Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Experience with Airbnb (Debugging Airbnb)

First heard about Airbnb about a year ago from my brother who was looking for vacation rental. He needed one because conventional hotel won't work for his family of three kids. Beside renting an apartment with kitchen gives extra value to his family. They could make simple breakfast and eat in instead of hunting for breakfast in the morning.

This year while planning for our trip to Asia I plan on giving it a try. So I browsed around and finally found a place that we would like to book. After sending the booking request I was surprised to find out that I needed to be verified. So even though they allowed me to input my credit card number didn't necessary mean they trusted me yet. I was allowed to compose a message to the host but if I didn't get verified then the message would never be sent and my credit card would never be charged.

I understand the reasoning behind it. Unlike hotel where you get identified when you check in by asking for you passport/ID card. The host would never check your ID (I think so) that's why it's Airbnb who would do the identification. I didn't quite like the idea but comply with it anyway. Even that it's not enough because that was only my offline ID. Airbnb also wanted to verify my online ID either my Facebook, LinkedIn or Google Plus account. Having to choose either one of those I let them linked my Google Plus account. But it didn't work out because I was told that I didn't have enough activities. I didn't like it but sort of agreed.

I then reluctantly linked my Facebook account. Guess what. Again I was told that I didn't have enough activities. The option left was to send them a 30 second video describing myself and what I like to do. Instead of sending the video I sent an inquiry. I suspected there was a glitch in the system and hoped that they looked into it when I inquired.

But the reply was only to ask me to submit the video. I hate it but decided to move on and looked for other alternative. A few days later an email came from Airbnb asking for my opinion on recent communication with them. I decided to go all out and let them know how I felt.

After I sent in my rant. I figured out if I can't use the service, I don't want them to have link to my social media accounts. So I unlinked both my Google Plus and Facebook account. On a second thought, I tried to trick the system. So I linked both accounts again. And this time it worked. It allowed me to send in my reservation and request to the host I wanted.

I really think there is a glitch in the system. I was disappointed that Airbnb didn't look into my inquiry when I sent them one. If you ever encountered same situation, try what I did and hope it works for you too.

Monday, October 21, 2013

LOL Chicken - San Jose

Our platter of chicken - spicy soy garlic, original flavor and LOL flavor
Finally we had a chance to check this place out. It was opened maybe about 2 months ago. We passed by one day and saw the sign up and thought to ourselves, Korean Fried Chicken ?? yay !!

We got there late around 2 pm and we didn't know that they close at 2:30 and reopen at 4:00. Yeah..I don't know why because during the time we were there were lost opportunities of 2 parties. I don't know too many businesses that run on those hours so I thought it was weird.

Anyhow even though we came in last minute, they were nice to us. We only felt bad when we were brought bill and we were the last one in the restaurant. By then I was pretty much done and just asked for boxes to bag our left over.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Watami - Woodland, Singapore

Beef Yakiniku - rich broth
This time in Singapore we were invited to lunch at a Japanese restaurant at Causeway Point Mall in the neighborhood of Woodland. Walking in the restaurant there were not too many tables occupied so I had a suspicion that the restaurant wasn't exactly just a Japanese fast food restaurant.

When we sat down, we were given a huge menu with so many pictures, prices and options. I let the host decided how we are going to order. I assumed she is more familiar with the whole ordering process. We all looked at the menu and finally my friend Rita called up the waitress and asked about the set menu.

Now I understood a bit more. If you choose from the set menu, pick the menu for 2 or for 4. One could pick either one and add on to it. So Rita picked the menu for 4 which came with certain dishes and certain options that we could choose from.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Padang Restaurant Experience

This is how your table would look like at a Padang restaurant
I asked hubby what is the food that he thinks is a 'must try' for anyone visiting Indonesia. His answer was nasi Padang (Padang style rice).

If you like dishes rich in spices you should try nasi Padang. And even if you don't like spices, you could still try their fried chicken which is different from your typical KFC chicken. If you're in Jakarta, stop by any Padang restaurant which usually says "masakan Minang" (means Minang cuisine).
The closest dish is quail egg with potato, the one to the right is potato with gizzard, middle back is chilli shrimp

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ebisu - San Francisco International Airport

They offer an array of sushi combo, rice bowl and noodle soup. I ordered a bowl of ramen noodle soup. It came in a small plastic bowl with plastic utensil with slices of grilled pork on top side by side with spinach, fish cake etc. It wasn't the best bowl of ramen but it filled the spot. It went well with our cold sandwiches. Err. Sort of.

San Francisco International Airport
Terminal G - food court
(650) 588-2549
Every day 8am - 11:30 pm

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Stroll Through Memory Lane : Indonesia's Food and Fruits

I think I got the name right. The top green part was made of rice flour, coconut milk and sugar. The bottom layer was made of sticky rice, coconut milk with a hint of salt. Really tasty combination.
Jackfruit. The fruit that we took for granted while growing up. Especially hubby. Now living in San Jose, we realize how expensive it can be when we tried to buy it at the Asian grocery store there. 

Jambu. The pinkish color juicy fruit is another fruit that is hard or impossible to come by in the US,

Kok cay. Aka steamed vegetable dumpling. We tried to reconstruct this at home and came pretty close. But these original ones were just awesome.