18 July 2012

The accommodation saga - Part one

With Phil, Mitch and Isabel now gone I was pretty bummed that last week had ended, and kind of refrained from talking to anyone and simply enjoyed my own company for a while at the same time too. Eventually after four days of complete solitude I decided it was time to emerge from my catacomb of despair and get moving again. Awesomely Phil offered that I could stay at his house for a couple of days, something I was highly appreciative of. For one it would be fantastic to hang out with Phil and Mitch again, and secondly the amount of money I would save would be substantial.

This is going to be great!

It was a welcome sight to see these two guys, Phil was great and made me feel at home. That night we were all going to go to see a baseball game, cool.

Watching the SF Giants versus... some other team
I still didn't think it was any more fun than the last time I went to a game... but it was fun with the right company.

That night things took a turn for the worse. It was Tuesday night and Phil had said I was welcome to stay in his apartment for a week so that's what I figured I'd be doing for the week. This however was only possible because Phil was of the understanding that his yet to arrive housemate wasn't due for another two weeks. Yeah... we found out later that night that she was to now be arriving the following day, yikes! Sigh... time to leave already.

Finding hostels at the last minute can be tricky so first thing Wednesday morning Mitch and I were busy trying to book hostels. Found places for Wednesday and Thursday but could not for the life of me find a place for Friday or Saturday night. Hmm... this will be interesting. Phil said he would talk to this new roommate once she arrived and see if it would be alright if I come stay just Friday and Saturday night at least.

Cool, that sounds positive.

Thursday arrived and I was fairly confident that Phil would message me any moment to let me know that me staying Friday and Saturday night would be fine (I wouldn't think me sleeping on the couch for a night or two would be a big deal). Strangely during the day I had a huge epiphany as I suddenly realized that I don't have to stay in San Francisco whatsoever and am literally free to move elsewhere whenever I please if I either don't like it here anymore or if things get too tough. It was very refreshing, almost as if I had forgotten that I am not bound to San Francisco in any way. It got me thinking, maybe it is time to move on? We shall see.

Yeah... Thursday night Phil sends me a message saying "sorry, but you can't stay over"


I now didn't have any accommodation booked for the following two nights, with the hostel booking website telling me that every hostel in San Francisco is completely booked out... sigh. This was easily one of the worst holes I have dug myself into on this entire trip.

And to top all of this off? My self cooked dinner turned into easily one of the worst things I have ever cooked in my entire life. It was ridiculous. How anyone manages to stuff up throwing together egg noodles with capsicum, onions and tomato is beyond me, but somehow I managed. The noodles tasted like glue and they stuck together like glue too... and I for some reason boiled enough noodles for I think the entire hostel.

Now I was stressed and hungry!

I decided to sign up for CouchSurfing.org because I was running out of options, sending out literally about 15 requests for housing. And I sent another message to Phil saying basically I am stuck and if he could somehow reconsider his previous refusal then that would be great. Nay, not great, but life-saving! Then after all that I re-checked the hostel booking website incase something had opened up... something had! But it was $50 for the night... sigh, that will be Plan B.

Hang on... how is that Plan B? I don't even have a Plan A!

As I was typing up this very post actually, two new people walked into my hostel room... oh great, I was enjoying being alone where I am free to yell and curse at my computer as much as I please.

It is a couple... they say hi.

"Hey..." I mumble back in reply. Not in a rude way, but not in a conversation inviting way either.

The girl doesn't get the hint and tries to keep talking anyway, asking me a bunch of questions. I answer them without much thought... it was the same set of questions I have been asked literally hundreds of times by now "Where are you from?" "What brings you to America?".


I was obliged to ask questions in return. They answer, making me laugh a little with their replies, cool. Actually, no, not cool. This is no time for laughing! This is a serious time reserved for sitting at my laptop in a foul mood, sending CouchSurfing requests and stalking the hostel booking website!

The guy goes to the bathroom and the girl starts her question asking again. I answer them and turn back to my computer, eager to return to my grumbling ways. But I paused to think for a moment and I realized something... "these guys are way friendlier then the usual traveler". I had decided they were awesome.

Me to her "Ha, I have to say, you guys are much friendlier then most of the people I meet"

She laughs. "Oh, are people in San Francisco not nice or something?"

Me: "No no, everyone I meet are usually great, but you two just seem more friendly then most. Especially despite my less than jovial mood."

The guy returns, I decide to stop being an ass and make an effort to chat to them. My assumption was correct, these two rocked =D

Their names were James and Millie, a young couple from England whom have already traveled to Australia and New Zealand and were now on their American leg of their trip, very cool! They were indeed two of the nicest people I have yet to meet on my entire trip and talking to them was just so casual and down to earth, it was extremely refreshing and the perfect distraction from my predicament.

Not for one moment did I think that this day was going to end on even remotely a high.

During our talks they told me of a website called HelpX where farms, motels, and even families who require your help will offer accommodation and food in exchange. It was just earlier this very day too that I had had the thought that maybe it is time to move on from San Francisco... maybe this is my next move? The place I am meant to be?

It was now well past midnight and I knew that there was to be a tough day ahead for me with still no accommodation lined up, so it was time to sleep.

Will see what happens in the morning I guess... the story continues here.


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