Yeaaaahhh….. i got that experience again! Homeless! I got into a new place, and i have no place to sleep!
I supposed to be hosted by the CS member in Florence. I have contacted her before i left Surabaya. We have exchanged some messages. Well, her english was not good, but we managed to chat a bit. I knew she is interested in arts, which is really good, we have something in common. And she is living with her tattoo artist BF. We even exchanged phone number. Her profile looked good. She was quite new, never been hosting, but she have some friends. She also have 2 or 3 positive references. I messaged her when i already in Europe, and she replied. Everything looked OK.
2 days before i arrived at Florence, i texted her on her cell phone. She didn’t reply. I sent her message in CS website, she didn’t reply. I was naive, i was still hoping that she would reply my message in the web site. So, the first thing i did in Florence was, finding wi-fi to checked my e mail. And……. she didn’t reply….. Well, I was not just naive, I was stupid as well, cos i didn’t even made any hostel list!!
So, there i was….. in Florence, alone, without any bed booked, not even a list of it!
Anyway, experience always the toughest teacher….. My experience in Hongkong have taught me that :
1# Hostel could be faceless.
Cos they’re cheap, so they could not afford the rent on the ground level. Most of the time, they’re inside a flat, and they don’t even have sign on the building.
2# It is not always easy to find a bed in a touristic area.
Indeed, touristic area have lots of hostel. But….. don’t forget, touristic area also means there are lots of tourist….
3# Please check the bells button on the flat door
Most of the time, the hostel write down their name on the bells button.
4# Use the smart phone and google map.
There are lots of hostel noted in the google map!
After some good lasagna in a – recommended by trip advisor – restaurant, i took my backpack with me, and started to stroll a long the street. It was around 4 in the afternoon, the sky was getting dark quite fast in the autumn. I was a bit worried. I just walk and walk while checking my google map.
Just in case you don’t know, u don’t always need the internet connection to use GPS on smartphone. All u need to do was enable the GPS while there is still internet connection. GPS can always find where we are, but…… we need internet to download google map. My trick is, while i have wi-fi connection, I zoom in the google map, and swipe it around. So, it would download large area, and save it into the smartphone. Later, when the internet connection is off, i could still use GPS and the downloaded google map. Oh yeah, to do search location, you would need internet connection.
After some doors bells checking, lots of google map checking, lots of turns and walks, some fully booked hostel, and some over budget hostel, finally, i found a bed!! It was David inn. The location was good, quite in the center, and the place was really good. At the end, i met some good dorm mate there!!
So…… what is Florence for me? It was a harsh start, the first bad CS experience, but at the end, i still really love Florence.