An Airbnb in Copenhagen: how I went TikTok-viral and teens from the UK said I had the affectations of a cokehead

The second time I went interrailing I booked a reasonably-priced Airbnb in Copenhagen as a stopover on my way to Norway - the date of my stay coincided with my birthday so I decided not to go for the cheapest option.

I knew something was wrong as soon as I turned up: there was a 3ft Buddha statue in the window looking outwards and a TV hanging above him. Stepping inside, my spacious one-room condominium was split in two by heavy-duty curtain. There was a copy of Hokusai’s Great Wave (it was, at least, 6ft on the diagonal) hanging on one wall and a full-height mirror leaning against the wall opposite. The light switches by the door only turned the TV on to display a massage price-list.

Behind the curtain was a massage bed and accompanying accoutrements. Behind the mirror was a light switch, hanging, its live wiring exposed.

The true kicker was the bathroom: there was no bath, there was no shower. It wasn’t even a wet-room. I messaged Anna, my host, to ask about the lack of any kind of washing facilities and she answered with a simple I left you a bucket”. And there it was, under the sink. The tap was extendable: I had to pull the tap out of its socket to turn it into a quasi-shower head.

I recorded the whole thing to upload to my Instagram for my friends to see and laugh at it, and then a few years later I uploaded it to TikTok because I’d remembered what happened. The video went viral and the main takeaway a frightening number of those hundreds of thousands of viewers had was that my sniffle betrayed my raging cocaine addiction.

It was my birthday the next morning and I spent it crouched in a small plastic bucket showering with a bendy sink tap. There was water fucking everywhere and I didn’t actually feel that bad about it.

September 25, 2023