Archive for airbnb

hasty changes of plan (and of hemisphere)

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2021 by xi'an

As we [the entire family] were about to leave for La Réunion for a two-week vacation, the local authorities decided to start a severe lockdown over the whole island. Which makes sense given the large number of cases and the low proportion of vaccinated inhabitants that led to the saturation of the health system, to the point of flying patients to Paris for treatment. And which would have meant [for us] being stuck in our Airbnb except for sport activities on the nearest beach, but with no chance of trail running or hiking to the local tops or into the magnificent calderas. (Besides being rather unethical by putting local non-vaccinated people at risk.) Hence we cancelled the trip at the last minute (with great service from Air France and a full loss with Airbnb.) After first considering Iceland, which sounded fully booked, we then switched to a trip to Corsica, where surprisingly there were still available plane seats and cars to rent at the airport. And less surprisingly hardly any place to rent! After a whole morning of failed attempts, we eventually secured two rental places, the first one turning out to be quite nice. Last time I visited the island there was in the summer of 1980, where I hitch-hiked from Normandy to join high school friends for a month of camping, snorkeling, and wind-surfing! (And not much progress in reading Kant’s Critique I had taken as my beach book!)

Antarctic sabbatical

Posted in Mountains, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2019 by xi'an

Airbnb is supporting 5 volunteers that wish to join next December environmental scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams, from the University of Exeter, on a scientific expedition in Antarctica, investigating the presence of microplastics there. The deadline for applications  is 11:59pm EDT on 8 October 2019. (I wish I could, but the news came a bit late to contemplate rescheduling a large number of classes.) As the offer includes riding snowmobiles and fat tyre bikes, and visiting sites over Antarctica, during the one week stay there, this obviously sounds more like covert tourism than a genuine expedition. With a dose of greenwashing by Airbnb, “inherently more eco-friendly than other forms of travel given that people are using spaces already built” to quote from the University of Exeter webpage, which does not mention the impact of airbnbing locals out of city centres by drying out long-term rentals and raising housing prices sky-high… (As a long-term user of airbnb, hence accomplice to the fact, I noticed a rising proportion of places that are sheer around-the-year rentals rather than occasionally let to visitors. And hope the alternative platform will launch soon.)

Tile Hill [paintings]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2019 by xi'an

CNRS bans airbnb!

Posted in Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , on February 4, 2017 by xi'an

A few days ago, like all members of French research labs associated with CNRS, the national research institute, I received an email stating

” Le recours aux service de co-voiturage (ex, BlablaCar) et le recours aux services de location entre particuliers (ex. Air B&B [sic]) ne sont pas autorisés car ils font peser un risque sur le CNRS en termes de responsabilité.”

which means that it will no longer reimburse travel expenses connected to airbnb rentals for fear of litigation. While the decision is not completely surprising, given the bureaucratic tendencies of the CNRS, and the fact that cities and administrations are increasingly targeting airbnb, making it primarily a politically motivated ban, this is a most unwelcome item of news, both for funding reasons, as airbnb or a similar rental service offers massive gains when attending a conference with colleagues, and for comfort reasons, as I find resorting to hotels much less relaxing than in a rental, if only because I cannot cook and eat what I want.

home-grown food [mush/bathroom]

Posted in pictures, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2016 by xi'an