One of the challenges of my recently completed bike trip in Israel
was sleeping in the face of incessant snoring on the part of roommates, both chosen and assigned.
The organizers, anticipating this problem, included ear plugs in the welcome bag that was given to each rider on the first night. A nice try, but ear plugs were no match for the snoring hordes that made up this bunch of riders.
And, of course, there was the denial aspect best illustrated in the following story.
We spent the third evening in a faux Bedouin tent in Mamshit (in the Negev). This tourist trap was actually owned and operated by a decidedly non-Bedouin Israeli who hired just enough local bedouins as to give the place an air of semi-authenticity.
Everyone had to sleep in tents in sleeping bags placed on uncomfortable mats that laid on the ground. There were no more than six inches separating each mat. Consequently, there were scores of men (and women, in the women's tent) sleeping in close proximity. Virtually all of these men and women had completed a very long and difficult day of bike riding and were very, very tired. It isn't hard to imagine the symphony of snoring that soon followed 'lights out'.
The fellow lying next to me, a Brit, fell asleep immediately and began his snoring concert without delay. Luckily for me, I am a very strong sleeper and it would have taken a brass band to keep me awake after 65 miles of riding in desert heat. Nevertheless, I did wake up twice during the course of the evening for the calls of nature. Each time, Mr. Brit was playing a different movement of his concerto.
In the morning, my alarm went off and, again, I awoke to the strains of my neighbor's tunes.
A few minutes later he awoke and I overheard the following conversation:
Fellow Brit to my neighbor: "How did you sleep?"
My Neighbor: "I didn't sleep a wink".