible to consider. It was Friday evening and a lot happened in this Hostel. They connected the reception, bar/restaurant and lounge into one room, which immediately connected you with the people there. I had another best idea of my life. If I was to party through this night, I’d be not in need of an accommodation! That is how I had ended up discussing gender topics at 6 am. Next afternoon, I felt asleep on the couch, due the fact that I just need sleep in my life. I don’t remember if I got told or just felt, that the hostel would not accept another stunt like that again. It was evening again and I had another life/game changing idea. Let’s do and ask for a job at the reception. I did so and the respond was surprising for me. In a few days, the owner will be returning to the hostel, so I could wait until then in their hostel. Of course I’d be paying like all customers. I considered very hard and took the gamble afterwards. I paid 50 euros for three nights and waited in anxiety and happiness at the same time. Of course I could not afford any more expenses around the city, and so I’ve stayed in the hostel until the day she arrived. The boss and I met and we came to the following agreement:

5 hours per day, 5 days per week.
Inkl. Accommodation, breakfast, a toast Hawaii, and two soft drinks or beers.

Duration of mission: two weeks with an optional extending.

Time in the hostel

I don’t recall, having been somewhere two weeks and having experienced so many things. Let me start, by telling what I had to do. Work was from 9:30am to 2:30 pm, if I recall correctly. It consisted of vacuum cleaning the halls and rooms, cleaning the bathrooms and preparing the beds. It was my first actual job I had and I never cleaned toilets before in my life. I made a funny video (CheckItOut) about those times, hahaha! I was also not the only one working there. I lived on the forth floor with a Romanian and a Chilean dude, who was beginning this gender topic thing in the previous night. The hostel had about 130 beds and three floors, plus basement. #NoJoke.. You could feel that when cleaning the whole building. The forth flow however, was not for guests. It was for the employees, well for us three. It was not a floor, but a Dome, where a clock used to run before the SS used the metals in the Second World War. Now there is a square room with beds and it was an incredible feeling to live there. Mircea, the Romanian shot probably my personal most favorite picture of my journey.

On the Dome in Rotterdam

Sitting on the dome and playing guitar in Rotterdam

I’d told everyone about my channel, about my visions and I had great times there. I met some tourists, which I still keep now as friends like Conny, Henrique, Kai, Hema, Ninke or Chaeyean. It is unbelievable, how much I could write about the times we had.


Chaeyean was a Korean girl, who I’d met in the first days. She wanted to explore the city in a day and I joined her on this trip. She tried to find all kinds of informations on flyers and stuff, come to think of it, a quite common Japanese/Korean/Chinese touristy behavior. I proposed the idea of just taking a walk and see, where this will take us. We’ve ended up eating cheese at a cheese EXPO, playing basket ball with kids at a park and a nice view from a cruise ship. Well done.


I and Chaeyean in the Hostel “Room”

Henrique, Conny, Kai, Hema and Ninke are people that I still keep in touch, some more some less. It was simply the good feeling we had there, that still remains unmatched until today. We just got together somehow, I think it was in the separated kitchen downstairs in the transformed garage. I think we sat together for a week, some for a few days less and we played own invented card games and had tons of fun.


I, Conny, Kai and Henrique

I also recall other people I had met but these guys here, were like the main bros. My days were great, but I was broke. I got my new debit travel card in Switzerland and of course, I lost the pin code in all the mess I was living. I suddenly was stuck with nothing more, but 17 euros and all counts. Because lunch was so meager and dinner was non-existent, I’d started to count every cent and cooked in the garage. I started to sell my two beers I made for 2.50 euros together, in order to actually survive. I only ate pure vegetables cooked together in Asian style with spices, I’d discovered in the garage kitchen. My willpower to live was extreme these days. Sometimes I was ao happy, when I could afford some eggs or meat for proteins. One day, it was so crowded in the house, that I randomly jumped in and helped them on my free day. The boss took notice and rewarded my self-sacrifice with 30 euros extra. I was the happiest man on earth.

A Swiss chocolate cake for the survival

My chocolate cake worked!

My first travel chocolate cake made in a hostel, that looked so terrible, but tasted so good

I had time and if you have time, you think. If I think, shits about to go down. I had no money and I tried everything, just to get that one more euro. One day, I had the need for something sweet, other than just black tea with sugar.


