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Okay I’m not (probably?) the literal dumbest Airbnb guest EVER, since that seems like a pretty low threshold, like the ones in this reddit thread

  • “the ones that stole everything from my house”
  • “The guy who was renting it drank himself to death”
  • someone tried to make meth and LSD in one

But anyways, I did something that made me feel really idiotic at my recent Airbnb stay in Athens

My first Airbnb in Athens

This is actually a story of my first Airbnb stay ever – too many hotel points I guess!  I felt like I got a pretty good deal – with a coupon for new users, I got 4 nights in Athens near the subway and the Acropolis for $138.03 (which I wrote off with 13,803 Arrival miles)

I mean look at the actual view from our balcony!

a building on a hill

Arriving in Athens

After our flight was delayed, we ended up getting into Athens about 4 hours later than scheduled, at about 5:45 local time. I had been in communication with our host, and he was very responsive.  He messaged me that he had to go somewhere at 6:45pm, and a friend of his would meet us at the apartment and let us in. By the time we got our rental car and out of the airport and made our way into the main part of Athens, it was a bit past 7pm.

We pulled up to the address and had a bit of trouble finding parking (only on-street parking).  Originally we found a spot right across from the apartment, but there were some construction workers doing something to the road.  They started talking to me, in Greek of course, and I (of course) had no idea what they were saying.  I figured it was possible that I couldn’t park there, so I decided to find a different spot.  It took many circlings of the block but we eventually found a spot a few streets over.

We walked back to the apartment, rang the buzzer, and walked up to the 5th floor.  I wasn’t quite sure where we were going but thankfully the host’s friend met us there and showed us around.  His English wasn’t great but it was okay.  He gave us the keys and we were set

Perhaps we should have paid more attention when he was explaining the keys…

a group of keys on a key chain

Then…. problems

We decided to go walk by the grocery store (right across the street) and check out the neighborhood.  We locked the door with one of the keys and headed out.

But when we got back, we tried to unlock the door with what we thought was the right key, in the upper lock (where we had locked it)

a door with a key and a doorknob

But turning the handle didn’t seem to open the door, and in fact we eventually turned the handle so far it came completely off! At this point we emailed the host asking for help.

Then we figured we would wait for him down on the street.


(and we were locked out of the building and couldn’t go get them)

Solving the problem

We couldn’t reach the wifi, and I was still having trouble connecting my phone to the Greek cell network to get Internet and texts (why does the Sprint International Plan always seem so complicated?!?). So we had no way to know if our host was responding to our message or not.

After a bit of dithering, we walked down the block, bummed the wifi password off of a local coffee shop and logged on.  Our host had been VERY responsive – he had sent like 6 messages trying to help diagnose the problem and offered to come over.  We took him up on that and within 5 minutes he was over and showing us how to use the door.

I felt awful that we had made him come show us how to of all things open the door!  It turned out that we were using the wrong keyhole.  We both swore that we had used that keyhole but none of the keys had fit, but of course when the host was there, everything worked perfectly 😀

It was an auspicious start to a great Athens vacation

What is the dumbest thing you’ve done (or seen done) in an Airbnb? Leave your thoughts in the comments

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