Not ideally what you want when you are staying somewhere using a service (Airbnb) where, afterwards, hosts write a public review about you (and you about them). I could already imagine what the review would say:
“Terrible experience, he flooded my bathroom and the water ruined the ceiling of the neighbour’s apartment downstairs. Avoid.”
I still maintain that it wasn’t entirely my fault though.
I’d previously asked my host how to use the washing machine. He said he’d show me later. It was now 11pm and he had already gone to bed. I realised I had literally run out of clean clothes and thought to myself: “How hard could putting some clothes on to wash be?” How wrong I was, as the next 3 hours or so were about to reveal.
Washing machine loaded. Powder in. Buttons seem obvious enough I guess. Power button not working, must be unplugged. Unplugged. How am I supposed to get the power chord to reach that socket on the other side of the room? There must be an extension cable around here. No extension cable.
Ok. Time to think laterally about this one: the cable doesn’t reach by only a short amount, I can probably move the machine a little bit until it does. YES! A bit of a stretch but it fits. Machine on. Begin cycle. Perfect, mission accomplished, now I can leave it and go to sleep, it will be done by the morning.
No rest for the weary
And so I put my head on my pillow and started to drift off. Something disturbed me though. That sounds like… water coming into the house from somewhere. It was raining slightly, but not enough to produce the volume of water I could hear. Probably not a good idea to ignore. Reluctantly I pulled myself out of bed and went to inspect. The noise sounds like it is coming from the bathroom… “Oh ****”.
I froze, panicked, and then realised that I need to work on my quick-decision-making-under-pressure skills. Get yourself under control I thought, and do something quickly. There was water everywhere (and still pouring into the room), and I knew I was responsible.
Basically, the drainage pipe for the washing machine didn’t go through the utility room wall and connect to the drainage system as I thought; It went into the bathroom and expected to be manually connected to the bath or toilet.
And this is why I maintain that it wasn’t entirely my fault, because that is a stupid system in my opinion: it was like a horrible booby trap waiting to take out unsuspecting victims like myself.
So I quickly connected said pipe to the toilet, unplugged the machine, and for the next few hours frantically used bath mats and towels to try and dry the place. Thankfully my host didn’t wake up needing to use the bathroom.
Eventually the floor was dry, but the bath mats were soaking wet – which would be an obvious giveaway. So I used some of the rugs in my room to dry them so I could put them back as if nothing had happened. It pretty much worked, and I finally went to bed exhausted.
The morning after
At 6am I was woken to what sounded like my host pouring water into the toilet. I panicked and thought: “I must have missed something and he has realised what happened and is now having to clean it up”. I braced myself to confess and apologise. On leaving my room, I found him arranging some flowers on the living room floor, our conversation went something like this:
“What are you doing?”
“Sorting out these flowers.”
“Flowers!!??? OH!! HAHAHA!” (breathing an internal sigh of relief). “Great. I’m going back to bed.” (Honestly can’t express my relief here).
A few hours later I was woken again by the sound of other people coming into the apartment. My panic returned and I thought: “It is the neighbours from downstairs, coming to complain that their ceiling had been leaking water”. I braced myself again to confess and apologise. On leaving my room, I found that it was just my host’s friends coming to visit. Panic over again.
And so, I think I managed to fix the problem (except I still had no clean clothes), nothing was said and no neighbours complained about anything. Maybe it would have been better to have just confessed, but it didn’t really seem necessary (and I still maintain that it wasn’t completely my fault). I know what I’m going to write on my review of the place for future guests though: ‘If you use the washing machine, make sure you put the drain pipe into the bath!’