Part 5: Our guests
All guest house owners have funny stories to tell about mishaps, double bookings, lovely and not so lovely guests. We give a dinner once a year for other guesthouse owners in the vicinity with whom we have become friends. Over dinner each can tell two stories - one about their best guests and one about their most difficult guests; it is a hilarious evening. Imagine when we discovered that year after year this one couple had been booking at the various establishments and year after year they had been telling the owners on booking that they were on their honeymoon in order to get a bottle of champagne ... or am I being cynical and is life for some really just one long honeymoon?
Most of our guests (English, American, Dutch, Spanish, Australian, Latvian, Swedish, Italian, Lithuanian, Belgian, Mexican, Argentinian - and I have surely missed a few) are quite delightful, and nothing is more enjoyable than to senjoy a drink with them on the roof terrace with all the candles flickering and looking across to the Moroccan shoreline. Our most unhappy guests were those who came for a wedding (bride and groom also stayed with us) and the local water authorities managed to cut off the water in the street without warning ... so no water. 12 bottles per apartment did not of course compensate for a lovely hot shower. Needless to say, it was not ‘our fault’ but we were surely made to feel it was ... to a certain extent understandable as a wedding is (normally) a one off event in a lifetime and should be perfect. A couple of days later, when the strain and stress of the event had worn off, we had a good laugh about it together with all our guests and the champagne flowed.
There is definitely an art in turning potential disaster in to a party – when new neighbours built a restaurant with a rooftop terrace, and played live music from 01.00 to 03.00 there was only one choice .... if you cant beat them, join them ... we too danced on our terraces - for that one night! Subsequent negotiations as ´good neighbours´got us nowhere and we had no choice but to resort to denouncing them and taking legal action – I am not prepared to see a business we have built up with love and pride - and licences! - over 10 years be sabotaged by sheer lack of consideration.