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The house guest from hell and how to avoid being one (part1/2)

 This piece is prompted by a conversation with a good friend who had the “house guests from hell”. It was an awful experience. She has recently moved to Singapore and her husband works from home. Their very good friends (a family with two youngish children) arrived for a two-week visit.

 What made it such a hellish experience? Well, to give you some background, my friend and her family have a fairly fixed routine (as one of their two children is very ill)— meals served at fixed times, they are early sleepers and early risers.

 Their guests would wake up at 10.30 am, surface leisurely, and the children would start asking for breakfast at about 11. This is when the house help would be trying to get things organized for lunch. Disruption. The children were allowed to pretend that the beds were trampolines, allowed to eat crisps and sweets as they walked through the house, trailing crumbs as they walked. Hello… ants!

  Then, at about five in the evening, they would leave to go sightseeing. All the while, my friend’s husband would be trying to get work done, shut up in his study but the noise was distracting. The guest would return from sightseeing at nine, by which time the hosts would have eaten dinner, or waited, getting hungrier (and angrier). The guests would have their dinner (again, disrupting the household) and settle in for the night. Swimming, playing noisy ball games in the pool till two am (knowing, full well, that the bedroom windows overlook the pool) and generally keeping the household awake.

 Gentle hints from my poor friend fell on deaf ears.

 After a week, my friend asked them to leave. Many recriminations… and the damage to what had been a good relationship is now irreparable. The guests could simply not understand what they had done wrong, and accused my friend of being too picky and bothered about trivial things.

 This led me to reflect that sometimes even a very good friendship may not survive a house visit, that a relationship can be damaged by different routines, different living habits when you are staying together.

 The sad thing is that most of the people that I talked to all had their own version of the “house guest from hell”.  When I asked them if they had said anything to the guest during the visit- most of the time the answer was “no….. how you can say anything when they are your guests”. For most people, having to tell a guest to do / not to do anything is just too unpleasant. More often than not, the hosts will just “endure” a bad situation and wait for the visit to be over (soon!)  The “house guest from hell” leaves, (in most cases) blissfully unaware that the host is muttering to himself “never again!!!”

 What are the things one should be aware of as a house guest? Part two tells you…

  1. Hi,
    Hope all is well with you.
    Alice, Part two should be more interesting !
    Cheers !
    God Bless.

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