Every culture has different ways of making guests feel welcome. A social expectation in the West is that if you are going to visit someone’s house then you damn well better let them know in advance and whilst this social expectation is still found in Asian communities it is definitely not as well adhered to. So, whilst everyone knows that Asians originate from the land where everything in the modern world is manufactured, and are known for possessing the skill of human calculators, and are most importantly the ninjas of Humankind. What they don’t know is that Asian hospitality is faultless in every aspect, but a system that is abused by the different types of Asian guests that you find.
So here is the types of Asian guest you could expect:
The expected guests: These are the good guys on the guest list. They will let you know at least a day advance what day they’re coming. They’ll ring to let you know what time their coming, whether they’ll be bringing their kids, whether they are going to stay for dinner, whether they are going to stay over, and even whether they’re going to bring neighbours cat because their nieghbours gone on holiday, and they’re cat sitting, in which case you’ll need to buy a litter box. For any host unless you hate entertaining people, these guests are a joy; it fills the hosts heart with confidence because they can cook up a feast, clean their house, go out to the supermarket and purchase the latest bleach to clean their toilets with, and buy an air freshener in the complimentary scent. Sadly, few Asian guests are actually like this. Most probably because the “expected” guest is far too organised to be Asian.
The semi-expected guests: These guests are usually from another town and are visiting their family, but are also your distant relatives because your aunt is married to their uncles sister in laws brothers previous dog owners cousin twice removed. These are the playaaa playyyaaarrs of the guest list who are scared too confirm anything because they don’t want to put their host out but they will leave their host hanging. They’ll give you the “We’ll see, if we have time”, or “We have so many other places to be, but if we’re passing we’ll drop by, so don’t expect anything, but maybe we will come round 7pm-ish tomorrow, so do have a nice dinner cooked, or at least some tea and cake”. These guests are frustrating. I mean, do you waste that limited edition Febreeze air freshener not knowing whether they’ll even come to visit and appreciate it, do you align all your books in height order, pusblisher date, AND colour order just in case they turn turn up and on your door step, do you wear your not so trampy but not too dressy home clothes and cook the entire contents of your fridge on their not so reliable “maybe we’ll come if we have the time”. Really, these guests are probably the most insensitive. However, when they arrive they are welcomed with open arms even though the host has worn away their carpet or wooden floors from cleaning, mopping, whatever, and impatiently pacing, and has nothing left to eat for the rest of the month until pay day which is 27 days, 5 hours, 37 minutes, and 52 seconds away.
The surprise guests: Now, these jerks are pretty much the worst gate crashers you can imagine, but they’re not gate crashers because you weren’t having any sort of gathering. They are usually locals from your community, perhaps friends or relatives. Trust me, Asians in the same community are always related to each other in some way. They have to be, even if that other Asian is your uncles wife’s cousins dead pedigree hamsters breeder’s ex wife’s sister she is your relative. (Yes, pets are family members too.) Anyway, these guests arrive at your door step when your sat down with your unwashed feet up on the tea table, wearing the trampy home clothes which you haven’t washed in about five weeks. You’ve got no nice food in your house to feed them, not even nice snacks like cake, biscuits, anything that you could serve with a cup of tea, or coffee. You can’t even cook them a meal because you yourself have been living out the cheese you found in that milk carton in the back of your fridge and frozen green beans that are slowly shrivelling up into nice grey straws in the bottom of your freezer draw. So, when the door bell goes and you see these surprise guests, and you pretty much die. However, being the cunning Asian that you are you don’t acknowledge them immediately and rush to the door. No, what you actually do is lick your hand and clean the smears off your tea table, whilst swiftly pulling out that secret weapon from behind the sofa (the extra can of Glade air freshner), and spraying it on yourself, and sitting room whilst trying to plump up the cushions, and then go open the door and welcome them in. Even though, in your head you’re hoping they trip up over the door bar and and all topple on top of each other so, you spend the evening in hosting in the hospital A&E instead.