Most times Airbnb is a really good option for us. We can’t usually do hotels/hostels because –
- we don’t get a kitchen – means eating out a lot
- hotels usually charge extra $$$ for having a dog
- hotel policies usually don’t allow us to leave Zoe alone in the room
- the wifi usually sucks
- we have to pay for laundry (we have limited clothing on us so every week we have to do laundry)
So while we wait for Norma to get on a ship and meet us here, we’re playing the Airbnb Hop. On Thursday, we go to meet the owners of another Airbnb – let’s call him Paul. We’ve been seasoned with Airbnb now and make sure to check everything with Paul – the AC (check), Wifi (check), laundry (check), no bed bugs (check) – ok looks good. It’s not the nicest place but so as long as everything is functioning we decide to make do.
We haul everything over in our backpacks and walk over to stay in this apartment for the next 8 days. This is where everything starts going south real fast. We’re in the tropical climate and they wear shoes inside so we take a few minutes to mop and clean the floors. Now onto the kitchen to do some cleaning and then the first host appeared. A cockroach.
Look, Casa Pancho (our previous Airbnb) also had a cockroach and a lizard in the bathroom. But it was just the one, maybe two at most. And nowhere in the bedroom or kitchen – just the bathroom because well there was a hole in the wall and we were on the ground floor. So, while I am really not used to it – apparently it’s normal in tropical climates to see them from time to time.
So when we go to the new place which is on the 8th floor and see a cockroach in the kitchen it freaks me out a little bit. The more Steve touches things in the kitchen, the more hosts come out. After another cockroach killing spree, we hope that it’s the last of them and go out to get some pizza to have a serious talk. Are we really going to stay here? Maybe we just need to get used to it? Maybe it’s because no one has lived here in a while? It’s already 7pm and dark, where would we go? Wouldn’t we lose the money we already paid to Paul?
We decide it’s ok, we’ll just tough it out for tonight and see what we can do tomorrow. We take refuge in the bedroom with the door closed and the lights off everywhere else to do research and see if there is anywhere nearby we can move to. We find an Airbnb in the Bocagrande neighbourhood and it’s a bit more than what we are paying but at least we’ll enjoy ourselves and have some pool days. We read through all the conditions and it says nothing about Pets. Just as we are about to leave, the host messages me to say that I need to send her a doctor’s note to say that my dog is required for emotional dependence and that building rules have changed. I message her to say that there is nothing in the listing stating this as a condition and after an hour of back and forth she states that it’s best if we just cancel and don’t come at all.What.the.hell. I ask for an immediate refund and to be honest, I think I took out all of my frustration on her. Sorry lady. bad timing.
After this defeat, Steve gets up to get some water and turns on the lights in the living room and see 8-9 cockroaches skidding away. They had all come out in the darkness.
NOPE NOPE NOPE
It’s already 9:30pm, we don’t really have any hope but a man named Marco responds to say we are more than welcome to come and take a look at the Airbnb right now and dogs are not an issue. We immediately pack up our essentials and find an Uber (which took an hour) and finally arrive at the apartment at 11pm. We thank him for meeting us to late and he says it’s no problem and Steve goes up to take a look at the apartment while I wait downstairs with Zozi. At this point as long as the cockroaches don’t outnumber us, I can make peace with it.
Steve comes back with the biggest smile – “it’s reaaaaallly nice”. ok. That’s that then. We go upstairs and it is a brand new apartment that’s been renovated (we’re the first ones to stay). Marco gives us a tour and we finally sigh a relief and unpack. I am extremely thankful for how much we lucked out.
The next day, we go back to drop off the keys at the other apartment and to get the rest of our stuff we left in the night. And the first thing we see is a giant dead cockroach by the door and about… 2 more in the fridge.. and a few more throughout the apartment. Paul messages us and says a thousand apologies and he will directly contact Airbnb to give us a full refund – which he did. So seeing this many “hosts” isn’t so normal.
Until we get Norma back, we’ll be in this nice apartment. I imagine this will be the last Airbnb we’ll stay in for a while. This is a very touristy neighborhood, which means it’s much safer for us to walk at all hours and there is enough for us to see. After this round of Airbnb shuffle, we miss Norma more and more.
Btw, she’s supposed to arrive on Thursday, Oct 17th at 1pm!