Sunday, November 16, 2008


Guest- host relationships are known to be a new area
of popular sociology studies.
Hospitality as defined in the Merriam-Webster’s
Dictionary means “offering a pleasant or
sustaining environment”.
After living for over twenty years in hospitable countries
I find it kind of amusing to read long, defensive articles
about the dangers of trusting people who show themselves
too friendly. “Behind every smile there is a long shopping
list of needs that you’ll end up paying for.”
This presumption of bribery is often the only reason for
cross-cultural misunderstandings.
Corruption–free countries have a reputation of being
nice but boring.
The European skepticism doesn’t easily mingle with the
oriental market place mentality. Why should we speak
through calculators and stamped contracts when we can
explore one another’s chemistry around a
glass of tea and free of charge goodies?
I remember a director of a big printing house “Red East”
in Baku who was so fascinated by my calendar. He
asked me several times, “How does it work?” I explained
him the principle of numbers following one another and
days turning into weeks filling my life with appointments,
dead-lines and other commitments. He thought it was cute.
Hospitality has become a big industry.
The more you pay the better service you can demand.
But can hospitality be demanded?
Isn’t it strongly based on voluntary caring?
Five-star hotels create an illusion of people caring for
you when they actually don’t have a choice. They don’t
like you, they work there.
I like the unconditional attitude in caring.
Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.”
Yes, it could also be demons disguised in an
angelic appearance knocking on your door.
That’s the kind of world we have been sent to.

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