Proudly presenting

I was owning a recipe for a Swiss chocolate cake, that needed very few ingredients and had this illegally good taste. I can’t remember how I afforded them, but I made the cake with regular Dutch chocolate (NotTheBomb). It was done under difficult circumstances and lack of equipment, but left a smell in the air, which let the people go mad in the garage. I could not eat the whole thing by myself, so I started to split the cake to pieces and shared it in the kitchen and my friends. I saw how the people reacted and had another idea. I did the same again. I bought the ingredients and made the same magics. Before I made another cake again, I asked at the bar, if I could try to sell some cake at the bar, for the guests. They’d let me do as I pleased and demanded no share. I was absolutely thrilled to try this new business idea and immediately started my project. I placed it finished on the bar and made a little sign with the words “Swiss cake, 1 euro”. The plan did its work only a tiny bit. As a matter of fact, I only made as much money, as the bill I’d paid for the cake, so no big fortune there, but it was worth the shot and funny as well.

The weed


High on worktime

It was common like sushi in Japan, burger in USA or cheese in Switzerland. I remember, how I got to clean up and as I took off the dust on a shelf, I discovered some hidden weed and a gritter. I sold both items to the Malasyan guy afterwards and bought myself some more food. “Selling shit on them streets to feed yourself”! I never tried any drug before, except YouTube and my brain. Marijuana was the first I’d tried and it had no effect on me at all in Amsterdam. However, when I was on the forth floor with my coworkers, I tried another blow and told my Romanian colleague, that I could not feel the impact. He told me, the non smoker, that I must take a quick sip on the joint and a quick sip down the lungs. I did as he said and took the smoke for the first time in my life down the lungs and as I went to bed, my heart was pounding so fast, I thought I’d be about to overreact. I know by now, weed is getting me really big time.

Preventing death

I was cooking in the later evening as always in the garage. There were the Malaysian and a black Italian teenager, discussing about the italian’s stolen wallet. During my frying of my potatoes, the conversation between the two got more heated and after the Malaysian was covered in insults, he totally lost control, standing up and screaming like a maniac.


The poor Ranik

The black dude passed by me, high as he was and took my kitchen knife. I forced his arm and reasoned with him. With some help they got separated, but they’ve later crossed their paths again and I jumped in and got hit. The police had arrived afterwards and took care of them and I was the secret hero of the house, but no one knew, as that was a close call. After the fight I went back upstairs and was soon about to leave Rotterdam for good. I remember, how I’d struggled to leave a safe zone again. I checked my dirty pants and what did I encountered?

My lost pin code.

Now, I wanted to move on. The deal was bad and I wanted to continue my adventures for my channel. I took my Bycicle and took off at noon. But let me explain how I got this bike.

My rotten bike

I had another stunning idea. I wanted a Bycicle like every damn person in The Netherlands had and I wanted to cross the European continent in such a way, getting accommodation on the road in barns or such. Like Jesus. There was a man I’ve got friends with, that stole bike parts from “abandoned bikes”, which were not always so abandoned. However, I got one day gifted with an incredible trashed bike, that looked like the end of ages.


My really sad bike with lots of love

I was thrilled and I immediately started to look for other accessories, like a luggage carrier on the front. It sooner came out, that the bike was stolen from my roommate, the Romanian and it got heated between the two. The bike was afterwards gifted to me still and since everyone had a name for it, it had an incredible long name, I can’t recall anymore. One day I got told that my friend has a luggage carrier for the front and so I followed him with my bike, until we’ve reached a tree with random bycicles and in the mess, I’d spotted the loose desire. I looked at him and he told: “I told you where it is, but you got to take it yourself.” “I am not a thief. I can’t take just things from other people”. I’d responded. “Well.” He said. “It’s loose anyway. Just take it”. After discussions, I did took it, because I could never have carried my suitcase. I took a transformation into a homeless thief that was broke.

