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Strange Hosting Request

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WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Strange Hosting Request

Dear Fellow Bicyclists,

Among more hosting requests than ever before this year (is it becoming a fashion?!?), we had one recently which I felt strange about. I would like to hear your opinion about it.

The guy emailed me with arrival date etc. and mentioned that he is currently travelling by public transport, because his bike was stolen in Indonesia.
We couldn't host him for other reasons (full house), but I offered to help him buy a new bike in Singapore, as we probably have the best bike shops in South East Asia here.
He wasn't interested, but asked me to help him buy a notebook computer instead. (When I did, he refused to believe that computers here are not cheaper than in the West, but that's another story.)
He contacted us again twice (with a few days in-between) asking if we could accommodate him now. In his last email he asked if we know friends or anybody else who could host him.

As he was not our guest, and the issue caused no more than a feeling of uneasyness, I will not post a negative comment. Please let me know what you think or what you would have done!

Greetings,
Frank

P.S.: For fairness I have to add that all our other bicycling guests were wonderful people and we see WSL as a real enrichment of our lives.

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
Strange Hosting request

I have had over 50 guests over the years and none of them have made me feel uneasy but I fear this one would definitely make the hair go up on the back of my neck. I think I personally would not offer anything more. You have already gone above gone above and beyond. Your uneasy instincts may have been an alert to pay attention to.

Mary from Montana

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
Do what you think is right

Every host has to follow their own gut on this sort of thing. When you have a largish group like this, there will be some strange ones. We once had a 'reverend' visiting some of our hosts... and taking advantage of their hospitality. He was really a bum. But that's one of the few accounts we've every cancelled for misbehavior.

If you aren't comfortable, send them away.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
strange request

A strange request indeed.
We are not hosting cyclists because we are currently riding.
I think you are handling the situation well, offering him bicycle related help, and not making him known to the whole forum.
We have occasionally seen some very strange touring cyclists on the road, that I´d feel uneasy hosting. )they weren´t members though.
I think it might be wise to discuss his details with the warmshowers webmaster and they might keep an eye on him.
Wish you many more good guests...
anna

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
I think you went beyond

I think you went beyond hosting duties. If either party feels uneasy opt out and dont give it a thought.

We just had a couple stay that I didn't enjoy at all. (the other dozen were great).

This couple emailed, I said when, they asked directions, I said WHEN, they said they were already in town. "come pick us at xxxx" I agreed but didnt have time to check them out. They had bicycles and looked legit. At home I found on their blog they only used bike like a cart! they mostly hitched and bussed, then rode around a town. That isnt bad but they were deceptive and outright lied about it. So this makes one a bit uneasy about the whole thing. I couldn't wait for them to leave! And then in the morning the husband lay in bed til 9, dallied while wife and I fixed her bike. They left at 11am.

My point is I use the fact someone is a serious cycle tourist to vet guests. If they are not riding I will pass. If they have blog documenting trip and in my town their bike is stolen then I would invite them.

WS Üyesi @wsadmin@ kullanıcısının resmi
Negative recommendatIon

We ask people to leave a negative recommendation in cases like this. It will warn others.

Thanks,
-Randy

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Yes agreed and I will. But

Yes agreed and I will. But as they are making a loop through East Africa and passing this way again i will wait until they are out of my territory. I wont host them, they said they have friends who will be here then and they will have us for dinner. I am a coward .

WS Üyesi julianne2saw kullanıcısının resmi
Maybe you are just being careful

Isnt there a book out called the Gift of Fear? Bad things can happen to decent people after all. But dont let it destroy your humanity. Easier sad than done, not like i have never been afraid, huh. You survived, and the trite phrase Be Careful has no meaning in todays world if it ever did.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
I eventually made a negative

I eventually made a negative feedback. It was a one time negative experience, and I learned a lesson.

WS Üyesi julianne2saw kullanıcısının resmi
My visitor was so strange that

i think i kinda feel that mentioning his name in a negative way might draw his attention to me again in a negative way. Guess i am a coward too on this issue. You gotta pick your battles if you can

WS Üyesi @wsadmin@ kullanıcısının resmi
Negative feedback is important to the community

Negative feedback is really important to the community. If you cannot provide it in your own name, you can report the details of the incident (factual information please) to us using the contact link. We have a process to investigate and provide anonymous feedback. This is hard work for us, so not the preferred approach, but if it's the only way we take it on. It's far better for the community to provide feedback directly, of course.

