An American has pee’d in my bin
Let me explain. I have an East Melbourne apartment which I lease on Airbnb. Have been doing so for almost two years now, with lots of people met, fun anecdotes to tell and just some very minor hiccups. Like the time the top seeded English female tennis player caught fire to one of the bedroom walls after insisting on drying her (I say her, I mean my) towels on the stainless steel ‘up-lights’. Or when a famous Australian keyboardist’s two year old creatively turned my Sony 46" TV into a etch-a-sketch screen with just his Dad’s car key. And of course I shouldn’t forget the adorable 6 year old Gigi who spread mountains of glitter in places I didn’t know existed, whose chocolate covered hand prints were found across every inch of glass — and there is a lot of glass — and stored her peanut butter and marmalade snacks under the settee cushions, presumably for a rainy day (it was summer at the time).
Then there are the cute, even funny outcomes. As when the lovely Indian family left two (not one) half eaten sandwiches in one of the showers. (Was it one person with two sandwiches or two people eating a sandwich each that got otherwise distracted from lunch? I guess I’ll never know). And when the Korean family brought their entire Christmas with them, all in one Mary Poppins suitcase including folding Xmas tree, fairy lights, wrapped presents and holly wreath for the outside door. Nor will I forget the time a US lingerie model left some of her smaller samples behind. Which I kept, just in case she came back for them. She didn’t.
I’ve also been left with more than the odd question as well as the occasional repair bill. Like why English guests insist on sleeping under a duvet without a top sheet: ‘I couldn’t understand why there was a sheet AND a duvet on the bed?’. Or why the older London visitor and her brother, were adamant about liquid instead of powder being used in the Fisher & Paykel double drawer dishwasher, despite my written and spoken pleas to the contrary, consequently flooding the newly renovated kitchen — not once, but twice: ‘We’re really sorry but we always use liquid to wash our dishes at home, we can’t understand why you don’t here’.
But on this occasion, the biggest weekend of the sporting calendar, an Australian investment banker now working in New York and back for the AFL grand final, along with his two Wall Street banker colleagues who he’d thought he’d introduce to ‘Aussie Rules’, booked the apartment. It was an expensive visit by all accounts, I mean all the way from New York for just one footy game. But in any case all went well with the booking. Except one of the lovely bankers pee’d in a bedroom bin. A white metal, water tight (thankfully), bin. The sort of trendy looking bin you might put in a ‘New York Style’ apartment bedroom.
The apartment is pretty sizeable as far as apartments go. Not stupidly big, I mean it does only have two bedrooms. As well as a separate study. But it’s big enough to warrant two separate toilets, both downstairs, alongside the bedrooms. So just why someone would choose to wee in a bin instead of stepping out just a few metres and using a toilet bowl is simply beyond me. I simply can’t fathom why that would happen, under any circumstance. And I’ve really agonised over this, looking for the obvious ‘of course, perfectly reasonable of them’ explanation. But then the guy is American. And he is an investment banker. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a bigger cultural gap here than I should have expected..
Perhaps the moral of the story is to remove the temptation. So the bin has now gone. But as with English tennis starlets, I don’t think I’ll be accepting bookings from American investment bankers anytime soon. Come to think of it I should probably stipulate that using at least one of the toilets is a requirement if you really need to pee. That using other receptacles that might resemble a porcelain bowl even if blind drunk, is not encouraged. Maybe I’ll also add ‘poo’ to that new house rule, I don’t want to leave anything to chance.
That should do it, surely. Even for American bankers.