When I was younger, I never relished the prospect of receiving guests. Whenever my parents' acquaintances or distant relatives came to visit, I'd carry out the obligatory duty of salam-ing everyone, and then almost immediately I'd disappear into my room. No one noticed, I think. Making small talks is not my forte anyway, so my staying around would just shift the ambiance to be awkward so... Yeah. Hahah. But Mama has always put a great emphasis on the notion that tetamu datang membawa berkat, and that Islam's idea of treating guests is to honour them by supplying great hospitality. Mama said I should never see guests as troublesome. Whenever someone announces he/she is coming over, Mama's reflex would be to go to the kitchen and whip up something edible from whatever ingredients are available. If there's not enough time to cook, she makes one of us (me & my brother) go out to buy food. She lives her life by the principle that God forbids anyone leaves our house without having his/her tummy filled, be it with cekodok or teh o or bihun goreng or whatever. Same thing applies when we become guests; time and again she'd remind me to never go visit someone's house empty handed, because this whole guest-host thingy is a two-way street. In fact, I observe this host-guest quality not just in Mama, but Nenek is a living testament to it as well so I'm guessing Nenek has successfully passed down this trait in Mama (and my other aunts & uncles).
And Mama might have passed it down to me.
Indeed tetamu datang membawa berkat - if there's one thing studying abroad teaches me, it's this. I've come to learn that berkat comes in various forms. In KHomestay's case, our guests came bearing bountiful of fun!! Dinner time became a little louder with laughs and jokes, we cooked a little bit more to feed the extra mouths (hope they liked our mi bandung and ayam black pepper and butter chicken and nasi lemak!), we waited for turns to take shower (#throwback #MRSM #memories hahaha), university anecdotes got exchanged as we tried to catch up with old friends & get to know new ones. Where we couldn't keep them company to visit the touristy spots in London, we made up by packing food for them to eat on the go & cooking dinner. The sweetest thing, to me, is that they never failed to leave without giving us something in return of our hospitality. Fruits, raw chicken, veges (SPINACH!! The latest addition to the list of veges that I eat hehe), little 'thank you' notes, cookies, keychains, postcards, chocolates, etc. So thoughtful of them (you have no idea how meaningful it is to give raw cooking ingredients to students overseas hahaha)!!
Here are photos of us with some of our guests! Sayang tak sempat ambik gambar with others. Next time, insyaAllah. We hope their short stay with us was memorable, because we're like, the best hosts ever?? K over hehe.
|KHouse (minus Ulfah because she had to go somewhere else on that day) ft my primary school friends!|
|KHouse ft our new friends from Egypt!|