I'm sorry you had this experience.

-Randy

WS Üyesi julianne2saw kullanıcısının resmi
The bad can drive out the good

Some people are lazy and rude and even bad. Some bike riders are too. Sounds like you went the extra mile so you can congradulate yourself on that but, hopefully, will be able to take more time to vet the folks. Glad you survived it. My last american visitor made me extremely uncomfortable. I took my self off the hosts list for a long time (altho i also had been traveling and I am so glad to be home!! I may never leave home again! I say that now, we will see).

WS Üyesi julianne2saw kullanıcısının resmi
Hosting people who are not on bikes?

This one doesnt sound safe. I hosted one on a bike last year who made me very uncomfortable both for his sake, and mine and I was so glad when he was gone in the morning tho, so you have to be careful either way. i have hosted many but am not a biker myself, however, I did ask almost all of them early on , if they thought it would be ok on a recent LONG trip from nw fla to the catskills in ny , if i asked for a shower from some members, all said it would be ok, but i went without for many weeks before i found some public pools and church folks who would assist my camping, retreat, old business trip. I was self contained in the back of my truck camper and when some lovely folks offered a spare room, i said no as it would be "too different" and I wouldnt sleep with the extra noises, etc. They completely understood.

I had seen a comment where someone was disturbed by this idea (of helping a traveler who was not a biker but a host). Its ok by me tho, what do you think?

WS Üyesi julianne2saw kullanıcısının resmi
Uncomfortable person

It is not unreasonable for a homeless person to ask if you know of someone to help. I am an old hippie now, young hippie then, whatever that is, thought i was just a christian,... with an apartment in nyc where all my friends would call me and say, can you put up so and so for me?? I would ask why dont you? but then i said , if you take responsibility for if they steal, ok, they said no, they were good folks , no problem there but that they just couldnt deal with a stranger in close quarters. So i helped a lot of folks with no problems, ( I think I was very lucky) but now I understand and grasp that concept and couldnt do hosting couch sitting for example. But I am old now and live in a very small place. I used to be able to sleep on a picket fence but now i sleep rather lightly and seem to hear every odd sound. I live in nw fla in the country and know my Train whistle, sound of next door neighbors and wildlife, etc. since it s usually pretty quiet.

However, asking you for a computer was pretty cheeky!! Just think of it as a kindness rendered, you will surely get a blessing from it, whether they took advantage of your generous nature or not. Warmshowers is getting well known in the biking community which includes lots of homeless and semi homeless folks in america anyway, I cant even imagine the courage of you all in other countries frankly. You just have to learn to identify and avoid the scammers.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Strangers

There are strange guests, strange hosts and strange posters on forums, but thankfully they all are rare.
Hosting, as well as being hosted, requires trust and optimism. The above multiple poster obviously has neither, sees a not-yet-familiar person as a potential threat (thief, homeless, etc.) rather than a "friend I don't know yet".
I prefer to focus on the 99% good people around me, rather than the few bad apples that exist. An open door is much more likely to invite a friend in, rather than my belonging out in the hands of a criminal - that's why mine is always open!

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Legitimate way to refuse

I appreciate that WS strongly suggests we only host people who are actually, currently, bike touring. As they point out, there are other couch surfing sites for non cyclists. I have used this as an out when non tourers contact me. I say "I only host cyclists."

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
I agree. Warm Showers is for

I agree. Warm Showers is for touring cyclists. Couch Surfing can be used by others. I'm on a bike tour and travel by bike 99% of the time, though sometimes I have taken a train for a range of reasons, and this, I hope, doesn't disqualify me from seeking a Warm Showers host. However, those who don't use a bicycle as their principal form of transport should not expect to be able to access Warm Showers hosts.

Unregistered anon_user kullanıcısının resmi
Strange guest

Not every cyclist is an angel and not every host a saint. If someone makes you feel uneasy then there"s probably a good reason to be wary and this is a voluntary hosting service not a mandatory hotel.