Full disclosure, I’m an American married to a Brit.
America is huge. I grew up in rural PA, and I didn’t see foreign currency until I was in 5th grade. Until then, while I knew other countries existed, it was in the vague way you know there were Crusades and world wars and maybe dragons. (Pennsylvania is the size of England and Scotland, with no ocean access.)
I was lucky to get out of my country at a young enough age to still see difference as interesting and not a problem that needs to be corrected. (Note: this is not me slamming old people. I’ve just noticed, in myself, a creeping sense of discomfort at new differences which I’ve been working hard to counter.) But the country is huge, and even if you do achieve escape velocity, you still see McDonald’s everywhere. So it is easy to understand how Americans who don’t think about it, might assume you don’t know how to Do Things Right (where “right” is American. My phone just tried to autocorrect American to Aryan. Sigh.)
Also, politeness is taught locally but not valued in the larger culture. I think it’s about social hierarchy. The higher you are on the power totem pole, the less polite you “have” to be (to avoid negative consequences). Because we’re all about individuality, you can’t rely on your social network/ government to take care of you, so you have to use every advantage you’ve got to appear as high in the power structure as you can in order to be safe/respected/ not have your babies eaten.
If someone else is cleaning your sheets, they count as blue collar/ working/ serving class, and by being rude/correcting them, you affirm that you are above them in social station. (Especially if you’re already sensitive that you couldn’t afford a hotel, and are having to slum it in someone else’s house.)
Insecurity breeds rudeness.
Other random but related thought I’ve been thinking about: Airbnb has shifted their messaging from “live like a local” (share my home and neighborhood, see how things here are different from where you come from) to “be at home anywhere” (whatever it is that means “home” to you, we will recreate it wherever you go. There will be comforting sameness)
This second tagline is so much harder, because it involves psychic powers on behalf of the host.
… those are my deep thoughts for the day.
(Even before we hosted, I still left a nice review for the guest house we stayed in. But only because my mother in law told me to, and she’s better brought up than i am. i also told the host the bed was lumpy and when she said No one else has complained I showed her the black bruise the size of a goose egg on my side.)