While it is tempting to talk about the mandatory spending on food that occurs when one has visitors at home, I am going to talk about other forms of expenses that the host(s) must incur to make the stay of visitors to their home more comfortable. This includes, for example, expenses on carrying out repairs to the home: in my case, in anticipation of a visitor's arrival in March, we had to call the plumber to fix the toilet, the painter to paint selected portions of the home which had seen water seepage and disrepair, the electrician to start off those switches/appliances that weren't working perfectly, the carpenter to fix loose handles and doors of the various storage cupboards and almirahs, and the mason to fix loose tiles and marble platforms.
In addition, we had to purchase a new 4-burner stove in place of the old one that had worn out a bit, get all the air-conditioners serviced (we have three of these), get the pest control guys in to clear out the cockroaches, and buy extra provisions to fill the larder.
Now, imagine what would be the fate of a not so well-off host. How could they possibly meet all such expenses? And, if they did not carry out these "urgent" repairs, what would the guest think about them? More important, what would the host think about what the guest would think about their hospitality?
Such questions! This is no doubt a subject matter for debate. The overall discussion must also take into account what effect the extra expenses would have on the monthly budget of a family that depends on a single member's tight salary. Any comments?
In the coming days, we are expecting five guests - or six - to stay for about 5-6 days. I think we have already spent over 3000 rupees getting our home ready to receive them.
One solution is: curb hospitality and so curb expenses. ;)
Another one is: go on with hospitality and hope it will be appreciated for itself, without extra expences.
Oh, and one more could be: be hospitable, spend and...let go :)
Anyway, I visited in February so, hopefully, I'm responsible for only a part of the 'maintenance mess'... :)
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