I currently have a guest from Kazakhstan she hasn't verified herself properly which should have been a warning I guess. I was going out for dinner with my friend the evening she arrived and felt that it would be nice if she came along because she didn't know the area and hadn't been food shopping. It soon became apparent that she was quite a strange person. When we were at dinner she was asking me if there are ghosts in my house and was concerned about a cupboard in her room. Even my friend who was with us at dinner commented on how odd she was and my mother who met her said the same. I was out for the day yesterday and when I got back she said where have you been you've been so long and gave me a hug. I then went out to a bbq with friends last night. When I got home I noticed she had sent me an email message saying
'Oh, interesting. The previous letter that I've sent to you was from my mail: **********@gmail.com, but it somehow turned to appear in my messages here now. I came back from the welcome party, brought some products from Tesco, then it seemed to me that someone is in the backyard, and that's someone's not you, so I jumped upstairs and knocked the door but you didn't reply. Then I went outside and tried to check through the fence, and as I could see everything is OK. Then I returned, locked the door and went straight upstairs. So, I'm hoping for you sleeping at home tonight. If I've done something-anything possibly wrong, please forgive me, I didn't me to anyhow hurt you. Sincerely, Aizhan'
I replied politely. However, she didnt stay at my house last night, I heard her unlocking her door at 6am this morning and now she has gone out again. I am finding her behaviour very unsettling. It is disrupting my sleep and makes me feel uncomfortable.
What do people suggest? I have tried to flag this message as this site says I should but the message wouldn't flag.
She is apparently here for work with the John Innes centre in Norwich.
As you say you probably did the wrong thing in asking her to dinner and becoming a proxy 'friend' for her stay. While her questions are a bit strange, I don't really see what she has done that is wrong - she thought there was someone outside during the evening and wanted to let you know.
I'd suggest just keeping a distance from her and let her settle in - she may be a bit scared, weird, etc but we all are at times I think!
If the booking is long term, and you just don't feel she is the right sort of guest for your home then contact AirBnB and ask them to arrange an alternative.
Don't fall into the trap however of letting every little thing she does annoy you, etc...
Thank you for your message. She hasn't done anything wrong I agree, however I feel uncomfortable. She obviously has got herself in a state over being in the house alone. I have no idea where she spent the whole night last night unless it was with someone from work. I wonder maybe if she is staying else where but all of her toiletries are still here. It's just a bit odd don't you think? As you can see by my reviews and pictures there is nothing wrong with my house.
I am very sorry to hear this as it's quite unnverving. Your guest may be dealing with some mental illness issues causing the paranoia. I hope that her stay is brief but you don't specify. If it's for an extended period of time, I would certainly ask a friend if they could come to stay as that may provide some buffer. But, if this reservation is for more than a week, I would contact Airbnb and let them know what is going on, forward the email she sent, etc. I say this because I am thinking that she may develop even more of a dependence on you and your consistent presence as time wears on which could turn to some anger when you need to be away. Obviously, if this goes on for an extended period of time, you will definitely find more and more need to be away. She needs to be relocated as she clearly has special needs that you are not trained, and/or in this case, hired to provide.
Thank you for your reply, she is staying for a month. I guess she may settle eventually but I do wonder if you are right that she has some kind of mental health problem. I am a nurse so I am ok with different peoples needs, however I am very independent and am very often out with friends or taking part in hobbies and I have never experienced a guest like this.
Wait a few days and see if she settles in, but give her space. I have first hand knowledge of cultural ways from the 'stans' (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, etc) and if this is her first time abroad and/or in Western Europe she will be unnerved by it. Just as I was the first time I went there a few years ago.
When you visit there, you are a guest and they want to look after you 24 hours a day - you are never left alone. You are always the guest of honour. So she may be struggling with being alone.
Secondly, pretty much everything is communal - from eating to sleeping.
It nearly drove me crazy!
Finally, don't be freaked out if you are asked very direct personal questions, such as...are you married, why not...do you have children..why not...how much do you earn... LOLl it's a cultural thing and difficult to cope with initially.
