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It finally happened! Non english speaking guests started cooking my food for breakfast... LOL

I’m in my third summer of hosting in Brooklyn. I state clearly I don’t provide breakfast only because I’ve read in various forums how some guests get angry: “this is a BNB, how come there’s no BREAKFAST?!” I didn’t actually have anyone expect breakfast from me ever! Well, this morning the guests that checked in last night that I hadn’t actually met in person yet (their flight from Italy was delayed and I had already gone to sleep) were rustling around my kitchen, messing with the stove so I came out to introduce myself. She was getting ready to cook my last 2 eggs and found frozen hot dog buns in my freezer!! She also located my tea bags and jam. I am a typical single lady in NYC subsisting on eating out and delivery so those last 2 eggs happened to be expiring today and she’s lucky I had any bread in the freezer as leftovers from my last BBQ.

Anyway, it was clear she didn’t speak any English and her husband was not any better so I took out the google translate and said “I don’t provide breakfast or even allow frying on the stove, all stated in my airbnb listing. Have you read the house rules?” He said yes he did but there was just so many and they’ve stayed in many airbnbs in europe and it was custom to be provided breakfast and this is their first time in America and he didn’t know it was different here etc. I insisted they eat the breakfast they started to prepare but expressed I was embarrassed I didn’t have more food to provide!

We kept it jovial and amicable but wow I’ve never been more thankful for only allowing short stays! They only have 2 more nights and so far are doing most things wrong but are very nice. For instance they showered with the entire shower curtain layers inside the tub (I am crazy about separating the inner plastic liner inside tub while fabric liner stays outside tub.) They used my clothing dryer rack as a luggage rack (I already provide one luggage rack and I suppose they assumed this other thing I kept in their closet was the back up, flimsy luggage rack.) And they keep shutting the bathroom door and leaving lights on when I insist on airing it out, door open when not in use.

Should I go get some groceries so they can have some good bread the next two mornings? I mean I don’t even know what “people” eat for breakfast at home. I usually just buy an egg sandwich or bagel at the deli on the way to school!

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Funny! Short stays work! In Italy breakfast is bread, jam, butter and strong coffee usually, and orange flavored croissants.

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I would go pick up a few things for them - if you want to- if it would bring you joy, because you know it was just a mistake and you want to be generous. But there’s no obligation to.

Otherwise, it seems like they can pick up what they want for themselves - there’s no shortage of markets, right? They could even find Italian markets easily; I imagine. Maybe you could give them the address to a few places.

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Good thing about people who’ve never been to NYC, they are already out for the day doing tourist stuff. I think I will go get some better bread and bagels and some cheese and cold cuts that would appeal to Italians. They are lucky they got me on the weekend and I don’t have a lot of tests coming up this week, I have time to pick something up! (But yes there’s food galore right outside my door. I always just figured visitors would want to eat famous New York type foods, not typical boring breakfast stuff at my house.)

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If you do go spend the money, I sure hope they leave you a glowing review. Just make sure it’s what you can eat in case they bring back some groceries…and now you have this extra food.

Someone enlighten me please…is it an Italian cultural thing to just go rummaging through a host’s fridge and assuming it is help yourself?

I can understand they may have stayed at other Airbnbs and maybe some were self-serve. But the fact that they hadn’t met you yet…on top of you having a bare bones refrigerator - I just think it’s a bit weird. What if that was all the food you could afford and they were eating your last two eggs??? - EEK.

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Just be sure you don’t pick up the “well-stocked kitchen” tag on your listing.

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There’s a tag for “well stocked”? I need the opposite of that: “condiments and gingerale”.

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I’m having a similar situation going on… (and I excuse my misspelling in advance, because I’ve had some homework from the fellow hosts lately:))). I’m happy to host you in several other languages than English.) I provided fruits, bread, coffee etc. for a guest who had a long flight to Europe: I also showed her the local supermarkets where she could buy some food for the breakfast. This morning she left early and took some fruits from our kitchen… I think she just thought that the the breakfast is included - in the neigbourhood this is provided with 40$ plus. I’ll get her some bread, fruits when she leaves tomorrow saying it is something extra I’m giving her before her flight - but this was also a lesson to me: as some of you have said: don’t provide anything if you don’t want them to expect even more. But I could’t have received a person from such a long flight without giving her some food…

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No, this is silly, dont do it. How is it that you feel guilty about not having any food at your house. You dont provide breakfast, you told them that. I wish i was there, i speak italian. EVEN if you provided breakfast , they still needed to ASK you, How is it even acceptable for them just to reach into someone’s fridge without permission. Unbeilevable!!

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ANd why not? Do hotels have food ready available for their guests?
When i travel i buy energy bars to “survive” before i have a meal.

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Yana…you crack me up. I would love to hear a recording of you letting the Italians have it…ha!

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Yana, I know. I really should think more like this, ‘it’s not a hotel’ - that will be my new mantra. Thank you for this reality check!

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Actually, no, its not in Italian culture. And in my culture its unheard of to go through someone’s fridge. Its like commiting a household felony use someone’s food without asking.
Italians are hospitable people but when i stayed in Italy in Airbnbs, there was nothing there, not even fruits. And NO ONE provided me breakfast. And i travelled whole Europe, only 3 countries i never visited, the rest i ve been to, and not in one country i had breakfast offered. Only one guy in Ireland offered me coffee and toast.

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This is also a new perspective, that’s why I appreciate this forum! I suppose why I want to buy groceries is to make the situation less awkward and I would buy stuff I like to eat. The other thing I’ve noticed with NYC tourists is that they might go to the grocery store the first day to stock up on yogurt, cheese, granola etc and by the next morning they never touch anything again because they realize how there’s much better food to be found outside at restaurants or even Shake Shack once they get oriented to the city. Then I get left with a bunch of leftovers!

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In New York everything is so inexpensive too. Especially on Brighton beach. You can have homemade meals for really a few dollars.
You did not make a situation awkward, they did! I would not feel awkward even for a second. Let them feel awkward.
They did not read the rules because there was so much. Pleese, thats why you wrote SO MUCH for people like them. ANd they are not telling the truth about Eurpoians offering breakfast. I ve been to at least 30 Europian countries

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DOnt take me wrong, i love Italy and italians, and i love the language, and i had italians staying with me only because they did not speak English and i speak Italian. I even have my listing in italian version. ANd some of them were characters,some were sweethearts. But noone ramaged through my fridge. One couple i made eat my food, and have tons of coffee because i am always eager to practice Italian, so i would not let them go and see sites, instead kept on blabbing. They even wrote in my review that i am “pronta a parlare”, which means very talkative, hehe

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I’m with @Yana_Agapova - I don’t think we should be going out of our way to appease guests that don’t read the listing and expect extras. You really don’t want the top review on your listing to say something “we cooked every day” if you don’t want guests cooking in your house.

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And by the way Italians do not usually eat eggs for breakfast, lol. Its usually “dolce” con cafe, which means some sweet pastry with coffee.
Lucy, exactly, what if they put in their review that you gave them breakfast?

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This is MY sentiment exactly! You have this in your rules… NO COOKING, No breakfast provided either, yet they are making themselves at home like they rented the whole place and the last renters left them two eggs. Because you are on subsistence income, this is especially egregious!

I would NOT go and buy them anything… They are clueless with what they are doing in your house too. And you want to go buy them more food???

Just no! What if you did, and they smacked you for something else in a review??

Just watch them go and leave you a crap review.

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No! They made the situation awkward for YOU!

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