Li’s parents are spending the Chinese New Year holiday with us which they also did last year. Having houseguests is always interesting and I try to anticipate different needs that people will have. In the spare bathroom I have small bottles of toiletries and tooth brushes collected during my many trips. The spare room no longer has drying clothes or spare suitcase storage and I’ve picked up and filed or trashed the papers that tend to collect on every surface.
Li went to the grocery store and we are stocked up on nuts and fruits and other good things. The kitchen has a new bottle of soy sauce, a full bag of fragrant Thai rice and lots of eggs.
We are ready.
And yet, I’m not.
Having guests not of my choosing can be a little touchy. Li’s mom makes me eat every single time I see her and the food is not always of my choosing. Li’s dad watches Chinese TV at all times of the day and night at super high volume. I don’t control the temperature in the house or anything else. Knowing this going in makes it tougher.
But that is what you do for people you love. You celebrate holidays and eat food and smile and soon it will be over. The memories will get sweeter and time will pass and it will be ok.
One of the benefits of our relationship is that our holidays are different. We never need to argue about where to go for Christmas. I am the expert on western holidays and he on eastern. Christmas was wonderful and Chinese New Year will be too.
So what tricks do you use when prepping for guests? Any tips I can use to make the guest experience ( and my own) more pleasurable? Any cultural difference stories with houseguests? Please share and keep me smiling. Going with the flow can be hard work. I think I’ll need a vacation after this!