I just bid adieu to my friend Dimitri who was here staying for the last couple of days. Two days before that was my friend Digraj who stayed with me for three days. The week prior to that my friend Jose. All in all, this year I have had guests staying with me for 32 days out of this year, or close to a quarter of the year. And my parents (whom I adore) are arriving in 3 days for a 5 day visit. I enjoy having guests, and with all the hospitality that people have shown me over the years, I am happy to return the favors, either directly to them or in offering the same kindness to others. But there does come a point where one needs a little alone time, and I think I am close to that point. After my parents leave I am going to try to have a few weeks with no one sleeping in my apartment but me.
I don’t know about you, but if:
- I was going on a long trip away from home, and
- I called a friend at my destination to ask for a place to stay, and
- he said yes, and
- I told him the dates of my arrival, and
- I then, for whatever reason, changed my mind about staying with him,
I would probably call him to let him know, wouldn’t you? I had a few email exchanges with a Brazilian friend who was coming to New York for a visit this past weekend, apparently staying until Wednesday (tomorrow). He asked me for a place to stay, and I told him that I was out of town until Sunday, but he was welcome to stay with me after that. So we agreed that he and his friend would stay Monday and Tuesday night. He sent me a message last week letting me know he was flying out Friday night and would be contacting me Monday. I spent some time yesterday cleaning up the apartment and getting it ready for guests, and waited to hear from him. And waited. By six in the evening, I decided to send him an email. No response, and by midnight I just went to bed. I still haven’t heard from him. Some cultures are just a lot looser about these things than ours, I suppose.
I spent a good time with Cinzia and Carla, walking around in the blustery white and slush that was Manhattan today. While we were getting them fitted for boots at the sporting goods store, I got a text from my friend Pete in San Francisco asking me if I was in New York at the moment. I answered yes, excited that he might be coming here for work soon, but it turned out that a friend of a friend of his was coming to SF from Spain, and…you guessed it…she was stranded trying to get out of JFK since her flight was canceled. I told him she was welcome to give me a call. When I didn’t hear from her all day, I assumed she had worked out a flight or something, but then the phone rang about 30 minutes ago and it was her. The conversation was quite a blur in Spanish, but I worked out that she couldn’t get a flight out and needed a place to stay, so I gave her directions and told her to come by. It will be quite a full casa tonight, but I figure it is good karma.
My parents just left after a lovely weekend visit. We walked around the Meatpacking District, West Village, East Village, and Chelsea, and ate at a number of great restaurants (Chinatown Brasserie, Zampa, Markt, and Morimoto). As I said before, it is nice to be living in a place where I can finally have people stay with me, and my parents were the perfect first to inaugurate the guest arrangements.