If you grew up in India, there are good chances you were told over and over again on how guests visiting our homes should be treated like Gods and under no circumstance should they be inconvenienced. We were constantly told to go out of the way to make them feel welcomed and at home. Good advice I think, but I also think we are clearly missing something here?
Well, for starters, nobody “advices” with as much dramatic details on how one should act as a house guest. How one should reciprocate for all the efforts the hosts put in would be commonsense one would think, but unfortunately it’s not. So let’s walk through the basics now;
1.No recycled gifts please, especially ones concealed in Amazon packets:
Contrary to what one many think, it’s easy to recognise a recycled /used gift from a new one, even if it comes out of another recycled Amazon packet, masquerading as a brand new packet.
2. Be more considerate, especially if you are bringing children along:
Kids are fun for 5 min, beyond which they are a big chore. And before anyone could forget, the kids are not the hosts’ headache. So do not assume they would happily babysit your kids. Do not stay beyond a day or two if you have to make the host babysit them. If by any unfortunate circumstance, the children destroy or spoil anything at the host’s place, offer to replace it or get it deep cleaned, do not walk away like it’s nobody’s business.
3. Do not complain :
Do not like something about the host’s home? Don’t speak a word about it, unless you offer to replace it with something better for your host, if not, just zip it.
4. Just a reminder, It’s not your home, it’s the host’s EOD :
You may have been asked to feel at home, make yourself at home even, either ways it’s hugely different from “making it your home”. Unless you did contribute to building a big portion of it or sponsored the expensive furniture or something.
5. The host is not your maid nor cook, let me repeat, the host is not your maid nor cook:
If the host still offers to cook or clean up after you, it just means the host is being nice. It doesn’t mean you can demand your host to continue doing it day in and out tirelessly. And it’s not nice to make a face when the host is tired.
6. On a similar vein, the host’s maid is not your maid:
The host employs the maid, just FYI. If you make the maid work harder than she has to, remember the host is at the risk of losing that maid. And also remember if you made the maid do extra work, it’s bare minimum that before you leave you have to tip the maid.
7. If there isn’t a grocery item you want in the home, before you taunt the host or crib about it constantly (or do both without any consideration for the host’s feelings), pick up your Goddamn phone and order for it. Everyone has Swiggy, they do quick grocery delivery btw. Or just politely request the host to do so.
The host is not supposed to read your mind and stock up everything you want in advance.
8. Never comment on the host’s way of life. You have been allowed entry into the home of the host, doesn’t mean the host is now ok with unsolicited advice or opinions from you.
Unless the host volunteers information, do not ask. Even if the host volunteers information about their personal life, do not seat yourself on a moral stand and pass comments based out outdated belief systems.
9. The host is not an unlimited vending machine.
It’s nice to be a taker, especially when the host is seemingly able to afford to give, but it’s also a nice gesture to be a giver sometimes. Yes beyond the recycled gift that is. Just sayin.
10. It’s a home, do not expect to receive hotel like service.
You are not paying for it remember? So as a home, it’s bound to have flaws, like fluctuating power, noisy mornings, neighbors ringing bells, maids coming to clean etc. So if your sleep or mid day nap is disturbed and you want to speak your mind out about this to your host, don’t! If you still want to, be ready to just pack up your bags and go to a hotel the next minute.
In today’s world, when everyone is pressed for time and resources, just don’t be anyone’s guest if you don’t want to be a good one.