Visitors: Week 2 at Hotel P

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We’re two weeks into Hotel P and almost two groups of visitors through our crazy August visiting season and I am pretty irritated by this week’s guests. They could really teach us a lesson or two in frugalism! It raises the question though, when does being frugal impact on other people as tight-fisted and is there a time when it is not ok to exercise frugalism with others?

These guests I could not class as friends, or as people I know. I met them a few years ago when I first moved here and they are currently making their holiday out of traveling through Europe, staying only with friends, couchsurfing or sleeping in their car/camping when none of the other options are available.

The reason why I got irritated first is, because I found out that the reason they wanted to stay with us is because one of them needs to sit an exam here in the city tomorrow. I was not told this straight out. They constantly meet with other friends and are only really using us as a place to eat and sleep and chat to us only when their other friends do a no-show. Talk about using someone!

They don’t put their hand in their pocket for groceries and just last night said that they hoped that their hosts would “look after them and bring them out to eat and buy drinks for them”. When I said in the nicest way possible that I won’t be doing that, the response was “well, I guess that will be cheaper for you then”. Rage! They eat every slice of lemon and every grain of salt given to them, no exaggeration. I think this is the only weekend ever where I am counting down to going back to work on Monday.

What’s worse is that they told us that they are saving €2000 a month between them – far more than we are able to (and so could well afford to stay in a hotel). The girl has beautiful clothes and extremely expensive beauty products. I only let them stay because this person really begged me to let them (confession: I ignored them twice) and with a soft heart I gave in and let them. I think I can’t do this again!
I have had couchsurfers stay with me before years ago, with no problems. Really grateful people. These last few weeks with non-stop visitors it feels more like they are just trying to have a cheap holiday at my house. What is also irritating is people arriving to the house unwell – TMI warning! (conjunctivitis and thrush) I have been on top hygiene alert for my poor boyfriend and I. This is so stressful! And it is irritating to receive comments such as “the last time I stayed at your house I got a verucca” (neither I nor my boyfriend have veruccas!?) and complaints that the food I cook give upset stomachs… Readers. If you ever check out my menu plan, you will see that I really cook, and not junk and my house gets cleaned weekly and my bath almost after every use.

I think as a guest you should bring a suitable gift for your host depending on the amount of time you are staying there (doesn’t have to be expensive) and/or to treat them to dinner for their kindness of letting you stay at their home, and not that the host should always have to be the person wining and dining their guests. I mean this particularly for prolonged stays of more than a weekend. Similarly, our last guest also did not put their hand in their pocket the whole time for things like this. It is also fine for the guest to offer to cook them dinner or breakfast in their home, but not to use up all the host’s own food in doing this.

I would love to know how you deal with these more difficult visitors. Do you have specific rules for how long they can stay? Does other people’s frugality bother you? I am always really interested to read your comments!

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9 comments

  1. They are cheapskates, not frugal people and there is a difference. I think I would have a hard time letting them stay to the end of the duration based on what you have written – I completely agree when you are a guest in someone’s home you offer to buy groceries for the meal, bring a gift, lend a hand- and definitely don’t overstay your welcome. How terrible!

  2. I think they are frugal for themselves and by their own standards, but not that all frugal people are cheapskates. Certainly not. Kindness has nothing to do with material things.

    It got worse though, whereby they asked where the end of the bottle of wine went (that i presumed was a gift for us so we drank it). On hearing this there was an awkward moment and, “oh, that was ours…”

    Roll on Monday… hope your weekend was lots better Cheapchick!

  3. This is just rudeness, sounds like you are being used. Very much used. I haven’t had good luck in the past with couchsurfers myself. My experiences were of people taking advantage, not helping out, and overstaying their welcome. My guests now are usually family, specifically my adult children and their families which is much better as they were raised by me and I instilled my values into them.

