Friday, April 01, 2016

Delights of Being a Host

I've been hosting people for a long time, whether it be family and friends visiting Hawaii for the first time or our guest from all over the world Couch Surfing at our place.

Flying in a Helicopter over Hilo.  LOL, you can actually see our old house on Derby Lane

One of the delightful things to see is how they react to new things.  It's almost like watching kid's open up a gift for Christmas.  There's suspense, shock, glee and excitement...or disappointment.

Yap, those are goats from the other side.  Don't know the name of the place so I dubbed it "Goatyville"

Most of our hosting experience happened to be in Hawaii, and because it's a tourist destination, we know what our guests were expecting out of our hometown.  We also threw in the added bonus of making recommendations based on our guests interest and likes.  As very proud residents of Hilo, we knew almost every nook and cranny, every hole in the wall and most every secret swimming hole.  We delighted in seeing our guest enjoy our recommendations, often times going with them to our secret spots because we enjoyed them as well.

Now that we are living abroad in Thailand, it's a whole new ballpark and we get to be the ones experiencing things for the first time and finding delight and joy in simple things, like cheap fruits and delicious food made in a food stall before you.  I've had four months for acclimation but my husband has been here for almost a year and he enjoys taking me to new things that I haven't seen yet and we have fun exploring different parts of Thailand together.  Living in a bigger city - or, at least having access to it besides getting on a flight - opens up a whole new experience of art and amenities that we didn't get living in a small town.  Now we can see concerts or shows, go to special art displays/exhibits and enjoy the city life is we so choose.  Granted we do live in a smaller more remote part of Thailand just outside of Bangkok, but a 45 min taxi drive and 20 min train ride takes us to the heart of Bangkok.

Our first guest from home arrived yesterday and I'm excited to see how they react to Bangkok.  We live in a small, one bedroom apartment with a living room and fold-out couch and one bath.  It'll be interesting living in such close quarters again with someone else for the next three weeks as we've not had a roomie since our last roomie left in May and we moved out of our Hilo house.

When asked about the taxi drive, their expressions were rather amusing because let's face it, the rules of driving here are way different compared to the US.  Rules are like cautionary notes or guidelines and not really set in stone and speed limit.

Pbtt!  Don't make me laugh! What speed limit?

Cost of living is so much less here and one of the appeals of living in a country like this.  We had fruits aplenty waiting for our guest's consumption and though we lived in Hawaii, where fruits were abundant, they were not cheap.  Over here, you can get a huge bowl with a variety of fruits for less than $5 USD.

I can't wait to see what their reaction would be to all the new experiences they are going to have here in Thailand!