Over the weekend I had my first experience with Airbnb, an “online service that provides a platform for individuals referred to as ‘hosts,’ generally private parties, to rent unoccupied living space and other short-term lodging to guests” [wikipedia]. My mother-in-law wanted to rent a house in Philadelphia for seven people to share while in town for a wedding, and she asked her daughter (my wife) to make the arrangements. On the positive side, Valerie reported that it was very easy to search for housing and to make a reservation, and my mother-in-law had no trouble getting the keys and gaining entry at the start of the reservation. The house was clean when she arrived, and the owner left documentation about operating essentials (such as the Wi-Fi password!). On the negative side, it felt very weird to be in a stranger’s house for a couple of days, and I slept horribly each night. Of course, in many cultures it is perfectly normal to spend time in a stranger’s house — and it is also an everyday occasion to take in strangers — but I have to say that I prefer to stay in hotels or with friends. I’m glad that I tried the concept, but I don’t think it’s for me.