The concept of what is cool and not cool.
I always try to play it cool and sometimes you regret it.
well in the case of asking someone to just share a room,
I've done it twice, both with very strange Japanese travellers.
I am not sure if they only said yes, because I intimidate them with the manner I speak English.
I am going South of Thailand and I do hope to have the guts to just ask strangers in my bus if they want to share a room.
for some strange reason, I would feel less comfortable asking a white guy.
Considering that I practically don't have any asian friends in my travel lately.
But I really need to cut my expenses, so I will try and still be cool.
I think you have to choose the right moment. Asking someone who is already sharing for example... hmm. Asking the girl while here boyfriend is standing there... Will likely get you a smack.
But seriously. Strangers asking strangers can either ending up being cool, or ending up with a nutter, it goes bothways.
For me, if I know some people are on a budget and we are heading in the same direction and they seem fine, I go with it.
Yes, it's cool, though it totally depends on the people. Some work out well, some don't. Never expect somebody to say yes. I've done it any number of occasions, and more than once have even ended up sharing a bed with somebody i'd only just met (no, not like that). I rarely just turn round and ask somebody though - it's normally after we've been talking a while, or when we arrive and other people are thinking the same thing as well.
If you do share, make sure you (a) don't get stuck with the bill if your companion disappears a day early/whatever and (b) have the guts to leave/change rooms if it's not working. Some people end up staying together much longer than either one wants, simply because both are too polite/other to say that they don't want to share anymore.
Also, don't entirely reject the option of women. I would guess that i've shared with more girls than guys (or at least it's a roughly 50%-50% split) for no apparent reason, even though it can seem a little strange the first couple of times you do.
Another good topic, Swept Away! I've been travelling a lot on my own in the past few years and yes I have ended up sharing a room (not beds!) with complete strangers both guys and girls. As Gelli mentioned it's definitely depending on the situation and the people though, but I trust in my instincts and so far have not been dissapointed.
I also must say, that most of the time it was a spur of the moment decision (that is actually something I really like about travelling - you have to make your own decisions right then and there and can't really ask other people for advice). My experiences have been cool and I have even met some really nice people with whom I continued travelling for a few more days.
One last thing, for me using common sense and act according to my feelings is important (do I really want to share a room with this person?). If that is the case, sharing a room can be a nice way of spliting cost and meeting new people .
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 26, 2008, at 7:07 AM by steff ]
A very good point by Steff: Trust your instincts.
If it feels even slightly wrong, go elsewhere/stay alone for the night.
Also, just because you have a new found friend/roommate, don't trust them completely. There are, sadly, enough travellers out there who support their own travels by stealing from other travellers. Don't be overly obvious/paranoid about it, but be wary about your wallet, camera etc, and NEVER disclose if/where you have hidden stashes of cash/cards.
I have only done this twice ( Hong Kong and Laos)
only with Japanese boys, who are probably too polite to say no.
I just couldn't sleep the first time I done it. I was really rude, coz I asked to see his passport.
I can't believe I did that! I thought he was Korean.
I will try asking those people in the dorm room. Its just so uncomfortable.
But I need to save money.
Sometimes most people play it cool. Nobody ever talks to other people.
Like my ride today. Everyone had the word bitch on their forehead.
Do you know I mean. Its none verbal, but its the norms, right?
I'm the only brunette in the bus and that makes me very defensive.
I am getting some natural ash blonde streaks though, and I'm loving it.