I have to say that I’m enjoying my new role as landlady. I like meeting the people who have booked to stay, hearing their astonished responses as to the size of the cottage (“So much bigger than we imagined!” (not exactly big, just more to it than the photos indicate), or “The photos don’t do it justice!” (not sure how to take this, as they are my photos and I was quite pleased with them).
And I like seeing how very different the newly-arrived guests are in the flesh, compared to their profile photos. These photos only become visible after a booking has been confirmed, a very good idea to avoid discrimination on appearances alone.
However, one guest made me rather worried when his confirmed booking revealed that he looked like an Identikit composite photo of a serial killer. A seriously unrepentant one at that. With large sinister specs*.
And then he arrived, with his smiley cheerful wife, and turned out to be very smiley and cheerful himself, no specs and not a hint of serial homicide about him. I said nothing at all when he brought up the subject of his profile photo – he had only just registered with Airbnb in a hurry, and the very old photo was the only one he could find.”It makes me look like a mass murderer!” he said.
And so we moved smoothly on to other things, like which local fish and chip shop was the better. After a long and fraught journey, Mr and Mrs SmileyandCheerful were ready for their dinner.
I said nothing either about The Gardener’s passport photo**, which on more than one occasion has been inspected twice at Customs. We expect this now, and watch for the discreet way in which this extra check is carried out whilst the customs official chats cheerily.
*In retrospect, maybe it was the large specs that did it. Many serial killers have them, it seems; yes, I googled them.
**Thankfully, The Gardener does not resemble his passport photo at all. It too has that suggestion of murderous intent about it.