Monday, November 17, 2008

Visiting friends and families

1. Gifts: It is considered polite to take a token gift, a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers when you visit somebody for the first time.

2. House Tours: Do not give yourself a tour of your host's home. Take a tour only if the host invites you take the tour. Only visit the rooms your host wants to show you.

3. Bathroom Use: Always ask your host to show you the bathroom if you need to use it. Do not go on a self-exploration tour house in search of the bathroom.

4. Gifts: If you take a food item when you visit somebody, let the host decide if it will be served during your visit. It is impolite to suggest that the food item should be served during your visit.

5. Trash: If you have young children of diaper wearing age, be sure to dispose off diapers in a trash bin outside the house Or simply ask your host.

6. Clothes: If you are staying at somebody's home, be sure to change into appropriate clothes before exiting your guest bedroom. It is not a good idea to show up in your night clothes. Ideally, take a shower and make yourself presentable.

7. Dining: If you are staying at somebody's home for a few days, it is customary to take your host family out for a meal. But be sure to make that suggestion politely.

8. Hospitality: Be sure to reciprocate the hospitality showered on you by the hosts when you are staying with them. If your host was serving you hot meals during your stay, you are obligated to do the same when your host family is visiting you. Last thing you want to do is to treat them with cold sandwiches.

9. Gifts: Re-gifting is not a good idea unless the gift is its original packaging, not used and most important appropriate for the occasion. It does not take to be a rocket scientist to figure out which gifts are re-gifts!

10. Conversation: You are at your friend's home. You love the home. It looks expensive. You wonder how much it cost. Should you ask your friend how much they paid for it? Absolutely not. You may quite easily find the current value of the house by going to and entering the street address of the house. provides current house values for most houses in urban US cities.

11. Gadgets: Say you are visiting your friend. You are alone at home with your family. Your daughter suddenly realizes that she has left her hair dryer at home. She has just taken a shower and urgently needs a hair dryer. You are quite sure that the hair dryer is in the master bathroom. Should you sneak in the master bathroom and grab it and give it to your daughter? Absolutely not. Your friend has not given you right to wander around the house just because he has allowed you to stay at his home. No snooping around please!

12. Food: You are all alone with your family at your friend's home. Your hosts have asked you to help yourself to breakfast items. They have showed you where all the breakfast items are. You sit down for breakfast. How much orange juice should you serve yourself and your family? It is polite to use a six ounce glass and pour one helping of orange juice. Last thing you want to do is to pour yourself the orange juice in a sixteen ounce jumbo glass!

13. Drinks: Your friend offered you alcoholic drinks before dinner. You enjoyed the drinks. Late at night after everybody has gone to bed, you were still in the living room watching your favorite show on the television. Should you pour a peg or two of the drink from the bar? Again, the answer is no. Your friend has not given you the right to pour yourself a drink. Control your urge and go to bed sober.

14. Cars: It is always a good idea to rent a car when you are on vacation. Avoid using cars belonging to your friends and family members. This is usually a good practice because if something goes wrong, it is a sure shot way to destroy a relationship. A rental car is covered under your personal car insurance.

15. Gadgets: Let's say you are on vacation and your good friend has graciously allowed you to stay with him at his home. You and your family have been out sightseeing most of the day. You are dead tired. On return to your friend's home you would like to take a short nap. What should you do?

Go ahead and take your nap but for god's sake do not use the sofa in the living room as your bed! Sofas are for sitting and beds are meant for lying down. It is not polite to take your nap on the sofa.

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