In the meantime I am welcoming guests from many countries in my accommodation. People from countries within, as well as outside of Europe. And I must say that – despite the attempts of the EU to turn the various member states into one melting-pot, I am happy with the large differences in culture, language and traditions of the various countries. The diversity of nationalities is what makes running a B&B so very interesting.During the past years, I have had many fun and special experiences with guests from abroad. My Swedish guests for example, offered me whisky. Just after breakfast! Each nation has its own curiosities:
- The French find our petit dejeuner quite extensive but do prefer French cheese over our Dutch ones.
- The British usually leave God’s Blessings behind in the guest book.
- The Austrians forward self-made Christmas cards.
- The Belgians really like Holland, but not its inhabitants.
- The Italians are suspicious of our Italian restaurants but are very enthusiastic about recommended addresses.
- Romanian families do not leave without a big hug.
There is one country that I absolutely must mention and that is Germany. Because, – exceptions excluded, I am very fond of my German guests. Even during the World Cup in 2010, the relations between me and my German guests remained warm. In general I find German people to be spontaneous, affectionate, honest, clean, realistic, enthusiastic, well informed, cheerful and utterly reliable. And that deserves to be said!! And so I say a heart-felt: ‘Herzlich willkommen’.
Ina Flohil is the owner of B&B at the Beach in The Hague in the Dutch town of The Hague. You can regularly read columns about the lock, stock and barrel in her bed & breakfast on this blog.