A Travellerspoint blog

September 2008

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semi-overcast 25 °C

The first leg of our trip ended with a few nights in Bangkok staying at the Hilton on the river front (I never thought I'd find a use for hotel points!!). It was a fun few days in a very busy city.

The flight back to San Francisco took us via Tokyo on United. I managed to get us upgraded to business class which I thought was going to make for a comfortable flight back, until Kim ate the eggs they served for breakfast just after we boarded and then proceeded to throw up for 14 hours. I always did have a problem with eggs on planes...a smell that I remember hasn’t changed since the flights of my childhood to Oman…it still makes me nauseous whenever they serve breakfast.

Anyway we arrived back in San Francisco on time although with some trepidation as we hadn’t heard from our elusive house sitter for a number of weeks.

Thankfully our good friends Peter & Brent had agreed to put us up for a couple of weeks in their palace of an apartment in the city, so as Kim was unwell and I wasn’t sure what to expect at our apartment we headed there and built our nest in their spare room. It is a beautiful apartment and I think seeing it only heightened my disgust when I finally walked into our place later that day.

Backing up a little, we had rented our place out to a “friend” whilst we were away. I use rented loosely as I basically asked for next to no money in return for the place being looked after…you know, difficult stuff like water the plants, start the car, vacuum the carpet.

Well after the first couple of weeks of being away we never heard from her again, and never received any of the little rent I’d asked for. I fully expected to return and find the place empty.

I should be so lucky…I’ll give you the highlights…

...when I walked in, there were boxes stacked all over the place (seems 3 months was actually too short to move her stuff in), our furniture had been stacked in the corner. I then suddenly realized that the place resembled a pet store…She’d moved a cat in, there was cat paraphernalia everywhere and the place stank, cat hair everywhere, and I don’t think the litter tray had been emptied in 3 months. Said cat also managed to scratch up the sofas in the living room and cupboards in the kitchen.

She had managed to break off the shower taps which were lying on the bathroom floor and had been replaced by a wrench…the smoke alarm was dangling off the wall…seems the battery was needed for something else…probably a toy for the cat. Stains on the carpet that I’m trying to convince myself were red wine and not cat related.

…the list goes on and on and we kept finding new surprises as we spent the next 3 days cleaning up. (If anyone can explain the purpose of a 2 inch crust of hardened, greasy baking soda in the bottom of the oven I’d be interested to hear it!).

I tell you, I can put up with quite a lot, but the place was disgusting and she didn’t seem to think anything was wrong so needless to say we booted her out there and then (the most enjoyable part of the whole proceeding!)

As I’ve mentioned we spent the next 3 days cleaning the place up which was pretty unpleasant. Kim convinced me to advertise the place again, which we did and were inundated with responses. We have since moved a girl our age into the place, who is a school teacher, who has house sat before and provided a pile of references, so fingers crossed this one will work out!

In addition to that I also had my truck broken into and the stereo stolen and a flat tire. Wasn’t a good week!

Thankfully staying with our friends gave us someone to laugh it all off with…well that and a few good bottles of wine and a few hours of home improvement TV (long story!!).

Peter and Brent also invited us up to their house in the Russian River, complete with hot tub, for the weekend, which was an amazing retreat and made for a much pleasanter end to our visit. We ate and drank well, including a batch of “red velvet” cup cakes baked by Kim…I do believe that I’m owed one though…I thought the deal was 5 each and I don’t believe Leo (the dog) ate my last one…Peter!

Posted by msmitheman 18:57 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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