To all you people shivering in northern Europe, I’m just trying to make you all jealous. But it’s also cold in Lisbon this month. We have only 7c right now at 7:08 am and can expect only 17c this afternoon. That may not seem particularly cold to many people but it is really cold for Lisbonites. The above picture is of an Algarve beach in the south of Portugal, about three hours by train from here.
I have a guest from New York State, waiting to check in this morning but the last guest may not check out before 10 am so I’m in no mans land right now; can’t get on with the room cleaning and can’t tell Anita to come straight here to check in. Anita is from New York State and flew last night from Newark Airport. Her flight landed here at 5:44 am. As soon as I staggered out of bed this morning, I checked her flight status and soon after, sent Anita a welcome to Lisbon text message.
We now have almost 300 reviews in AirBNB and almost all of them are 5 stars. So we know we are doing things right here. Of course we have a small handful of poor reviews but they were from nasty types, undesirable guests, cheapskates who roam from place to place in AirBNB, always wanting to pay almost nothing for their accommodation but searching for small things to complain about. There’s not much we can do to prevent such guests from booking here but we really dislike these people with no scruples. We discuss these guests quite a lot and Kumar can get quite heated about the worst type of guest. We always know when a guest will be a really bad one, as soon as we greet them at the door. We haven’t been wrong yet. Kumar has settled very well into the AirBNB routine and works hard, often harder than I do but I also handle all the booking and paperwork side of the business and it’s substantial. I receive enquiries, messages and bookings at all times of the day and night and I wake up and deal with each one almost immediately. This means that sometimes I am tired in the day time and that’s when Kumar takes over the physical work so I can take a rest. It’s all working out very well and providing a regular, useful income. Goma will arrive here next Tuesday so I’m sure she will muck in with us and it will sure be good to have an extra pair of hands on board.
We are also working flat out with Kumar’s new booking site. It’s been a mammoth task and most nights Kumar can be found online in his room till well after midnight, working hard with the new platform. This IT work is a bit beyond me because I’m not so clever with all this technology. I just do the simpler things and let Kumar deal with the very heavy stuff. My limits with my computer are sending emails, Microsoft Word, Excel, AirBNB, facebook, WordPress and Yahoo Mail. I also use Google Translate very much because every day we receive messages in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese languages and except for English, I am a master of none. I have an excellent guest here at the moment, from Nantes in France, and she speaks only French. I am forced to speak in French and I’m no longer fluent at all. I just do my best and look up words which I no longer remember. Only about half our French guests can speak in English so I have brushed up with my French during these past two years. German, Dutch, Belgian, Austrian, Scandinavian, Indian and Arabic guests almost always speak excellent English. Luckily. Late last night I had a booking from Vladimir & Tatiana in Leningrad, Russia and it was in English luckily. Vladimir tries hard with his English messages but maybe we will have to resort to Google Translate when they arrive here. But yesterday morning I had an enquiry from Svetlana in Stalingrad, Russia and it was written in perfect English. I learned in a later message that Svetlana teaches English there in Stalingrad.
New bookings are flooding in right now so I’m being kept very busy. I quite enjoy doing all the paperwork and messaging but I hate doing the accounting. Of course anybody can do accounting because it’s easy but for me it’s incredibly boring and a nuisance. I am best at messaging and taking care of the guests.
Well I think I should make my breakfast now, oatmeal with persimmon and banana today. Then it will be back to my AirBNB work.