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#57794 - 09/21/00 07:30 PM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
uphilldeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 16
Loc: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Hi everyone!

Well, Reeses and chocolate is WAY out of the question then. Thank you all for keeping me from doing some kind of American faux pa. I'm trying to be a bearer of good will, for goodness sake! LOL Besides the fact that bringing a small token for your hosts is a family tradition (Portuguese).

I got a note from Stephen Drake-Jones who told me that the Spaniards love ceramics. So I think I'll try to find something local here with writing on it. Maybe a cup or something. I don't think that would seem too ostentatious.

I'll let you all know what I get. I think I'm going out to look tomarrow!

Thanks again!

Deb

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#57795 - 09/22/00 02:09 AM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
uphilldeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 16
Loc: South Lake Tahoe, CA
O.K.
I went out shopping tonight.

I knew I couldn't bring a typical thing from home...a pine cone?! It would never make it past customs! LOL

And I didn't know if the Lopez family would understand the Pez gesture. Although I thought I'd like that myself!

Cheeseburgers! Hahaha! I could get a miniture refrigerator magnet of a cheeseburger!

Actually, I looked at some beautiful refer magnets...I was tempted!

Anyway, I went looking at souvenir coffee cups. Hated them!

But what I found was this pretty neat trivet hotplate thingy. It's in that rustic "mountain" style that's so popular here in California right now. It's a round stoneware disk the size of a salad plate. It has a raised relief (I think that's what you call it) picture of the mountains, lake, pine trees, and black bear in a dark blue glaze on a terra cotta background. It also has "Lake Tahoe, California - Nevada" painted around the border. Certainly, it's not the fine pottery one would find in Spain, but it's kinda neat. I'd like it, anyway.

They can use it to put hot dishes on, or put a plant on it or something. Whatever. I dunno. Just seemed practical and VERY Tahoe-ish.

So. What do you all think?

Deb

P.S. I bought some Peppermint Pattys too. Decided to eat um myself. LOL!

[This message has been edited by uphilldeb (edited 09-22-2000).]

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#57796 - 09/22/00 05:23 AM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
Eddie Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 06/05/00
Posts: 1713
Loc: Phila., PA, USA
In Spain, we usually stay with relatives and take gifts for them; but 'hostal hosts?' No!
When we stay at hostals, we are paying guests and the hostal owners or managers are 'for profit' entities renting us accomodations as long as we pay for them.

I, for one, don't think it is necessary or appropriate to consider oneself obligated to bring a gift for what you call your 'hostal hosts.'

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#57797 - 09/22/00 08:50 AM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
WDJunior Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/17/00
Posts: 21
Hey there Deb!
If you want to bring a gift, that "hotplate thingy" you got, might be alright. Although, as I have posted before, I see things actually like Eddie does: I wouldnīt bring anything, UNLESS itīs the 3rd or 4th time I go to the same hostal and everybody was really nice and everybody got along really well... - get what I mean? Spaniards are different in that matter (I remember there was this TV spot some time ago where Severiano Ballesteros - whoīs a great golfer - sort of invited the world to come visit Spain. The spot ended with Severianos words: Spain is different. It sure is ) (Thank god!!)
Saludos

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#57798 - 09/22/00 10:01 AM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
uphilldeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 16
Loc: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Hi guys,

Hmm...interesting comments.

True, I am a paying customer. And true, I should be able to expect a certain amount of quality service without any extra gratuity, or whatever. We have no argument with each other.

However, I have been emailing this family back and forth and am very grateful for their extra kindness to me. I was raised with customs in my family to show my appreciation. These people are not the front desk of the Hilton Hotel or something!

So...obligation. NOT! Appreciation. YES!

It is interesting to me that you would think the Spaniards would not like this. I've gotten such a different sense of them.

So, what is it...Are you telling me that presenting my hosts with a small gift would be weird or offensive to Spaniards as a people? Or are you telling me it would be weird or offensive to YOU?

Just curious.

Hmm...I'm also wondering if this would be a universal thought, or more of a "guy" thing? Of course, I'm not implying you guys are less thoughtful than women, or anything. You might be women for all I know. So please, don't get me wrong. You have just stirred my thoughts.

With my best regards,
Deb

[This message has been edited by uphilldeb (edited 09-22-2000).]

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#57799 - 09/22/00 12:32 PM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
WDJunior Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/17/00
Posts: 21
Here I go again!
If these people have been helpful even prior to you arriving, than you certainly do have a reason for bringing them a nice present. Absolutely no problem with that.
Donīt get me wrong. Itīs not that spaniards donīt buy presents for each other, itīs just that in my modest opinion, they do not do it as much as itīs done in other countries. Maybe in that matter spaniards do keep a little more of a distance to others rather than expressing their thankfulnes (does this word exist??-well itīs "gratitud" in spanish) in that kind of way.
Deb, donīt let us confuse you!! Presents are great and, I mean, itīs not that your asking "should I kiss and hug my hosts when I meet them for the first time?" weīre talking about a nice little present here
Have great fun in Spain.
Saludos

PS: by the way: YES I am male

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#57800 - 09/22/00 03:29 PM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
Castiza Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/00
Posts: 176
Loc: Madrid
As a spaniard female, I would't bring a present to the hostal hosts. After all, it's their business, they're not inviting you. In fact, the way americans and spaniards see gratuities is very different.

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#57801 - 09/22/00 08:50 PM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
uphilldeb Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/22/00
Posts: 16
Loc: South Lake Tahoe, CA
OMG! Now I'm getting depressed.

I read the other day on one of the other threads where a couple of Spaniards couldn't find anything humorous or qwerky about their country, and were quite offended by the implication that there might even be something humerous. Then I read where the people from Barcelona have some kind of attitude if other Spaniards don't speak the right kind of Spanish or something, which then made me think I was actually glad I can't speak any so I can just be a dumb American. And now, I'm hearing that Spaniards won't like to accept a gift of appreciation and they might think something weird!

At one time, and from so many different testimonies of friends, I was CONVINCED the Spanish were the warmest, nicest people on the planet. That is why I chose to go to Spain. Now I'm starting to get paranoid!

Well...I think I'm finished with this conversation. A girl's gotta follow her heart. And I just want to believe it's a nice thing to be thoughtful and giving. Call me crazy. I don't give a rat's ass.

I'd rather be remembered as the idiot from America who gave her hostal hosts a silly little present and a full and thankful heart! And that's that.

Uphilldeb

P.S. Hey, WDJunior, I figured you for a guy. You are adorable and very diplomatic, sir! I Thank you for your input! Oh! And by the way...now, if we were in France, wouldn't it be ok to do the kissing thing you mentioned? LOL (Just kidding, just kidding!!!!)

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#57802 - 09/22/00 09:51 PM Re: Suggestions for gifts to bring hostal hosts?
Diana Offline
Member

Registered: 06/18/00
Posts: 506
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Hi again, Uphilldeb!

(I just love your username! My best friend's name is Deb, and she's also an uphill person!)

Anyway, I just want to say that I agree with everyone else about the giving-of-the-gift to hostal owners, but I also agree with you :

"I'd rather be remembered as the idiot from America who gave her hostal hosts a silly little present and a full and thankful heart! And that's that."

As an American who lived for 13 years among Spaniards in Spain, I often did things differently, and would see looks of shock, or simply amazement, on the faces of the Spaniards around me. I didn't do anything outrageous - I was just a little different. But they love me just the same, and refer to the memories of what I did with affection. They ARE the warmest, nicest people on the planet, and they will accept you with grace and kindness. Be yourself, and have a wonderful time!

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