Food preferences and invitations
As a long-time host, I've learned to ask up-front of someone has any food preferences or limitations...perhaps that should be in the profile, although to be honest, I usually get called on the phone and do not check the profile before inviting them on in, and do not usually know their username.
Of course, that brings up the second part of this: How you either bring it up without looking like you're assuming you're invited for dinner (which you always are at my house), or risking offending your host and going hungry by announcing "I'm vegan" over a steaming plate of spaghetti and meatballs; this actually happened to my wife one night when I was out of town, the kid was just lucky that she had some Ramen noodles and mushroom soup handy. Moral is, if you have any sort of food restrictions, find some way to let the host know that...whether it is religious, ethical, or allergy-related, I know that we will be more than happy to accommodate a reasonable deviation from our normal diet as long as we know in advance and I'm sure that at least some others feel the same way.
The other part of this issue (and hte part which I will be dealing with as a newbie guest) is how to ascertain your supper plans without being pushy or making any assumptions. I've only dealt with this once and was curious about how others deal with finding out if you should eat before you get somewhere. The one time we've stayed with a CS host, I called her on the phone and asked her for a good place to eat on the way to her house so that we didn't all show up starved. I figured this would give her a good opportunity to either invite us to eat with her or gracefully not invite us without saying so or being put on the spot...which she did as she told us about her favorite Chinese buffet. To be honest, considering that we had 5 hungry teenagers with us, I don't blame her! LOL
I would think that as a cyclist, asking for directions to the grocery store on your way to their house and for permission to use their microwave would accomplish the same result of broaching the subject without anyone feeling awkward...until I'm told otherwise, I would assume that I'm not invited and proceed accordingly.
Some very good suggestions! I suppose as we get better and better at this we all find ways to "broach" different subjects in a positive manner. I like the suggestion(s) of asking about the grocery store as a potential guest and asking about food preferences/allergies as a host.
I never assume, as a host, that I'm providing dinner for anyone... I've signed up to have a shower & a camping spot... And I don't think the visitor should assume they're getting a meal.
Reason: I'm a single person, not a family, so nobody can rely on me putting dinner on the table every night. I'm often coming & going, already have plans, doing errands, away for the weekend, etc. Plus I work full time and have to exercise my elderly father three times a week, so I have other commitments.
That said: If I'm home and have had enough warning that someone's coming, I've made sure to invite others over for dinner (so it's not just single boring me) and gone out and shopped so I have some food in the house, and had a barbeque.
Totally pysched to host, but you can't just assume a shower and a camping spot equals dinner!
I enjoy hosting or I would not have ever signed up to be a Warmshower host.
i also enjoy cooking a real meal. being single i tend to have pieced together meals at odd hours when it is just me. Having another person to fix it for motivates me to eat better
more balanced meals. Potential guest, if they have read the feedback forum know I cook , plus on my profile I ask for dietary restrictions or preferances. One woman pedaler, was hungry for salad. i greeted her with a veggie filled salad topped with chicken breast. she was thrilled, and we both ate well. So as a guest coming to my home, do not be afraid to speak up, if you have a hankering for something let me know, I will do my best to prepare it for you.
So bottom line Hosts, if you enjoy fixing a meal as part of your hosting, share that with folks on your profile, Guests. don't be afraid to share a dietary preferance or restriction, there are food allegeries out there as a host I will try to accommodate.