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Okay - this is weird

We have had guests with very weak English stay for two or three days. It was never that big a deal.

But we now have a trio that have no English whatsoever, and will be here for two weeks (over Christmas & New Years). Their daughter is studying here, has excellent English, and arranged the booking. (Note that based on other threads here warning about excessive kitchen use, we got that clarified well before her parents arrived, so that is not an issue.)

I’ve somewhat belatedly realized that one of our main strengths is being very helpful and informative - but we can’t help these people with anything! I’ve shown them some maps, but beyond that, we’re dead in the water.

It’s just weird having these people staying in our house when we can’t talk to them about anything - and it’s going to be for two weeks! I asked their daughter to let us know if there’s anything at all they aren’t happy with, but that will clearly lack immediacy. And also will make it impossible to have those little quick chats about what they’re up to and how long they’ll be out and so on. This is kind of important to us because we restock food and do light cleaning when our guests are out.

So even though they seem like very nice people, I’m kind of resenting having them here already, and it’s only been one day.

One other odd thing - they’re Mexican. Trump can build all the damn walls he wants, it won’t mean shit to these people. They obviously have no interest whatsoever in leaving Mexico.

Put the google translate app on your phone. It translates spoken words.

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Well I am Cuban and if you need any help with Spanish I would be more then happy to help you out. A few things that might make it better for you is to learn a few phrases like Buenos Dias (good day) and Buneos Noche (good night). Also todo bein(everything good) will at least give you a little intro into a bit of communication.

Also google translate can speak a phrase out and if they have a iPhone or smart phone you might be able to figure each other out. We stayed at Zlin, Chec Republic in a pension uno where almost no one in the town spoke English and we got by. Our host spoke little English but we had a pocket translator, we communicate that way for the enter 2 weeks we were there.

This seems to be the same scenario that Our friend Kasage faced with his guest, a son who booked a place for the parents, who spoke no English. I think I would only limit my rental to people who book directly, because you don’t know who the actual people will end up being.

But of course that doesn’t help you now. Hopefully they will be happy and quiet and stay to themselves? I get the whole idea about resentfulness. Im starting to get that way with guests. I sure am thrilled to have their cash and having to put up with some things like door slamming (going on right now) makes up for it.

My guests coming today obviously did not read my instructions. “We will be at your place right around lunchtime!” Uummm no you won’t. I have a back to back cleaning. He wrote back saying he didn’t realize there was a check in time of 4. This is an experienced air bnb traveler or so he says. But I can tell I am going to have to make my house rules really clear, in person when he arrives, because he obviously did not read a single thing. Hopefully he will be a good guest over Christmas week. He had good reviews! But then so did the witch from Alberta.

I agreed to an unusually early check-in time with these people: 8:00 AM. They were taking an overnight flight, and I didn’t want to come off as being a total hard-ass. But it did really throw off my own sleeping pattern, which has been weird lately. I often don’t get to bed until 4:00 AM. Anyway, it makes it seem like they’ve been here longer than they have.

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Thank you for your offer. But as I say, it’s an immediacy thing - I can use Google Translate (and often do when arranging bookings). It’s the quick off-the-cuff communication that’s problematical. If there’s anything complicated, I can ask them via their daughter, but that will entail a time-lag of hours. And I’ve just encountered a weird issue: I was doing some light clean-up while they were out, and in general there was nothing unusual, but they did seem to be going through (pardon-the-pun) shitloads of toilet paper. One wad in the waste bucket, that’s like six inches from the actual toilet, had shit on it. Pretty sure, I didn’t sniff it, but holy crap! How on earth do I even ask the daughter about that??

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Thanks for the tip. I don’t have an iPhone though. Mobile rates are really extortionate in Canada, so even though I could afford one, I refuse to fork over the money. And I actually have a background in IT, working in software development for cell phones.The Canadian providers have a semi-monopoly and really cream it - pisses me off no end.

It will probably work out fine. Just lack of sleep and so on were getting to me. I like to have easy informal communication with our guests, and this is the first time when it seems like that might not be possible. We’ve had a lot of guests from France and have been regretting that our French is crap (my wife used to be fluent), so we’ve been thinking about taking refresher courses, but Spanish isn’t that common here. We have immediate neighbours that speak Polish, Russian and Ukrainian - and Chinese are all over the place - but Spanish is rare.

