A Weekend of Fun with Lauren and Tracy
The thought of hosting a foreign guest seems daunting at first. After all, what do we do when someone so different from us comes and lives in our home? Food, stay, entertainment and stimulating company......the list of things we need to get right seems endless. Nevertheless, without much thought to saying yes or no, taking the plunge did it for us. Meeting our guests twice in school before they actually came home did help. They also got to know who their hosts would be and that put them at ease. Naively, we planned days packed with a lot of sightseeing and shopping activities. With the rain Gods smiling down on us so often, we did have to make a few nicks and tucks in the plan. Although only half of it got done, the two days spent with them were the most enriching. A lot of cultural exchange, getting to know the ways of doing and saying things, the whys, wheres and whens all led to eventful conversations. They were also an eye opener to us, in terms of how much we actually knew and how much we did not. A lot of things that we take as common knowledge had to be justified. A lot of our questions regarding American ways also got answered. The knowledge that we glean from books and television seems a lot, but to have it ratified gave it much more meaning. Having guests who were so accommodating, grateful for our time and company, and game for everything – from riding on mopeds to smoking a hookah to eating Paan and staying up late to play Uno – is a big, big plus. However, it goes without saying that the whole process can be so much fun, with just a small prerequisite – one has to be fun loving oneself and ready to take the risk of going out of one’s comfort zone. For us, the connect was so instantaneous and deep that when the time came for our guests to leave, all of us wished the stay was for a longer duration and had to bid an almost teary goodbye.
- Anupriya Kulkarni and Shruti Padmakumar