Ms. Lu came banging on the hostel’s doors at 5:00 AM. The owner saw her on his CCTV monitor after hearing his dog’s persistent barking on that fateful early morning of the 24th of October.
Groggy, Kris, the owner, recognized the guest the first time he saw her on the monitor. She came days before to check the property but that doesn’t matter anymore so he quickly walked down with pajamas and slippers and boom! The usual quiet ‘pre-dusk’ morning turned into ‘war zone’. In her Chinese tongue she screamed and said things the owner can only comprehend but will to understand her situation. The owner was caught flat-footed because she was not to check in until 2 PM and so he tried to plead and almost got caught up with the bad situation.
The active, 70-year old lady calmed after several prodding, convinced that Crossroads Hostel Manila did its part to get in touch with her the day before. The hostel sent her an SMS message via long-distance — reminding her to get in touch because the property does not operate 24/7.
She apparently changed her SIM from China to a local one. (Editor’s Note: For guests who do not know, CHM is not a 24-7 property. Meaning, it’s not a regular hotel where you can just come in during the “dead-hours” of the night to get a place to stay. The company wishes it were but it cannot. It only gets a few number of red-eye flight guests and it won’t be wise to keep on paid daily salary.) But the good thing was, she relented. She noticed how much ‘beating’ the owner got and how he absorbed each verbal blows she made, he didn’t retaliate. In the end, she surprised the owner by saying in broken English, “You go up and you go to sleep. I stay here and rest (pointing at the couch).” She knows her time is not until 2 PM but the owner changed tacked and asked if she will leave any time at sunrise because she might go again without any keys to the hostel. The owner registered her promptly knowing that she will leave sometime 8 AM to tour Metro Manila.
All of this happened and finished before 6 AM — but no more sleeping. The owner has to prepare for the day.
Ms. Lu stayed for the next two nights but the owner made sure to help her with her inquiries because of the language barrier. He helped her by asking what her purpose was to be in Manila and what her plans were. He helped her by suggesting places where to go and how much she should spend on transportation knowing there are ‘vultures’ who may prey on unsuspecting guests like her who doesn’t know what the “system” is for such public transportation drivers who’d offer her a ride. The owner also helped her by introducing Google Translate app where one can choose the language to translate by just speaking to it. Technology did a lot of wonders and help the two varied languages but the owner and guest suddenly that culturally, there is less to be afraid of and more to take part of. Ms. Lu quickly realized that the owner went for it and what happened to fer first night of stay was an isolated incident. Quickly, both understood the short-comings of each other and both accepted each other’s mistakes and quickly turned it into a friendship.
Ms. Lu was supposed to return a night later to the hostel but she cancelled all her plans and extended one more night to bridge the two other nights that she already pre-booked using booking.com. All in all, she stayed five nights.
She left the hostel with the owner feeling sad knowing what he experienced from the ageing woman may be an emotional roller coaster ride but a wonderful opportunity to let the woman understand that she has a home away from home in Crossroads Hostel Manila.
The woman left the owner a gift and even told him that she reminded him of her host back in Spain where she stayed in April this year where the owner was as meticulous and details in making sure the guest was treated well.
The owner is by no means a ‘legendary superhero’ superman and this is not to say that he’s perfect. The owner swears he’s far from that.
He said this story is about respect. This story, he said, is about care and no matter what the situation is — every thing got well and it was resolved because each one knows there’s power in humility and it is in this advantage that every other businesses can thrive knowing there’s always room for improvement. There’s a story to be learned and Crossroads Hostel is brimming with treasures of discoveries that happened and will be waiting to happen.
Ms. Lu used booking.com to reserve her space with Crossroads Hostel Manila. Discover booking.com, discover Crossroads Hostel Manila.