Thank you for explaining that, it makes a bit more sense but she is still very strange and that is not just my opinion. It turns out she was sleeping with her curtains open which is why I thought she was not in because when I came in late I saw from the front of the house that the curtains were open. She also unlocked her door and was banging it a couple of times and i thought she was coming into the room when in fact she was coming out of her room to the toilet and also locking her door after her :-/ strangly since it is only me who is here. Anyway, I did talk to her in the morning and said that I am out a lot and it does say on my profile that I have lots of hobbies and that sometimes I like my own space but that equally I do enjoy to chat sometimes on an evening. Anyway she seems a little better but she is complaining a lot about various things and is expecting me to be a taxi for her I am concerned that she will leave bad reviews as this is the first time she has ever stayed in an airbnb place.
I feel you crossed the boundary when you invited her to a meal and with another of your friends as well, it gave her reason to feel more included and perhaps just see herself as a bit more than a guest; what’s done is done and I can fully understanding you were trying to be nice and make the guest feel welcome.
As it stands now, you have got to address this. I would suggest, the next time she is around, make yourself available and give her the opportunity to suggest or refer to anything that seems a bit more personal/ over and aboard the host guest relationship and then politely but firmly draw the line.
To give an example, I'm very friendly, get on easily with people and do enjoy talking to guests the same way I would a neighbour, or friend at the gym, I offer to share my meal if I cook as it’s my culture to do so and after all the are staying in my property, but I do also draw a certain line as this is more of a business deal and we do not really know each other. I had a guest who mistake my friendliness, he returned to the property at the end of his first day out and somehow fell I should be there to welcome him. He entered the property, I could hear from upstairs then he went back to the doorbell and started ringing the to get my attention. He rang me mobile a couple of times and then my landline a couple of times, he send me a message saying he was back home, he gave it 10 mins and repeated the process. I ignored it all, I could tell from the sound of him walking about downstairs, fixing a meal and his phone call in-between that there was no emergency. I eventually when downstairs 35 mins later and I bumped into him, I asked if everything was Ok, he informed me he was just trying to get my attention since he was back home; just as I had suspected! I politely informed him that I was on a conference call and otherwise busy at the time he returned but he has keys and knows were everything he needs is so he does not need to inform me when he gets back to the property. He got the message, it redefined the boundaries and got on well after that, we continued to chat when we did bump into each other but he realised he could not demand my time without good reason.
I do hope she is not booked in for long as what is a concern currently, will soon become an annoyance as well since you feel a bit uncomfortable in your home as well.
There are ways to speak to people directly or indirectly to discuss any concerns which might easily clear any misunderstandings/ unrealistic expectations prior to approaching Airbnb themselves, especially as there is no physical danger involved. She might just be an eccentric person but would feel hurt all the same if you went over her to Airbnb, she does deserve at least one conversation re the situation. However of you do not feel able to handle this approach, then by all means contact Airbnb to express you concern and inform them what exactly you would like them to do, relocate the guest or communicate with her re her manner.
Wish you all the best,
Thank you for taking the time to reply and for your advice. Please see the comment left on the above post. She has started working today so I am sure she will be pre occupied with other things.
I myself am from Kazakhstan, the city of Almaty.
It seems to me that you really crossed the border by inviting her to dinner.
For us, dinner is more than dinner and fellowship. Many Kazakhstanis (and indeed Russians) would regard this as a strong friendship.
Not all of course, but many.
It was very interesting to read your opinion about one Kazakh.
best it not to impose to guests the society longer than 5 minutes and not to become similar to the talkative taxi driver tiring passengers with excessive sociability...
I have several times invited a guest to join me and my friends for dinner, a beach day, etc. They have always expressed appreciation for being included and said how it enriched their holiday to hang with local people and how much fun they had. It has never led to them expecting to be invited to everything nor being demanding of my attention. Of course, I have only done this with guests who I feel comfortable with and who I felt would "fit" with the excursion and the group.
However, I have never had a guest from the culture mentioned here.
Oh yeah. Rashid is right. Even I, being the owner, surrounded the guests in Kazakhstan with excessive attention. Now I understand that there are some details that are unacceptable for Europeans, Americans. In general, representatives of western civilization.
In Kazakhstan there is a saying: "If the mountain does not go to Magomed, Magomed will go to the mountain".
Come to Kazakhstan, I will be glad to see you in my humble dwelling. ;)
With best wishes, Kanysh.
I had a delightful guest from Uzbekistan. I invited her to have dinner with me and my daughter, I cooked, they were both staying at my place. It was the most wonderful experience ever. The guest was lovely, she was the same age as my daughter and they got on so well!
It's nothing to do with the culture or the country, it's to do with the person.