So I got this enquiry last night, from a prospective Airbnb guest. He is an American who has been living in China for some time. So all his payment options are Chinese, yet his Airbnb profile shows him as being from Chicago, USA.

Anyway, Airbnb doesn’t let Americans use Alipay for booking my room in Germany. According to what I found on the Airbnb web site, Alipay may only be used by Chinese guests booking a room in China. Or else if they are doing a booking with a Chinese IP address, but this guy tried to make the booking when he was already in Germany.

So this guy asks if he may pay cash on arrival. Sure, says I, and I give him the directions to my place, full address and everything, no telephone number. I don’t really understand why Airbnb doesn’t block this message, since we were clearly breaking the TOS by then.

My guest-to-be hops into a taxi at the airport – a 30 minute drive from my place. Since he hasn’t arrived 2 hours later, at 11 pm, I decide he isn’t going to come after all, open the window for some fresh air before going to sleep – and doing that, I see a taxi pull up outside.

So I put my clothes back on, go out to greet him – he is pretty tired, having come directly from China to Germany. He duly pays for his stay using his China Union Pay credit card on my iZettle reader, and goes off to bed.