You’d think it was sometimes. A power struggle, that is. A relationship between host and guest is supposed to be symbiotic. If it’s little early in the morning for you to understand such words, here’s the definition. A symbiotic relationship is:
a mutually beneficial relationship between different people or groups
Mutually beneficient. It benefits both. No one is ‘in charge’. There’s no power struggle because both parties realise that there are benefits to both. I don’t want to go all hippy-dippy on you but living in ‘peace and harmony’ is one way to look at it.
Hosts, you have a spare room (or a property) and you’re prepared to rent it out, short-term, to people looking for a few days away from home.
Guests, you are on a pleasure or business trip and you need somewhere pleasant to stay.
No problem there, right?
Well, it seems to be that some hosts seem to forget that their guests are people. Yes, ordinary people and not ignorant monsters. (There are also hosts who expect their guests to be some sort of 21st-century’ super-guests’ who are perfect in every way but that another story).
To this end, I have come across hosts who:
- Insist that their guests do not stay in the accommodation during the day
- Leave instruction notes everywhere -‘remove your shoes!’, ‘do not open this window!’, ‘always close this door!’
- Insist that their guests sort their garbage properly
- Object to couples having sex on their premises and in their sheets
- Allow showers only with a ten minute time limit
- Come up with ambiguous terms – ‘light cooking only’. What is ‘light cooking’? I bet views differ a lot
- Insist that you strip the beds before you leave
The list goes on and on…
Hosts can forget that this is a business transaction. The guest is paying for the privilege of sorting the garbage, not having sex, removing their shoes, having quick showers – this is daft.
If you really, truly, need to have so many rules and if you see the whole malarkey as a power struggle between you as the host and the guest then you’d be better off entering some other profession or business. Hosts are offering hospitality:
1. the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Please, please remember that.