Airbnb Adventure

I’d been looking forward to this holiday for three years. We were finally on our way to Scotland.  The flight I had booked had an eighteen hour layover in Toronto from 1:30 AM to 6PM that night. We didn’t want to stay at the airport all that time so I went on line as I had for the other bookings. Choose a bed and breakfast and paid with my credit card. E-mailed the lady we would be arriving at 1:30 AM Monday morning and was that okay? She replied that it was and she and her husband would pick us up at the airport, charging $15.00 instead of the approximate $35.00 by taxi. Great, that sounds good, a bed, breakfast, and the ride from and to the airport for only $30.00 instead of the taxi fee of over thirty dollars each way.

We arrived at Pearson Airport in Toronto at 1:40 AM, get through arrival, out into the waiting area. No one there to meet us! My husband has them paged, still no one.

“Now what?” I said, “the e-mail said they would be here. Sorry, I trusted someone I shouldn’t have.” I’m raking myself over the coals for being so stupid. I didn’t have a last name, didn’t have a phone number only their first names and address “I really have no idea what to do now.”

“Well,” Ken said, “I suppose we take a taxi to the address you’ve got. I’m not hanging around the airport half the night and all day tomorrow.”

Still kicking myself I agree, “Yea I suppose there is nothing else to do. She said she would be here as she had to be up to welcome us anyway.”

We go outside and get a cab to the address I have. Thirty-six Dollars later we arrive at the house, no lights except the street lights. I knock, nothing, again I knock, still nothing. There is a light on somewhere in the house but no answer to my knock.  “I really screwed up this time.”

“Well we get comfortable on the porch chairs and wait for someone to get up for breakfast,” Ken said. “There is nothing else to do. We should have brought the cell.”

I see movement of the curtain and knock again but still no answer.  “Someone just looked out the window,” I said. “Yes we should have brought the cell but didn’t, and we don’t have a number to call anyway. When I make a mess, I do it up good.” I am settling in a not too uncomfortable chair with my feet up on the railing, so mad I couldn’t even enjoy the night air. It wasn’t cold or unpleasant, other than sitting on a stranger’s porch in the middle of the night wondering what now and how do we get back to the airport tomorrow.

Then the door opens and a middle aged lady says softly “Gladys? You are Gladys and Ken aren’t you? I’m so sorry. I thought it was tomorrow night. Come in, come in I’m so sorry.”  Then her husband came to the hall where we were standing with his wife and he apologizes as well.

You have no idea how it felt to find out I hadn’t been wrong, it wasn’t my mistake. They took us to a basement suite with a big tv, sofa, and private bathroom with a shower. They had overbooked for the night so we slept in their bed and they slept the rest of the night on sofas. The room we were to have been in someone else was in as well another room that wasn’t supposed to be a guest room.

After more apologizing we were left to a comfortable bed and a good sleep. The next morning we woke to silence about 10 AM, not a sound except their dog could be heard walking around overhead. I had a shower while Ken went upstairs and then outside, when I came up there was only the dog who had had an accident on the living room floor. I saw Ken sitting on a patio with a settee and a few other chairs. I went out wondering what kind of people operate an Airbnb but aren’t around for their guests. “Maybe they are at work.”

“Don’t think so, a young lady just left,” Ken said, “maybe the one who had looked out the window at us. She said they had an appointment at 10 and that was why they aren’t here. Would he tell them she had gone and thanks.

Again now what? We had no idea where anything was or even how to make coffee. There was no note telling us where the coffee was and I wasn’t going to look in all the cupboards to find it.  I came in to go down stairs and there were three Oriental young girls sitting at a table eating. I asked, “do you know where anything is or how to make breakfast?”

“No.” they replied, “we brought our own.”

Ken came in when I was downstairs and asked them if they knew of a place to eat. Then came downstairs and said, “the girls say there is an A and W three blocks away in a mall. Let’s go and get some breakfast.”

So we walked down to the mall and had an A and W breakfast, Ken went to get some cigarettes and I talked to a couple of interesting senior men who came there for coffee every morning. They collected the stickers off the cups for a free coffee. Being as I wasn’t saving mine they asked if they could have them. So I spent a few minutes talking to them.

When we got back our hosts were there and again apologizing about having mixed up the nights and that they had the appointment which took longer than they expected. We spent a quiet afternoon getting to know a very nice couple who may become long distance friends. She gave us a nice lunch before driving us back to the airport, free, for our flight to Glasgow, where the adventure continued.



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