We were in Yozgat, a small city in the heart of Anatolia, with a small group of foreign guests. It's December. Our guests wanted ice to put in their whisky. There is no ice in the hotel. They've never needed it! But of course the hotel personnel right away sets out looking for it from kith and kin, from anybody they know. The sister of one has ice. But it occurs to her to ask “What are you going to do with it?” When she hears the answer, she scolds the brother and says “How dare you ask for ice for alcohol from a hadji woman like me?” (Hadji is someone who has done the pilgrimage, hadj, to Mecca.) All hands are hunting for ice. To no avail. No ice in Yozgat.
The guests have been bewildered at first, to hear that there is no ice in the hotel; they've found it strange. But they've accepted the situation maturely thinking “So this is such a place” and are sipping their drinks without ice.
The hotel personnel's search continues. Finally, they see an aunty sweeping her balcony, they call out and ask. Surprise! Ice is found.
What I want to say is... You cannot force those people to give you ice for your drink. I mean you can, but it wouldn't be nice, wouldn't be decorum. The guest, even though he considers ice (Of course ice being just an example here. Could be hot water, running water, feta cheese, tea, alcohol, hair-dryer etc.) so very natural and a necessity at home, has to be able to accept that some places do not, may not have these. Albeit, the hotel personnel could have not made any effort to find ice. What's more, they might not have allowed the guests to bring alcohol to the premises in the first place. It is up to the guest to abide by the terms/conditions and rules of the host.
But the ideal has to be like the above example in Yozgat. The guest makes a request. The rest, the request to be granted or not, he leaves it to the host. He doesn't judge, he doesn't criticize, he doesn't exert pressure, he doesn't force. The first step after the request needs to come from the other side.
As for the host, if he respects your wishes even though it is not in his custom and does not even approve of it, this is highly esteemed and appreciated. A special bond is formed.
As a matter of fact, respect and disrespect are almost always mutual. If one side imposes himself and forces the other to adapt, comply and abide to him, this only leads to a backlash. And to me, this is the source of most of today's troubles. People's wish to impose their own rights and wrongs, their lifestyles, perceptions and beliefs.
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