Friday, November 30, 2012
The second half of the list of airbnb guests who stayed with us.
Sara & Allesandro | Zurich, Switzerland | Both low 30s
These guys were just the best. Allesandro was a super-talkative Italian, whose knowledge of US sports and pop culture was mind-blowing – like he could name random NBA 90s role players and any celebrity ever kind of mind-blowing. His English was 99% perfect, partly as a result of the fact that he once worked as a nanny (or as he joked “child technician”) in the States. Sara was much more reserved and not as confident in her English, despite the fact that she would correct Allesandro when he said tiny grammatical errors like “I work on a bank” instead of “I work in a bank.” They also brought us Swiss chocolate. They really could not have been nicer.
Christelle & her friend | Paris, France | Both low 30s
Our only guests to speak to us in Spanish. Nice people.
Victoria & Anna | Moscow, Russia | One was 23, the other was 30
We fucking hated these girls, even though at the end of the day they were decent guests. They smelled like old spaghetti and because of the cultural differences and their poor comprehension of English they just laughed at us all the time. It was meant as a way to diffuse uncomfortable situations, but it always came off as rude, even though they did not mean it to be. They’d never had a BBQ in their lives and they requested a BBQ dinner with the really, really shitty grill on our roof. Despite our efforts, Sarah and I couldn’t get out of this dinner and it was just a terrible experience that involved them laughing at me, adding to the frustration as I tried to light some damp charcoals.
In the end everything went OK and they even gifted us a kitschy Moscow fridge magnet, but we still hated them.
Alena & Alena | Prague, Czech Republic | Daughter: 25ish Mom: Normal mom age
Really sweet mother and daughter who told me they were both named Alena so I rolled with that. They brought us a mini bottle of Becherovka, which was a nice gesture despite the fact that it has sat unopened in my pantry for the past three months.
Rozenn & Sami | Nants, France | both late 20s
The door to our guest bedroom is very narrow because the room is small and the only way to fit everything is for the bed to block one of the two thin entry doors. This was never a problem until a rather-large Sami showed up had trouble fitting through the door even when he tried to squeeze in side ways. It was awkward, because saying “Oh, I’m sorry you’re so fat, let me try to help your thought the door,” isn’t really a nice thing to say and there was nothing we could really do.
Tanya & Rhonda | Carrboro, North Carolina | late 40s
They told us that in North Carolina they live in a housing co-op thing that I barely understood, but I pictured to be like the “others” commune in Lost. They were super nice, but it was weird that they brought Tupperware of eggplant parmesan lasagna from their home in NC. One kinda looked like Terry Gross, the other looked like a jolly lesbian aunt that I always wish I had.
Kateryna | Moscow, Russia | early 20s
She had a really weird profile picture. She wasn’t that weird in real life, at least from the 10 words we exchanged.
Linda & Florence | Lyon, France | early 30s
If we could have, we would have kept them as roommates forever. They were just two very kind girls, I don’t even have an example of their kindness, they were just so appreciative and nice to be around. They gave us a set of small windowsill cactus plants.
Lau & Anna | Copenhagen, Denmark | 29 & 25
The initial airbnb messages were a bit shady as they claimed they didn’t have a credit card so they wanted to pay us in cash. They also had zero reviews and their profile picture was just an image of a bottle of Coca-Cola, but for some reason I automatically trust any Scandanavian who isn’t named Anders Behring Breivik, so I accepted their request to stay with us.
They were pretty much the exact type of super-race I expected Danes to be. Spoke perfect English, couldn't have been nicer, and they were both very good looking. Lau was in the process of completing his Master’s degree and opening his own coffee/wine bar decorated with vintage Norwegian furniture. Anna was younger and just finishing her undergrad degree in Danish studies, she was not sure what she was doing in life, which was reassuring to see even that even Danes can have uncertainty in life (although when they do, they attach themselves to legit people).
Nicole & Milo | Melbourne, Australia | 31 & 30
They were an Aussie version of Sarah and I. They had just finished spending a year in London for the main reason of traveling around Europe. Nicole loved supermarkets, which is also Sarah’s pastime. Milo was a former Quicksilver backpack designer. I really like backpacks. We all love 30 Rock. We had some great meals together, played some Qwirkle, went out dinner, it doesn’t get much better. Sarah and I were devastated when they left.
Monica | Sublimity, Oregon | 50 something
She was visiting her daughter and son-in-law in Belfast before she decided to pop over to Barcelona. For someone who lives in a tiny town 60 miles southeast of Portland, Monica had some good stories. Her daughter grew up in Oregon and was always fascinated by the IRA, so the second she could, she split to Ireland. There she met her future husband, who as fate would have it, is actually a member/former member of the UDA. Monica told me he had spent 8 years in jail and she tries not to ask him about it, even though her daughter told her he was sentenced for trying to smuggle bomb-making material into Ireland to kill some pesky IRA members.
Yasia & Sasha| Minsk, Belarus | Our age-ish
Yasia’s brief airbnb profile says she’s a LARPER. A quick wiki later and I accepted her request. Unfortunately – and fortunately – Yasia and her boyfriend were almost never in the house so I never got to ask her about her LARPing career.