I should have double-checked the reviews.
We arrived at our “cozy and vintage” AirBnB on a balmy Toronto evening, and discovered it was a shit-hole.
On the front porch, a terracotta cigarette-fountain was oozing damp, mangled butts across the top step.
Generations of dirt marbled the ancient pine floors. A yellow, naked bulb cast shadows up the stairs.
The key code I’d wrangled from the host worked, but as soon as I opened the door I knew there was a problem.
This wasn’t a top floor suite with a kitchenette and a lake view. This was a ground floor twin-bed closet with a view of the raccoons fucking in the alley.
And someone else was living in it.
After an hour or so on the phone, we were found somewhere better, as is often the case.
And besides reminding myself how lucky I was to be there in that mess in the first place, I tried to keep calm by thinking how it would make a good story later — as most trauma does, given time.
In the worst times, there’s always a great story — a great lesson — to be told.
We just have to survive it first.