Hospitality as selfishness may seem a contradiction to many people’s views on manors and propriety, but there are some days I can’t help but think it is the reason why people really open their home and invite others to join them. Sure there are several stresses that go into the role of hostess, from planning a meal to making sure the house is clean. But these tasks can all be done from the quietness of home with soft relaxing music playing in the background enhancing the pleasure of the task.
The guest, however, must brave the outside world in order to fight their way to the predetermined location. At times these travels can seem arduous for all involved. You must find the right bus stop, stand and wait, run with the crowd to board the proper bus, push your way aboard, stand packed like sardines for more stops than you can count, listening to the garbled sound of the intercom system announcing each stop at a decibel that breaks the acceptable noise levels of public places, guard your belonging from pick-pockets and the like, walk in extreme temperatures from the place where the bus stops to where your friend actually lives, buy fruit or some sort of appropriate hostess gift by haggling over the price, toting said purchase of several kilos up numerous flights of stairs, all the while trying to look pleasant and put together in order to smile your greeting to the host.
The longer the visit lasts the more one’s mind becomes distracted with thoughts of returning home. Will the buses still be running? Will I be able to get a taxi? How many blocks will I have to walk before some form of transportation will become availed? This nervous preoccupation with the return journey can often start to sour the end of the evening.
The host merely puts on music, whips down the table, washes a few dishes and heads to bed, selfishly enjoying the fact that they never had to leave the comforts of their own home.
Okay, so today was the first snowfall of the year and I might be a little bitter at having had to go outside and face the snow and ice covered streets.