Here is a description of how we were moral policed and character assassinated during our stay at a host’s residence. Some details are left out due to the sheer number of these instances we had to put up with during our stay. The description of the place on the listing was not even close to the real condition of the residence; the room and linen smelled musty (we had to insist that the linen be changed periodically), the room was infested with mosquitoes at night, the walls, fans, and bathroom were dirty, and we had to either take the initiative to clean the place ourselves or personally supervise the cleaning as the host would grudgingly offer to have place cleaned or come back to us with statements like “previous guests put up with this so why should it be a problem for you?”
My partner and I have both backpacked (in India and abroad) and understand that hygiene levels slightly vary from the listing to reality but I’m talking about hygiene levels akin to living in a shanty, (things like coats of dust, grime and oil stains on the walls and switches of the alternative kitchen we were given, a filthy bathroom). The host even had the audacity to lock her kitchen at night without informing us (reason being – she did not list that non-vegetarian food was not okay and hence locked the kitchen to keep us away from using her utensils and basic cooking items). Though highly unacceptable, we tolerated these aspects (primarily because she refused to negotiate a refund or solution) and either cleaned things ourselves or made sure we were supervising when these issues were not taken care of (a clear responsibility of the host that was not fulfilled).
However, what was uncalled for and down right insulting were the remarks, attitude, and judgement that the host and her husband had towards us during the entirety of our stay. The final straw was the incident on the last day when the host’s husband simply insulted me by openly making a character judgement. Earlier they had turned down our request to have a buffer zone of a couple of hours to use their facilities on the final checkout day as we had a train that same night. Having taken enough time already, we checked out at 11:00 AM and were waiting for our taxi with our luggage at the main gate. I went to get a taxi to our location, while my partner monitored the luggage. The host’s husband passed my partner at the main gate without saying a word and then halfway down the road met me and started yelling – literally yelling at me on a busy street in front of all to see – saying:
“You came home at 5:00 in the morning – I know what kind of a girl does that!”
“Is this the behavior that your family raised you for?”
“What type of character does a girl like you have to behave like this?”
“Take a good look at your behavior and disgusting character! My wife and I are extremely glad you are leaving! Take a look inside yourself and stop being like this!”
This could have been completely denied by the host but instead she called us to confirm that this incident took place and went onto say that her husband always behaves like this and creates a problem every time. Then she sheepishly told us that “I know you will leave a bad review because of this and we have only been good to you.” I mean, there are ways of being two faced and this host really showed it. Basically she was calling to do damage control for this entire incident and tried to make it seem like she had nothing to do with any of the moral policing, insults, and character assassinations that we had put with for the past nine days. We were essentially being held for ransom to continue staying there because she had our money and refused to come to a negotiation even though we made it clear on numerous occasions that we were unhappy with the hygiene conditions, insults and passive aggressive judgements of the host and her husband. This is one experience that has definitely disgusted us and made us really wary of choosing listings.