I have been a host for over 4 years. It is an inexpensive room in my house that allows access to all facilities. For the first time I have a young Asian girl that doesn’t seem to understand that my personal belongings are not hers to use.
I couldn’t find my things today and just discovered that she is wearing them. I explained to her that they are mine and she then just asked me if I had another pair that she could use.
I have hosted many Asian guests and this has never happened before.
Has this happened to anyone else and how did you approach it?
@Lis33 I had the same experience with some guests from Asia who expect to be provided with slippers or thongs to wear inside. I just explain to them that it's not a tradition in Australia and if they want house slippers they need to provide their own. Daiso usually has some cheap ones if they're coming in to the CBD & want to buy them.
@Lis33 Ha! Might have just shot some tea through my nose.
This faux pas may have nothing to do with the guest's nationality. But in some Asian cultures it's customary for a host to leave pairs of slippers near the entrance for guests to use in the home, so that they don't bring dirt from outside in on their shoes. If you happen to store your thongs in a common area like this, I can see how someone might have mistaken them for "guest slippers." Personally I'd keep some disinfectant spray on hand and let it go, unless they were my only shoes.
On the other hand, if it appears that the guest has been rummaging through a private storage area and helping herself to whatever she finds, it's worth providing clarity on your boundary lines. Ideally, there would be a clear division between Guest Areas - where guests are free to use anything in sight - and off-limits areas, where they have no need to enter. But in a shared home the distinctions can be blurred and might require a little more discussion.
I have multiple sizes of thongs and slip on slippers - about $2 each in Big W. I select which to leave out depending on description of guests. I leave them on a shoe rack inside the front door with a sign on it that all footwear is laundered between guests. I just put them in the washing machine.
Yes Asian guests expect them, but the main reason I did it is because I live downstairs and it cuts down the noise greatly when I am trying to sleep.
Yes @Lis33 , I also had a bit of a query whether she was wearing your t shirt or something.... lol.
Do buy a couple of pairs of cheap thongs (flip flops for you foreigners) and leave them in a common area as previously mentioned, and wash after guests leave.
But, if your thongs were not left in a common space, but a personal space, as @Helen3 has said, you need to emphasise the room and area boundaries, which may need to include a lock.
In Darwin, we tend to take our footwear off when entering the house, I have thongs near the front door and another pair on the back balcony, for a quick run downstairs. Maybe it’s because of the heat and traditionally having jarrah floor boards or tiles, or maybe because we are the Asian gateway; but I usually wear thongs when doing a check in and also flick mine off when I enter the clean homestay space. I just say, it’s their cleaned space if they query my actions.
I carry thongs when I travel, and even my dentist in Hanoi requires you to take off your footwear and use the slippers (plastic slide ons) provided.