There really should be a traveler’s honor code. Print it on the back of everyone’s plane ticket: don’t be a jerk. I hate that people need to be reminded of this. I know we’re all living a transient communal lifestyle, so it is easy to minorly screw each other over without repercussions. Yes, you probably can steal my food and get away with it. But come on. Be better than that.
There has been petty theft everywhere I have stayed. Communal fridges are the worst. In Merida, my cookies and beautiful leftover pollo pibil were both taken. In Villadolid, tortillas, cheese, and vegetables went missing. In Tulum, beer disappeared from the fridge on a regular basis despite the bar twenty feet away. I have yet to store food and not have some of it stolen, usually in a matter of hours. Seriously people. I know you’re not starving or actually that desperate. You seem able enough to buy cigarettes, unless those are stolen too. Grow up and buy your own damn food!
Beyond this, I wish more respect was shown in general. Be considerate and kind. Take care of your things; don’t leave them strewn all over a room you share with other people. If you have a ridiculously loud and frequent nighttime cough, maybe take some medicine or stop chain smoking for a day. (Not just for my sake, but for your own!) Do your dishes. Put away your garbage. These are simple things, and the majority of people do them. But there are also enough who don’t to make it a problem with the hostel culture.