Damn!!! We AirBnB hosts encounter the damndest things! I often hear guest snorting snot in the shower. GROSS. I mean, people can be sooooo gross. I often worry I may find the unmentionable sinus content stuck in the sink or shower… and sad to say, I have found worse. Stuck in the walls, where I have actually had to use an implment of some kind to de-stick it. Ewwwwww.

As for your pooey paper in the trash… I have a couple of ideas about what this could be. In some parts of the world, paper is not allowed in public plumbing systems. Therefore cans are provided for the disposal of said choco charmin. I discovered this in Korea while visiting this year. Not only was there no paper provided in a very old subway station loo where I had to go, there was an intercom in each stall which was for calling the janitor in if you did happen to clog. (I learned this later, after foolishly thinking I was calling for more paper, and a guy answered in Korean! I went running out, not bothering to wipe, and just drip drying!)

Or, maybe in Spain they don’t flush every time. Here at some of our Hawaii beach houses, which are on rain tanks, we have the rule of if it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down! (So brown should have gone down!)

Don’t you love this forum? Where else are you going to go to get opinions on toilet decorum? :slight_smile:

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Oh shit! Pun intended. Where does the daughter live - Canada? I’m wondering why she wouldn’t explain to them the cultural difference with how to handle poo poo paper.

Thanks to everybody that contributed to this topic. They no doubt thought they were being good guests, not overloading the plumbing - and I was wondering what the heck is wrong with them. So now I at least understand what might be going on - that gives me an opening to broach the topic with their daughter if it happens again. The third member of their party is a much younger daughter, so perhaps it was her.

You have my sympathies. I’ve had two groups recently that spoke very little English. Both guests were great, and I was enriched from our time together, but it, is. exhausting.

I have a lap-top so just quickly sit down and type out the phrase on google translate.

One thing, the last guests, at least I didn’t have to spend a lot of time helping with tourist information. We do provide a lot, and I’m fine with that, but it was a bit of a load off to wave and say ‘buenas dias!’.

Yeah, and people and toilet paper…who would have guessed?!

It’s a learning curve, right? Every group brings us a new perspective and a new understanding of this huge human race!

Hang in there!!!

That’s really why we’re doing this. At first I thought it would just be a good way of making a bit of extra money. But almost from the start we found we really enjoyed meeting these people from all over the place. Even with this latest trio, their locally-based daughter recommended a good Mexican restaurant that is actually quite close to us - we had no idea! A total win for us!!

So just to be clear, I’m not actually complaining about them, I’m just frustrated that their English is so poor we can’t get to know them. They do seem to be very nice people.


A cheap Android phone on WiFi will work.

But don’t copy and paste what Billi Bob wrote :slight_smile:

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Yana, you may translate it for us. :slight_smile: something tells me it may be sassy. :slight_smile:

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Hehe, can’t do it because contains some graphic language .

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To be honest, if guests seem like they can’t speak English from there Air messages I decline them. Its just too difficult, and after a bad experience I just cant be bothered with it any more.

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Still in the honeymoon phase. They have better English than their daughter led us to believe. My wife Google translated some thoughts about sharing the kitchen, and printed them off. They were grateful. The day before, I’d found some cold jalapeño peppers in their room and thought - oh, that’s not good. And yesterday ran into the father outside coming back with some groceries. Again, not good. We’re not Nazi’s about the kitchen, we just don’t want it completely taken over.


I cant remember what rules you had about kitchen.
I had recently several long term inquires, like a 10 days and longer and had to decline as guests immediately asked about cooking. My rules state that kitchen is not an amenity for guests but i allow warming up and storing food, also to make toast and use small oven.

I am experiencing not a very busy holiday season, but i looked at the amount of inquires i had and if i accepted all the cooks, i would be book solid until end of January.
SInce i went through 2 weeks of non stop use of my kitchen with one group, this is the sacrifice i have to make just to not accept those who need kitchen, because i know it wont work.
I also realize that when people are planning to stay longer, there is nowway they will be eating out all the time. I am more than happy to allow “normal” in my opinion cooking, but as we figured out here what is normal to me is not norm for others, thats why no kitchen rule came into place. So,i guess i have to be oriented mostly on up to a week stays.

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