What an uncomfortable experience.
It's you, half of your luggage, and the shower. One tiny space. If there's no basket to put your bag of toiletries, it risks being nearly unrecoverable. So there you go, you loose q-tips, cotton pads, band aids...
It gets even more irritating when you have to dry these things off. This is not a matter of being too lazy to do the job. It is a matter of towel size. If you're like me and frequently only traveling with a small face towel to save on space and weight, you are out of luck. It's you or your wet toiletries. It can be nerve-wracking. Most times, hostels don't give you the luxury of a free towel so, like in Hungary and Bulgaria, I used a washcloth in place of a full shower towel.
Then, of course, there's no trashcan in the designated shower area. So the hostel-goer is there with a pile of garbage (q-tips, old socks, empty Bulgarian perfume bottle...) to juggle after the shower.
Shall I continue?
I forgot to bring flip-flops...
ew. But I've gotten used to it. Showering in hostels without flip-flops is looked down upon, though I really don't think a thin piece of plastic between my foot and the floor helps too much. I've simply embraced it. And I scrub extra hard.
My hair dries slowly so the timing of a shower in a hostel is imperative. There usually aren't hair driers so I normally have to shower in the morning and stay in until my hair dries. I don't want to catch a cold.
Speaking of "cold", most hostel showers don't reach 70 degrees F/21 degrees C (think Madeira). Pensions are much better about this but you never know until you get there. Sometimes water temperature is based on the country.
Usually I'm only with a bar of soap and a small travel container of face soap. Shampoo, conditioner, razor, and loofa are not in my vocabulary while traveling.
After the shower, the shower-er struggles to find the right toiletry in the toiletry bag. It's packed to the brim, making things like bobby pins a nearly impossible find.
Getting dressed is another story I just don't want to delve into.
Hostel showers are most certainly uncomfortable, but after two years of this process, the ups and downs that come with it, I believe the hostel showering experience to be nothing short of fulfilling.