Tag Archives: AirBnB

It’s not all puppies and sunshine

Yes, well yes, life is not that – not always at least. I mean we do have puppies (they’re soooooo cute! Two weeks old and they have their eyes open.) and a lot of sunshine, but er …. sometimes it’s a bit different than you want. Sometimes it goes wrong, or at least, it doesn’t go right.

And sometimes – as now – it is just one thing on top of the other

Sorry, dear readers, every week a humorous story with a positive undertone and a nice message is simply unrealistic. Just as it is most likely in your life as well. The season is over, just like always around this time, and where I secretly thought last week: “As nice as this is, will it ever be over? I need a vacation myself!” – it is apparently really finished now because nobody’s calling and nobody makes a reservation. I don’t get any warning e-mails from Booking.com anymore that someone is about to arrive (well yes, one), and none of AirBnB in which they congratulate me because there’s a booking for tonight! Yay!

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Life is good, in Portugal, but we are now in the “September low”

Not that something is going on, it’s more that a few thousand things don’t go as planned. And especially the waiting, I find that very frustrating. You always have to wait for everything everywhere. Portuguese are so miserable patient, it could make me scream from time to time.

And then you also get the final straw.

The final straw, as far as I’m concerned, was MEO’s bill

Our contract was over, so I’d informed here and there which company did what and where. I found out that fiber cable runs right in front of our doors, because the hotel nextdoor had asked for this. That’s what they call at MEO’s: “uma ligação dedicada” – a dedicated connection. They charge a small fortune for that.

This is not a problem for the owner of the “Pink Monster” next to us. The owner had arranged so much subsidies, European and Portuguese, that he can easily afford it. And he had committed fraud, people whisper, so his pockets are full. (Has he been punished for it, I don’t even know, I could ask about that at those whispering people …)

We need to improvise a bit more in that respect

Our ADSL connection is okay in itself, but sometimes it gets slower. In the evening after 9 o’clock it seems as if everyone opens the tap, so that the pressure becomes less. Then you can wait a long time until you get something uploaded. I’ve learned my lesson long ago, for that matter.

Better go to bed early, and try again warly in the morning, then it shoots through the air at the speed of light

I couldn’t resist to inquire about the fiber connection. That was waiting on the next level – but after a lot of calling and urging, I found out that they wanted 1,500 € for that.

Little bit much

Then a good-humored young man called to see if I was interested in their great offer of 41 euros per month, for television with 693 channels (I have been watching almost no television all my life, so all ok, dear boy), 24 Megas internet, phone and cell with all conversations / text messages (national than). They call it a Plan.

It’s the 3P MEO TOP 24M – Plan

And now I am heavily irritated and angry with myself that I’ve lost that piece of paper with all the notes (and the date because of the recording!), Because what happens? They sent a bill of 65 €.

Look, I don’t think so. That’s popular tripe

And I’m still not indifferent or cynical enough for that. I find it being complicit in a deception of the public. They know very well that they’re the only serious provider here. The only “competitor” is NOS, but you hear such bad things about that – I don’t want to run that risk.

They always win of course. But! I have put down an act of resistance: I didn’t return the signed contract. Portuguese are incredibly bureaucratic, but as long as you pay, they’ll deliver – that’s what greed does. They know that you’ll not run away – that’s what dependency does.

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Are there by any chance readers who know how to dig up that cable, cut it and connect it – in exchange for a nice holiday?

That’s a beautiful dream for tonight to fall asleep. Dream resistance. Against that nightmare-like bureaucracy

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a lots of fun things to do: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.

The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on monday on LinkedIn.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....

An average booking through AirBnB

Hip Hip Hooray! A last minute booking through Airbnb!

They always sent those roaring mails, those big companies, but well, I’m glad there is another booking. I think it’s an itsy bitsy exaggerated, as if they pretend the world has been saved, but of course I’m happy that there is a new reservation for the weekend.

It is low season. It is not full. Logical. It’s the same everywhere

Even at the new hotel a bit further down the road are but a few cars out front, while they have 125 rooms.

Immediately after this the phone rings for first time. There is the new booker, indicating that they were hiking, and they’re going to have dinner first. “That is very nice to let me know, thank you!”

“We are now in the Armazéns de Lavos, and then we go towards Soure?” the man asks, and when I answer, I secretly fear the worst.

For years, I state the full address and coordinates – all I could find on the internet to indicate our address – on our website, and I put that automatically also all intermediariessites, plus written directions from various sides.

If anyone books, directly or through an intermediary, I send an email with the link to our website along with the recommendation to keep these directions at hand in case the gps doesn’t know anymore.

That was in response to a New Year’s Eve in 2006

It was fully booked, and everybody had arrived quite early, except for 2 couples. 

At 8 o’clock the first one called:  “We are now at a lamppost in a forest, where do we go now?”

Not long after the other guests-to-be called: “We are at a church in a village, where should we go?”

This is a bit exaggerated, but not really. I spent the whole New Year’s Eve with these two couples on the phone, and it was quite a sweat “to talk them in”. They had nothing to do with one another, and came from totally different directions. So I had to concentrate really well to know who this was, and where they were.

This was not so unusual

Many more Portuguese went on the road with not much more than “Termas-da-Azenha” and the phone number. And then they started calling. Very difficult and very time consuming.

Oops, there goes my phone again: “We are in Vinha da Rainha, but what now?” O dear, here we go again? I’m trying to find out exactly where they are. And also which direction the car is headed.

The man just stays on the phone. “We drive past a few houses …. ah, there is a church …. Now I see a school on the right. … “

Stop! Wait! A school? At the right side of the road? Oops, that’s too far the other way. They have to go back. So they were headed to the wrong side, but it is very difficult to see that through the phone.

 

It was quite funny, him just staying on the line this way

Some people call back all the time, others – like this senhor – just stay on the phone until I’m on the road waving at them.

“This was quite tricky to find”,  they say while getting out of the car, but fortunately they did not become cranky. They are used to searching. They do geochaching. Treasure hunting.

I find that funny. Termas-da-Azenha is indeed a treasure you want to find. Knowing this, I always send the directions-link when people book. Not everybody likes to go treasure hunting.

The next day they give the ab-so-lute-ly correct coordinates as a parting gift. And they took a warm farewell, they found it very nice and special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They’ll recommend it to their friends!

I think that’s worth a hip hip hooray! Especially when the next day I received a good review through Airbnb in the mail!

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We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas da Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugal’s cultural heirlooms. Termas da Azenha, a old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and camping ground, there’s also a swimming pool. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere. The old bathhouse is a museum, where you can see how things have changed.

Each week a little blog about what is happening around us. An easy read. A few minutes in another world. A little about what it going on in Portugal. If you plan your holiday to Portugal, it might be a nice preparation. We have some nice special offers on our site.

You can subscribe to this blog:

 

You’ll get it every weekend in your mailbox.

On Sunday morning we publish it on our Facebook Page, on Google+, on Pinterest, and on tuesday on LinkedIn.

.

.

You like? Please like! And sharing is not forbidden ....