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Holiday plan - friend being generous or taking the piss?

(102 Posts)
Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 07:36:46

Every few years we have a university reunion where a few of us get together, whoever can make it at the time as we live all across Europe. We are all blokes, in our late 30s now.

This time around, while discussing a destination to meet up (eg, London, or another city in Europe where one of us lives or would be fun for two or three days visit ) a certain friend in, let’s say, Italy, leads off with “hey, why don’t you all come over to my place, I can put you all up and we’ve got a great beach, weather etc”. Problem is last time he hosted the meet up, which was about eight years, here’s what happened: Me and friend B, both travelling to Italy, contact him a few days before start date to say, “hows it going! so what’s the arrangement when me and friend (both travelled from England) get to airport in Italy?” Friend: “oh shit, I’d totally forgotten you guys were coming! I’ve got a lot of shit on work wise right now, but I’ll definitely make some time for you guys”. Proceeded to have half decent holiday with other friend, while friend in Italy drifted in and out of activities, took us around a couple of sites, had a a few beers and laughs, but was fairly distracted half the time with his work (of course me and other friend had put all our own work on hold, as this was meant to be a holiday). I think friend in Italy considers himself a pretty good host, and to be fair if it was a “i want to check out Italy, could you put me up for a couple of days?” I’d say he was decent enough. But that, obviously I would have thought, was not the idea. It’s not about being “hosted” by him, but rather having a great time together totally free from other commitments for a couple of days. What happened last time pissed me off somewhat. And on top of that, it pissed me off that he asked us to chip in €20 for petrol while we were there, seemingly oblivious to the fact that me and friend B and had forked out €100 for flights for what was meant to be Our (capital O) holiday.

This time around I’d be happy for them to come to my city, or to travel to his city again, or somewhere else, but I would expect everyone to drop all their work commitments for a couple of days. Of course I wouldn’t object to anyone seeing or Skyping family briefly during the day/at night, but certainly no work commitments . That, for me, is a holiday/meetup. The last time around was about eight years ago, but I have a feeling he’s still somewhat self-absorbed and I can foresee a repeat. At the same time I don’t know how to say nicely “nah, rather not stay with you” and don’t want to blow off the whole thing...What dya reckon?

VolcanionSteamArtillery Wed 13-Nov-19 07:40:13

Your still holding it against a friend that they stuffed up 8 years ago (but still made a half decent show of things despite holding down regular life at the same time)?

Bodear Wed 13-Nov-19 07:41:24

I think yabvu in trying to dictate other people’s work commitments. I’m currently on annual leave for a family commitment but I’ve taken work calls, am dealing with work emails and will continue to do so. You can’t demand people leave work behind completely. He may not have that sort of job, or simply may not want to!!

Having said that, forgetting you were going was off but that was 8 years ago. If you don’t want to stay with him then don’t. Just say, I don’t want to put you out so am thinking of stay at x hotel.
What does everyone else in the group think?

user1493413286 Wed 13-Nov-19 07:43:35

I’d give him another chance, he made a mistake and it was a long time ago. Maybe just remind him a few weeks on advance and make sure he’s got the time booked off.

JoanieCash Wed 13-Nov-19 07:44:36

Depends how he Has been when on trips to other cities in last 8 years? If he was more organised and attended without work distractions, would chance it. But if he’s flaked out a lot since then would swerve. You could say something like ‘it’s not much of a holiday for you in your home town, let’s all go somewhere new etc’

AgeShallNotWitherHer Wed 13-Nov-19 07:45:43

Go somewhere totally neutral?

Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 07:47:39

Haha ok thanks for the responses... but point is that first time around me and Friend B and Friend C (based in Italy) made a commitment to plan a break together which entailed me and friend B taking time off work, making family arrangements, booking flights etc. But then, a few days before the whole thing was about to kick it off it transpires the Friend C hadnt even remembered there was a trip on at all! As I said on original post this wasn’t a question of us dropping in on him for a couple of nights accommodation. This was meant to be a big reunion which just happened to be taking place in his home city on this occasion (as he has convinced of our great it would be to do it there). It then proceeded to be an event during which he was only half present, after us two mugs has gone to all the trouble of taking time off work, getting our asses over there, etc etc

Antigon Wed 13-Nov-19 07:54:22

How many of you are going?

