I’m coming to stay…
I have a very bad habit of inviting people to everything. Seriously, buy me a drink and I will invite you to my wedding. I am that kind of person.
Most recently, I received a call from a sweet young Canadian girl who I met in Africa. She was in Sydney and she had two days where she could either a) sit alone in her hostel room weeping, or b) come and stay with us. There was no choice. A plan was made to meet at Central Station and I resolved to be a Good Host; the kind that gives you fluffy towels, makes you cups of tea and generally gives you the impression that their life was very lonely before you showed up.
Sadly, I failed (again). I cooked, I asked lots of questions, I tried to make sure the house didn’t smell too much like a wet dog and yet somehow, I did not bridge the cultural gap.
We ate Pho in Marrickville, we drank Malibu against my better judgement (my guest didn’t drink wine or beer – it was confusing) and we watched Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet which is an undeniably awesome movie. After all of that, I was still the only one having a moderately good time. In one final push, I got up at dawn (on a Saturday, I might add) to farewell our young Canuk and still nothing. My farewell hug was received with reluctance and as the cab pulled away, I was the only one waving.
What did I do wrong? Surely free accommodation and food have got to count for something?
Have you ever had an overseas visitor who made you feel weird? Someone who hogged the Playstation or leant over you while you were sleeping, fondling your hair? Someone who just wouldn’t leave, despite your attempts to poison them with deadly nightshade Parmigiana? Tell me, Dear Friends. Offload your woes to Mama…