I have never used airbnb before this trip. It sounds like a great idea and it provides an additional option, besides camping, hostel, and cheap motel. As usual, I booked the cheapest room I could find. Since I travel so much, it is important to find cheap accommodations. And Hawaii is so expensive, even hostels are not cheap. I was happy I found airbnb.
I did have concerns about this house, though. It didn’t look too clean from the pictures. “If it doesn’t too good on paper, it will look even worse in person!” A friend warned me when I mentioned this not-so-tidy place. Yet I thought I could handle it. I have stayed in plenty not-so-tidy places before. Once in China, I stayed in a place cost only $3, which included breakfast and dinner!
But boy I was wrong. As soon as I entered the house, I dreaded the fact that I had to spend 2 weeks there. It was terribly dirty. Honestly, I have never seen a place so dirty before. The $3 room was much better. Even so, since I have already paid for it, I was going to tough it. I don’t have to spend too much time in the house. All I need is a place to have a good night sleep.
Well, I was wrong, again. The hosts are two middle-aged men. They went to sleep really early (around 7pm). However, in the middle of the night, I woke up by loud noise of them in and out of their room. The rooms are strangely designed. Theirs is right next to mine separated by a staircase. However, the top parts of the rooms have no wall which means I could hear everything going on in their room.
Soon, they started watching TV! Guess what time it was? One in the morning! I got up and asked them to keep quiet. One of them said he had already turned the TV as low as he could. For the next couple of hours, I turned back and forth in my bed, hearing the noise, seeing the flashing of light shined on my wall, feeling tired and frustration. Eventually they did stop and after another hour or so I finally went back to sleep. Yet, again, around 4am, they got up and started watching TV again! When I talked to the host whether this was just a special night or it was norm, he said “This is our life style. If you can’t handle it, you should check out.”
So I did—I canceled the rest of the stay. I had to pay fee to airbnb and an extra day to the host. Yet, at that point, I didn’t care. I just wanted to get out of there.
Even getting out was frustrating. It was still dark in the morning and I didn’t want to leave without knowing I have a place to stay. Guess what? I couldn’t get online with my laptop! Luckily, by then he was polite and even kind. He allowed me to use his computer to make my next reservation.
I won’t bore you with any detail, but it took me hours before I could make another reservation. I had to talk to the customer service for more than half an hour! Luckily the customer service guy, Mark, was very helpful and patient. I was so relieved when I finally left the house. My very first airbnb experience turned out to be such a disappointment. There are more to come. Are they going to be as bad as this one?
But I had no time to worry about it. I had places to visit. Even though it poured overnight and rained heavily in the day time, it didn’t stop me to go to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I have hiked plenty of times in the rain.
Well, I only hiked about a mile or so before I quit. One of my hiking shoes had a crack at the bottom–my sock was soaked! I had to leave the park and drive 25 miles one way to shop for hiking shoes! It was like anything could go wrong went wrong during this trip. I have never had these much trouble before. Now I started to worry–what is going to happen next?