    I did have one time when I was the couchsurfer. We lost our home in a fire and ended up staying with a friend. I was a single mother as was she. I freely babysat for her in that month saving her plenty of money, prepared dinner (often bought the fixing). She forbid me from doing dishes as it is relaxing to her, but did admit coming home to a prepared dinner each night was a treat to her.

    I think that is the answer when one doesn’t have the funds to pay for lodging (which I didn’t as I had to find a home and replace everything). You try to impose as little as possible and give back for the gift they are giving you.

    Re the wine: I would have repsonded that we were even and named something they ate/drank that I bought. :-)

  4. Oh dear. All this not four minutes after I told my sister (who I’ve been staying with for the last week) that I’m getting a coldsore. Oh well, it’s different staying with family. :) I even mentioned to her just today that I feel bad because since they now live a bit further from the supermarket, I can never just offer to walk down to pick up a few bits (refusing to take money when I get back) or pop to the bakery, for example. But I did spend a couple of hours yesterday making pastry for her to have in the freezer, so that’s something at least. LOL
    I don’t really have too much of a problem with guests as only family or very good friends ever come to visit. When you know you’ll be sleeping on the couch, you have to really want to come, I suppose. :) Sounds like a nightmare and I’m sure you were glad to see the back of them!

  5. Sorry for the slow reply Moonwaves, don’t worry – that is your sister and that is very different in my book! We are still quite irritated from some of last weekend’s escapades, but looking forward to next week’s visitors when we will travel down to Saxony Switzerland for a couple of days of R&R :) Hope your coldsore has subsided. The last time I got one I ended up spending something kike €11 on a cream in the chemist’s only to hear from a colleague that there are plasters and other generic brands that are cheaper and better.

  6. Sorry as well LivingSimplyFree for the late response to your comment (I always love to get comments, don’t you?). Yes this was being used, an abuse of kindness, but I looked at it as “paying it forward” and am trying to forget about it.

    Gosh, you lost your home in a fire? That must have been a dreadful experience :( I always find though, in my life, in the depths of when you think the worst part is happening, there is always a friend who shows up to help you. I’m sure she was also glad of the little bit of help in the household, as you were of a roof over your head. I agree that there is a definite obligation to try to “earn your keep” so to speak in whatever way that you can in such a situation where you are staying with someone – even family. It is basic common courtesy.

    I find it so hard to “confront” her like that, it would not enter my mind to “back-cheek” her (as my mum would call it) and tell her that we were even now. Although for other people it is completely no problem to say something like that and you’re 100% correct, speaking my mind when someone is putting me down is something I struggle with and makes me unhappy in myself when I fail to do it. I have been having some behavioural therapy to help me, and find that I am slowly getting better but standing up for myself but it is something I’m learning as an adult. This is why for me something like this, such an abuse of my kindness is extra irritating for me because it feels like a step backward when I have had so many steps forward.

    Paying it forward. Moving on :)

  7. Don’t apologize! I take weekends off and while I look forward to comments I have let everyone know my weekends are computer free and I will respond when the weekend is over.

    I tend to hold my tongue until I’m pushed too far, then my tongue can be quite nasty. It takes a lot, but your house guest would have pushed every wrong button I have.

    It was wonderful to have such a roof over our heads when we were homeless. As our children were best friends it worked out well. My friend brought a camper right up to the kitchen door and ran electricity to it so there would be enough beds to go around. My eldest and her one son usually slept out there, and we had the windows open so where we slept we could always hear them (of course they were 17 at the time).

    Her daughter wanted to learn a few recipes I make for meals and would join me in preparing meals. I didn’t have a daughter so it was nice to have her company. This young girl (14) was trying to make the adjustment to a vegetarian diet, as I was a vegetarian she didn’t feel so out of place.

    In the end, we all learned more about compromise and I believe we were all better for the experience.

  8. I know, you’re totally right, and I apologise way too much! LOL! I’m trying to change that! the weekend is the only time I seem to get for my blog recently, which is kind of sad. I just work too much during the week.

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