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... to think you don't patronise people in poorer countries

(65 Posts)
Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 12:42:22

I've just come back from visiting a poorer European country (PS the country isn't the one slightly suggested by my username). I was visiting a friend from that country and a UK based friend of my friend has accused me of being rude.

In short, they suggested that I should have paid for everything, on the basis that "in the third world(!), remuneration is expected when hospitality is given", and that "I needed to pay not only for myself but for everyone else involved".

I behaved in a way I've always done in the UK when visiting someone. I bring a gift and I try to pay for roughly my share of the costs. When I went out to a bar, I would buy drinks for people, and it would roughly work out when if I was bought drinks, etc.

I was not visiting anything like a 3rd world country, but even if I had been, I think it would have been patronising to "throw my money around". I'm not especially wealthy

So, AIBU to think like this, and how would you have behaved on a visit to a poorer country if invited to visit?

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 12:45:35

I wouldn't have paid for everything but I would have paid for about 90% of stuff I think.

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 12:47:26

Ok, interesting

HeinousHecate Sun 21-Oct-12 12:49:45

they thought it would be reasonable for you to arrive and start acting like lady bountiful? hey little people, let me bestow my vast riches upon you

hmm

And since when was any part of europe the 'third world'?

I would, however, be wondering where my friend of a friend had got this attitude from and be wondering if the people I stayed with did indeed see me as a cash cow.

Pay for everyone involved. What did they mean by that? Everyone you stayed with? every member of their family? everyone they knew? everyone you came into contact with?

I'd be experiencing a hefty dose of cynical right now.

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 12:51:39

I also don't think it's patronising to pay for things that others can't afford.

Early this year I was unemployed and my friend bought me drinks every Friday night. I was so grateful and didn't feel patronised. It was my only activity every week as I couldn't afford anything else. I am still very grateful to her.

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 12:52:13

I think my friend must have passed on to their friend that I was in some way not generous. I think they mean that on visiting a bar with any friends or family, I should have picked up the tab. I'm a bit annoyed with my friend, but I wanted to see what the etiquette of people would be here.

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 12:53:49

Ahhh right I see. No I wouldn't pay for their friends. I would however pay for their family.

HeinousHecate Sun 21-Oct-12 12:54:10

so your friend expected you to pay for all their mates to go out?

Taking. The. Piss.

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 12:54:39

Or in a restaurant I should have paid for everyone, for example. A direct quote is "You needed to pay not only for your own food and drink but also for that of any other person involved." (I'm pretty sure they're not a MNer)

CrackerJackShack Sun 21-Oct-12 12:54:40

Yes. In an actual third world country you would be expected to do this. However NO part of Europe is a third world country.

If I were visiting my friend in his home town in India, knowing that he makes roughly 100 pounds a month and feeds a family of five, I would be expected to pay for whatever we do whilst I'm visiting.

HeinousHecate Sun 21-Oct-12 12:56:00

Really? My husband is Kenyan and at no point is this expected by any member of his family. Much less his friends.

CrackerJackShack Sun 21-Oct-12 12:57:05

Really? If you went to visit and you did things out of their normal scheme of living, you wouldn't be expected to foot some of the bill?

Not for friends of friends though, just saw that after I posted. Just for friend!

HeinousHecate Sun 21-Oct-12 12:57:13

you needed to pay for your own food - fair enough. You needed to pay for everyone there - no way. Sod that.

If that is what your 'friend' expected, then imo, she's more befriending your money than she is you.

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 12:57:24

I'm trying to gauge what I did wrong. Basically, I was invited to stay for five days. I brought a gift. I had some homecooked meals and didn't pay for grocery shopping, I went to a bar once with family and bought them a drink. I later went out with friends, and didn't.

HeinousHecate Sun 21-Oct-12 12:58:36

I wouldn't be expected to pay for them, no. Every time we go out, his entire family and / or his friends. We pay the whole bill on each occasion?

erm. No. We wouldn't be expected to do that.

We'd treat his mum of course. And we'd pay our share, and we'd treat someone and someone would treat us.

but money flowing only in one direction? nope.

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 12:59:14

I can imagine in a real third world country, there might be a lot of bars / restauarants aimed at toursits and that would be out of the reach of many indians and you could be expected to pay. However, in European, if we decide to go for a meal, it would be at relatively local prices. I wouldn't expect a Swiss visitor to come here and pay for my meals.

missymoomoomee Sun 21-Oct-12 13:00:03

If I was staying with someone then I would pay for more than my share.

If I go and stay with my brother then I buy a weeky shop for everyone while I'm staying there and buy a takeaway or something. If they have been generous enough to let me stay in their house for a week then I think its only polite.

I wouldn't be picking up bar tabs though not with the amount my brother drinks I think its fair to pay slightly more than your own share but not everything. Its basic manners, nothing particularly to do with the country you are visiting.

CrackerJackShack Sun 21-Oct-12 13:01:09

Well with my Indian friend we would be, and I would be expected to put forth a little bit towards any home cooked meals as well. If I didn't not only would we not go out together, but he genuinely couldn't afford to pay to feed us even home cooked meals.

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 13:02:10

Beograde. Swiss? I thought you were talking a poor Eastern Eurpean country?
Poor Eastern Europe very different to Switzerland, France, Germany, UK etc.

znaika Sun 21-Oct-12 13:02:27

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Just to be clear - it's not the friend you visited who said this, it's someone sticking their nose in??

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 13:02:55

It's interesting to see the different views on this.

earlyriser Sun 21-Oct-12 13:04:01

I would think that if you were staying with a family for 5 days and eating with them (food they have provided) i would, out of courtesy, take them out for a meal one of those nights (and foot the bill). Especially, as you say, the meal is at local prices.

alphabite Sun 21-Oct-12 13:04:13

I went to stay with a friend in NZ who wouldn't let me pay for anything. I left an envelope of dollars in 'my' room when I left as I knew she'd been out of pocket from my visit. I think putting yourself in their shoes might be a good idea. They probably wouldn't have eaten out if you'd not been there or gone out for drinks. They probably got more food in the house etc.

Beograde Sun 21-Oct-12 13:04:40

I'm talking about someone Swiss, I meant to say they're relatively wealthier than Brits, in the same way I might be to someone in this Eastern European country (it's not a perfect analogy)

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