We flew from Dubrovnik to Dublin, Ireland, last Tuesday and things have not exactly gone as planned.

We got to the Airbnb apartment I had secured over a year ago and it was … kinda small and kinda ugly. We dropped our bags, went out for some food, and returned. Upon closer inspection, it was also dirty, moldy, cluttered with junk in the cabinets and closets (i.e., half-used toothpaste, shave cream and feminine hygiene products from prior tenants, assorted other random crap and broken furniture) and had no hot water. I immediately got online with Airbnb. They asked for photos, and within three minutes of receiving them, wrote back to offer a full refund and some money for a hotel room until we could find an alternative. Naturally, they had nothing else to offer. Also, their hotel voucher seemed designed to cover a Motel 6 in rural Oklahoma, not a decent hotel in a major metropolitan area. Whatever.

We found a Holiday Inn Express nearby, jumped in an Uber and got the hell out of dodge(y). We then spent a frantic couple of days trying to find a replacement place to stay.

For various reasons, including some pandemic-specific circumstances, Dublin is very overbooked and overpriced right now. One leasing agent I called said they had put their new listing up that day and had already had 50 inquiries. A couple of other agents basically laughed me off the phone/internet.

Things were not looking good, especially if we did not want to empty out our bank account. As retirees living on a fixed income during a period of rising inflation, this state of affairs was, shall we say, unwelcome. Leaving Dublin altogether would have been sub-optimal, as our son is arriving soon to spend the summer with us, we have visitors scheduled here in June, July and August, and we have nowhere else to be until August 31.

Miraculously, we found an available apartment near the Docklands on a website that I didn’t know existed until I searched for alternatives to Airbnb and VRBO. It’s called Spot a Home. A young couple had recently bought the building, done some clean-up and listed it on the short-term rental market a few days ago. It was more expensive than Chateau de Nasty, but not outrageously so, so we grabbed it faster than a hungry Donald Trump grabs a bucket of chicken. We were to be their first tenants.

We booked a two-bedroom/two-bath apartment through the first week of August, rather than for the whole summer. (See my earlier blog post, “Schengen, Schmengen.”) However, before we could get over there, they realized that their two-bedroom units only have one bath, so they upgraded us to a 3/2 at no extra charge. Suh-weet! We were feeling pre-tay … pre-tay … pre-tay good about our fine selves at this point. We could host Andy and our guests with no crowding, we were paying below-market rent for a three-bedroom and who doesn’t want an extra bathroom?

We arrived at our new place and let out huge sighs of relief. It’s clean and has hot water, which was already a win. It’s in a decent location south of the River Liffey, near Trinity College and the Docklands area and close to a train station. All in all, we felt we had landed on our feet.

However, the comedy of errors had apparently failed to reach its conclusion. Yesterday, a chair fell apart while Steve was sitting on it, resulting in an epic red wine spill and a bruised ego, a dresser drawer fell apart for no apparent reason, spilling clothes everywhere, and today, I slipped and fell getting out of the shower because the floor tiles are like an icy sidewalk and the bath mat has no traction. Poor Steve will never be able to un-see me lying naked, wet and dazed on the bathroom floor. Still, we are both in one piece and happy to be housed, even if the furniture here is worse than off-brand Ikea and the water tastes a little funny. Shlainte!