Has he invited you all to stay at his place?

If it's just three of you then I would say no, you fancy a change this time. If it's a alot more of you then he's unlikely to do the same again, so I wouod give him a second chance.

I don't see what was wrong with contributing to petrol costs? I probably wouldn't have asked for a two day trip for the sake of €20 but it's not a cheeky request is it?

FlamingoQueen Wed 13-Nov-19 07:54:43

Rearrange it around him so all he has to do is turn up. That way you are not reliant on him to show you around places. That would annoy me. Hope you have a fun break wherever you go!

Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 07:58:08

@Antigon, a bit cheeky I thought as I’d forked out five times that for return flights to spend time with him. Additionally I always fork out for mates who have made the foot to come and visit. I dunno, perhaps he was pretty broke at the time...but then so was I

Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 07:59:21

@FlamingoQueen cheers!

Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 07:59:47

@JoanieCash a good suggestion

Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 08:01:32

@VolcanionSteamArtillery not holding it against at all, but would rather not go for a likely repeat. Will propose an alternative “new” destination I guess in as subtle way as possible.

VolcanionSteamArtillery Wed 13-Nov-19 08:02:38

8 years ago... and you still did meet up... and you got to see Italy... and you still had fun with your other friend...8 years ago... its a hell of a long time/small thing to hold a grudge over, do you even like your friend?

Antigon Wed 13-Nov-19 08:04:55

If you have forked out when he has visited you then yes he was cheeky to ask for petrol money. I would keep an eye on that, make sure he pays his pay.

However, if I had forked out for all the people who visited me when I lived in France then I would have been skint. They stayed with me for free but did contribute to food, taxis etc.

Chet326 Wed 13-Nov-19 08:06:39

Already answered your previous post, which you just repeated again above with a few word changes... hmmm

TheMidasTouch Wed 13-Nov-19 08:07:08

I agree with you OP. Presumably you have to take a couple or a few days off work to go there for the reunion so I would naturally expect the same of him too.

As friends I would probably raise it in a jokey way and ask if he's sure he won't forget about you again and remind him he will need to book the time off work. As long as he comes up with definite plans and assures you he won"t be working, so that you can all spend time together, I would give him another chance. If he can't do that then have it elsewhere where all attendees will take time out to enjoy it.

VolcanionSteamArtillery Wed 13-Nov-19 08:09:07

It was a x-post apologies.

HoppyHop Wed 13-Nov-19 08:09:58

Why don't you set up a What's App group for the trip to discuss your plans, arranging things to do? Do this in the the time leading up to the meet up then there's no chance of him forgetting about it this time!

LazyDaisey Wed 13-Nov-19 08:10:32

It sounds like your friend had a lot going on at work 8 years back and was stressed to completely forget about it. Did you ever ask what was going on at his work? If the trip had been in another city, he wouldn’t have come at all. So instead of thinking it was a half assed reunion, think that it would’ve only been the two of you.

Maybe he’s suggesting the same now because he can’t actually take the full time off and this allows him to join in a bit. Why don’t you ask him if he can genuinely get away from his work

Beautiful3 Wed 13-Nov-19 08:11:15

I dont think its unreasonable to ask for petrol money. Yes he should have booked time off work, he probably didn't think he needed to as he could see you after work? Would it be better to meet somewhere neutral, so no ones home country?

Flouncysinatra Wed 13-Nov-19 08:11:21

Have you met up in between? What’s that been like? It sounds like communication was a bit lacking in the run up last time perhaps?

Bezalelle Wed 13-Nov-19 08:11:29

You sound quite controlling! You can't dictate what the others do in terms of checking emails.

ConkerGame Wed 13-Nov-19 08:16:38

I would bring it up in a jokey way “are you sure you will actually remember that we are coming this time?! wink” just to remind everyone what he’s like.

But actually, I was given absolutely rubbish hospitality by a friend abroad a few years ago and no way would I be going back there again! We still all talk about how rubbish they were years later! Why don’t you message the other friend separately and see what they think? Then try to subtly get the trip moved elsewhere.

DownToTheSeaAgain Wed 13-Nov-19 08:19:15

Go somewhere neutral which you all have to travel to.

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