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Staying with strangers overseas... What would you do?

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Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:42 PM
  #1
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Staying with strangers overseas... What would you do?

I have changed the names in this story, so they will not be recognized.

I have a friend who participates on a web forum dedicated to agilty dog enthusiasts.
She has been a participant for 2 years or so...
Last year she decided to plan a 2008 trip to Edinburgh with a few days at the end to visit the rural home of one of her web buddies.
They planned and planned. My friend bought stuff for the online friend and her family.
Everything went off without a hitch.
She had a great visit in Edinburgh and hopped on a train for the 2.5 hour ride to the countryside.
Her buddy picked her up on schedule and they drove back to her house.
This is where the story takes a turn for the worse...
The house is a shambles. It's very old (which is ok) but pretty messy on the outside. She crosses her fingers, praying that the inside is cleaner than the outside.
It's not.
The family has 4 young kids, 2 huge dogs and the husband living inside the 300 year old house.
It's pretty much just a wreck, stuff everywhere, dogs allowed in/out without concern. The floors very, very dirty.
The people are very nice and the children are adorable.
My friend is not a clean freak. In fact, she stayed out of her kids rooms for years because she just did not want that to be a conflict
She headed to the loo shortly after arrival and found it had a window with no shade and a door with no lock. This freaked her out!
She slept in one of the kids beds, with her own pillow.
The next day, the mom told her that the kids may have lice.
They cooked a meal of lamb the first night and did not refrigerate the leftovers... then ate on it the next day.
She was scheduled for 3 full days...
What would you do?
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:50 PM
  #2
HKP
 
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Get an urgent phone call from home asking me to meet a relative in Glasgow a.s.a.p.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Are you telling me, an adult agreed to stay with people she'd never met in person??

The main rule of Internet meetings: first time in a SAFE public place.

I would try to get out of this situation, even if it means hurt feelings. And a hurt wallet.

Can she get to the closest town and rent a room? Call a taxi, or ask these people to take her shopping?

Even if it means leaving some things behind, I would just run away. Who knows how her health will be damaged, and for how long!
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:53 PM
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Oh, HKP has a better idea
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 02:55 PM
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I think I might say there's a hotel I've been excited to check out or that I decided, perhaps, that I needed something a bit more restful and private as I had been around lots of people on the "tour" before the visit (...or that I'm allergic to lice...)

Tricky situation.
If I was enjoying the visit, I might just stay but opt to treat them out to dinner.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:15 PM
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Yeah, not sure why she thought this would be a good idea.

Anyway, I think once she was told there was lice, all bets are off. I would have no problem asking them to drive me to a hotel. And if they were to get offended, who cares? They're clearly batsh!t crazy and not worth having a relationship with anyway.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:20 PM
  #7
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I'll tell you what she did soon...
OTOH, I have had people stay with me that I have never met.
Penpals from Japan and Germany. That was before the internet so we only had letters and a few photos.
The German's (family of 4) stayed for 3 weeks, the Japanese couple stayed 2 weeks.
I think it is pretty common, really.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:23 PM
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I'd act like I was kind of ill, didn't want them to catch it and check in elsewhere and meet them for dinner at a restaurant.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 03:54 PM
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Yeah, I'd tell a lie, any lie, and get the heck outta there.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:47 PM
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I hope she took bear spray.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 05:56 PM
  #11
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She stayed...

The buddy got a little drunk Saturday night. My friend did not drink.
Sunday morning was a bit awkward and my friend decided to scram well before her train back. Luckily she got to the station just in time to catch one that got her back in time for an extra day of sight seeing.
Lesson learned.
She loved those little kids and wanted to bring them home!
The girls (3 of them) had never had their hair fixed up and my friend spent a lot of time creating spectacular winding french braids. Yes... lice and all. BTW, she did not SEE any lice or nits.
She treated her hair as soon as she got back to town and scratched all the way home!
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 06:39 PM
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Geez. I don't even like to stay with people I know.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:23 PM
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That is totally nasty and gross. If someone told me the kids had lice and did not offer to put me up elsewhere I"d be out of there with NO GUILT WHATSOEVER.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:44 PM
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I would take it as a hint when the mom suddenly pops up with the lice story. Whew! Time to ask for a ride into town and do let me buy you some lice shampoo. If they decline, then you know the feeling was mutual if they accept then I'd pick up an extra bottle.

Also, never schedule 3 days at someone's house that you've never been to before or you haven't seen in years.

I have a very good friend whom I've known since high school. Although, I talk with my friend on the phone and she's visited my home, I haven't been to the Bay Area in years.
She must be the last living Californian to smoke. It was awful, I love her dearly but I book a hotel the next time.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Yeah, I would have lied and said I got an urgent phone call and had to leave.

Your friend is a saoint for giving the girls a nice do before whe left. I'm iching my scalp just thinking about it.

I have an old friend that had just an amazing hovel of a house about a mile out in the country from a small city. Sure showed how ignorant I was that I didn't realize educated intelligent folks would live in such a mess. Luckily, he knew there wasn't anywhere to sleep and suggested we bring a tent and sleeping bags. That worked out fine but my goodness that bathroom was icky - and with a curtain instead of a door. Wow. I've lived with pit toilets and stayed with friends off the grid that had more liveable places than that. BUT, it worked for my friend and his life style and that is okay. Haven't been back to stay 'though!

Your friend dealt with it really well I think!
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Jun 4th, 2008, 08:27 AM
  #16
dmlove
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Luckily, he knew there wasn't anywhere to sleep and suggested we bring a tent and sleeping bags.

At which point, I would have said -- is there a nearby motel?
 
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Jun 4th, 2008, 09:00 AM
  #17
 
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Dear lovely friends invited us to stay with them for a few days on our trip back to my home town. Luckily, we declined.

When we were last there, they had quite a few cats and a couple of unruly dogs. This time, when we arrived for dinner the smell of cat greeted us in the driveway. You know that children's book by Wanda Gag? The refrain goes: "Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats."
My dear friend had gone from a cat nut to a cat crazy.

My husband pretended an unusual interest in the frog sounds from nearby forest, spent most of the evening outside.
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Jun 4th, 2008, 10:46 AM
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So then she goes and fixes the girl's hair after finding out about lice infestation.

Is there a punch line coming?
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Jun 4th, 2008, 11:21 AM
  #19
 
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Lice don't jump onto fingers. I think it was sweet and kind.
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