Monday, August 12, 2013

Back to Blogging: Airbnb, Creepy Chalkboards and Small Toilet Seats

Back from a week long trip to Canada.  Hit Victoria then Jasper.  Fantastic stuff.

The real world started today before I woke up.  My dog beat the alarm clock with his barfing unk! unk! unks!  We didn't make it outside.  We didn't even make out of my room.  On the way to the door I stepped in a whole different pile of puke.  Poor guy.

Spent the rest of the day fixing my gas fireplace and ramming my head in the small places under my sink trying to replace my hot water heater.  Now I'm eating canned Progresso soup and drinking wine straight from the bottle.  I deserve this indulgence.  I love owning a home, and even enjoy most of the maintenance on it, but sometimes it can feel endless.

But your house is an asset and it can even generate cash flow, thanks to the latest and greatest from the interwebz: Airbnb.  This site, if you're not familiar with it, essentially lets you turn your house into a bed and breakfast.  You post your listing, people reserve online, and you make a little extra cash.

I've used the service twice, both times while traveling with my girlfriend and puppy.  The first time was in Bend, Oregon.  The room cost $76 a night, Winston had a yard to run around in, and the whole house had a very cool, functional, Oregon fung shui vibe.  Money well spent.

The most recent time was in Victoria, British Columbia.  The place was advertised as a "House with Foodies" for only $49 a night.  It was close to downtown and also had a yard for Winston.  We arrived late.  Everything is so spooky at night, especially if its unknown.  The guy who answered the door, Bernard, seemed friendly enough.  Walking into the main hall way I glanced in the dining room and saw a little kid chalkboard.  Written in child's handwriting was "Help me I'm trapped."  I involuntarily urinated.

I really did have to pee.  But after showing us our tidy little room, Bernard proceeded to go and take a huge dump in the bathroom.  Apparently this house only has one bathroom and 6 people living in it.  His dump stunk forever.  When I finally did muster up the courage to go in there and use the bathroom myself, I found the toilet seat to be impossibly small.  I mean, everything didn't fit.  I thought of this awkward Brian meme:

What bothered me more was that Bernard was a big man.  I had heard stories, terrible stories from a friend who shared a toilet with a very large man, who often left poop smeared on the seat.  Bernard needed a bigger toilet.

The night passed fitfully.  Winston went nuts barking at something around 3:00 AM.  A little light kept flashing, probably a hidden camera.  And somewhere a little boy was trapped.

In the morning we awoke to coffee and our hosts cooking us blueberry pancakes.  Turns out, they were a very nice family, and delicious cooks.  All in all it was a good experience.  Everything is clearer in the daylight.

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