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"Tak yure derty sheets off ze bed"


An easy target, but this one was side-splitting to find: reading the rules of our villa (holiday home, to you and me) in France, we discovered that at the end of our stay we had to unmake our beds and and put the dirty shits and dirty towels in the bathroom.

We eventually plucked up the courage to tell the very nice owners about their mistake and they too found it very amusing and were not at all embarrassed. We promised to rewrite the Rules for them when we got back. I reprint my efforts here (not even sure myself about some of them) just to indicate the kind of extremely complicated messages that non-English speakers in the tourist business have to try to construct in this adopted language of ours just for the sake of their foreign guests - we're so lucky in many ways that this language of the colonists has been accepted as the lingua franca in so many contexts.

  1. Do please, at the end of your stay, leave your villa as close as possible in the condition you found it.
  2. At the end of your stay, or on each Saturday for longer bookings, please unmake all beds and place dirty sheets and dirty towels inside the (ground-floor) bathroom.
  3. Rubbish must be dealt with as follows: put all plastic bottles and other plastic objects in transparent plastic bags; separate out printed materials, glass bottles & other glass products; put all other rubbish into black plastic bags; and then place each accordingly into the appropriate bins outside the gates.
  4. Please do not rearrange furniture.
  5. Excessive electrical use will be invoiced separately.
  6. Please inform us immediately of any broken dishes or other items.
  7. Do not use the “plancha” (barbeque) beneath the canopy; instead, roll it out into the patio area before use.
  8. In the Basque country the weather can change very quickly, so please be sure to close all windows, take down the parasol, and put the deckchairs under the canopy before leaving your villa.
  9. Please, do not mix up crockery from your villa with that of another villa.
  10. In relation to noise levels, please respect your neighbours at all times.
  11. Fireplace use is permitted from October to April only.

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