The leave

It was noon and I was ready to go. The hostel was empty and I was filled with determination. I left the hostel, grabbed my bike and tried to attach my suitcase on the front with some thin rope, which I’d found hidden in the forth floor. As soon as I got on the bike with the guitar on the suitcase (just imagine), I’d tried to ride it. After 100 meters of balance act, I realized, how my Bycicle starts to bend and how dangerous and impossible this is. If that wouldn’t had been enough, it started to hail and a blizzard (CheckOut Video) showed up. I went back to the hostel and I was completely destroyed again. I called my mother for advice (BestAidEver) and gained miraculously strength again. I left my bike, leaving a thank behind and took my women’s luggage and left for the trainstation without clear aim.


I got in the train and paid them high prices for it (at least for me, cause I was broke). As I arrived, I looked for a hostel with a job to be offered. I had no luck at all. After my second try, I went to a BNB. Guys, this was the most disgusting hostel I’d ever seen in my life. No one was there. So I went upstairs and this story should be told.

The worst Hostel in history of mankind


Utrecht, downtown

One large room with long tables covered in food, that never got into a fridge. Cheese, milk, bread, eggs etc. There was an American teenager working at the reception and he told me, that the boss would be back soon. I got shown the rooms, that looked like military basement and told, that the fridge is free for guests to take whatever you see inside. He, however did not recommended to take something cause of health issues. As I wandered around in this silent room, waiting for the boss, a girl appeared in the room. She spoke absolutely no English and was from Finland. We exchanged some words until the best was about to come. The boss entered, screaming at her staff like a maniac. There were two people in total here working, but the other guy had only been seen once. The girl and I were completely shocked and could not believe what we’d been seeing. I asked the girl, why she’d be checking in here. She told me that she booked in advance, just arrived and her friends are about to join here as well in the next days. Of course I could not work here myself with such a boss and I felt real pity for the girl. We were the only people here in the house. I told her, that I’ll get her out of this misery and as soon as the angry elder woman left, I talked to the American, saying that the girl is feeling uncomfortable with rotten food, no people, military basement and dictatorship. He understood and gave her back the money and he told me, that he’ll be running away as well. The girl and I took off and then we went to get some lunch. We parted in this short time adventure and let it be said: READ REVIEWS or die.


Breakfast with Alba

I got no job and so I had to take a hostel, that was not cheap as well. I was lost in ideas, but enjoyed the City. It had such a nice design and flair with all the people on bicycles and the old town of course. I wish, I’d made some more pictures, but I caught a lot on film. As I woke up, I went downstairs to get some breakfast and somehow I got caught up in a talk with a woman, eating as well and she invited me to her table at last. She had breakfast like a goddess. I was frozen with glitter in my eyes, cause the previous hostel had such terrible breakfast. We spent the few days together, and ate incredible better breakfast. IMG_4721I even gathered random people in the hostel, to bake a chocolate cake again! I found a Japanese guy and a Italian girl, that were interested into such a random fun. We’d gathered all the ingredients together and made in an even worse kitchen, a nice cake that went all around the hostel. As the manager of the hostel took a piece as well, he offered me, with a smile on his face, to write the owners if they’d be having space for another worker like me.

A Rush to the East

I had declined the idea in my head, cause I had one thought, that was going to change my life. If I have few money left, why should I struggle in expensive countries in the west? I’d be way more calm in a cheap country like Guatemala or Cambodia. I unfolded my world map and took a glance at my perspectives and as I discovered Poland, being less than 1000 km away, I told myself to take my journey over there and to let the Americas be “in progress”. It was my premiere to use BlaBlaCar.de and to my surprise, my driver did not show up. BlaBlaCar_LogoI had immediate doubts about the success rate of this platform, but I have been more  successful in the future. I did not know where to go in the east and I honestly did not care. My failed transport to Ostrow Wiekopolski was just a random pick to Poland, so my second try was Czech Republic, Prague. The driver showed up, had mercy with my friggin luggage and as I took off with 5 people total in the car, I’d made a change in myself.

Final impression

I was not the man I was once before. I had learned so much more about myself, traveling and life in general, I will not be forgetting many moments. I had grown tougher and more determined. I will cherish the times I had and tell one day my children about these days, how I had managed to achieve miracles in lost moments, making friends and creating joy and trying what’s to try. With these words, I’ll be finishing this summary and let it be said: determination, strength, madness, love and suffer are emotions, that will with no doubt make you strong as you need to be on earth.

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