Somethings just happen to you and you are so overwhelmed by the effect of it that you don’t know if you should react or just remain poised and silently and subtly enjoy every bit of it. Moreover, sometimes these things that happen to you are so small for the world outside that you are left wondering whether or not you should even talk about it. But I have left those inhibitions far and behind. So here I am to talk to you about something as small as a supper but something that has had a far reaching effect on me.
So if you know me you know that I have immigrated to a new country about 3 weeks ago. They say that the experience of moving from one country to the other is overwhelming. However, for someone like me who has never travelled abroad being overwhelmed is an understatement. There is not one thing that I am not overwhelmed about. Leaving behind the place you called home, planning to set up a new base, saying a teary good bye to your family, and telling your little niece that now she will have to make a long journey if she decides to spend her vacations with you. The last part is the toughest. But what bothered me the most was the thought which revolved around me accepting this new place as my new home and people in this new place accepting me as one of their own.
R is well-read and well-travelled. I am just decently read. Obviously, I was scared. What if the new place doesn’t like me? What if we are not accepted? No amount of pacifying by R helped. I was excited to immigrate but I was scared too. But then the last 3 weeks have changed my opinion quite a lot. I am so glad to have done what we did.
We were immigrating to a country which did not have any of our relatives. So R and I decided to look for a B&B (Bed & Breakfast) arrangement till we find a decent accommodation for ourselves. This would work for us, R explained. The logic was that we get access to kitchen where we could cook our meals and not spend too much money eating outside. B&B works out to be reasonable on your pocket and meets all your requirements of a safe temporary accommodation. Little did I know that B&B also provides you with some fringe benefits. It puts you in touch with some of the most amazing and kind people. People who make you feel so warm inside that no amount of temperature outside can rob you off that warmth.
Before I tell you about my experience let me give you a glimpse in to this B&B business. B&B if seen from the surface is actually a commercial thing to do. Your host is not required to cater to your whims and fancies. You pay them for the room and both of you could go about minding your own business. Once the tenure is over you pack your bags and leave. Matter over. Most of the times guest and hosts don’t see each other for days. Even if they do they hardly talk. They know so little about each other. They just share a roof in most cases and it ends there.
But I guess with nice people it doesn’t work that way. They walk that extra mile, break all the barriers of a host-guest relationship and set a benchmark. They share gentle smiles and warm hugs. They share delicious meals and the rarest of the rare wines. They share stories of their woods and towns. They share experiences and ambitions. They share trust and affection. Most of all they share a piece of their heart with each other. A piece that would just stay as a cherished memory with us for ever. From complete strangers they become these treasured friends who you would love to cherish for a lifetime.
So it all began when we met this gorgeous couple – M&T. We met them when we moved in to their B&B as guests for few days. Before I tell you further about my experience with them let me introduce these beautiful people to you. M has the most beautiful smile and an equally beautiful heart. (You will drool over the food she makes). T is a gentleman - gentle with his words and even gentler at his heart. We had never met both these lovely people ever. A quick interaction on a website and boom we landed luggage and bags at their door. Skeptical in our heads about whether this would work out or not we made our quick journey to their beautiful abode. And before we could even blink our eyes M was already helping us with the luggage and making sure that we settle down in this new place. And then M welcomed us to a tasty supper. Who doesn’t like tasty warm food served on a cold day especially when you are tired and worn out?
It may sound silly. I mean what is so big about sharing a supper, isn’t it? But sometimes small things have a profound influence. It does for us. M&T had a long day at work. Both of them were as tried as I was. Yet, R&I were treated to a sumptuous meal and conversation that will stay with me for a lifetime. We (all four of us) spent about 2 hours on the dinner table talking about random things. Things about this and that part of the world. Things about food and wine. Things about kids and adults. Things about our cultures and how different yet similar they are. Things about inventions and discoveries. Of course I did most of the blabbering and the others put up with it with bravery and courage. All this while both M&T had a long tiring day at work yet they wanted to spend some time with us.
In a new place with no known face around one looks out for a smile to latch on to. Immigrating isn’t easy. In such a situation when you meet someone who makes you feel welcome it makes a difference. It does. M&T accepted us in to their house with open arms. We were treated like family and we truly felt like one. R&I are genuinely touched by this gesture.
We belong to different countries and cultures. We have different skin and texture. We speak different languages. We may also have different opinions on many things. But beneath this skin we are all the same. The smile and the hug are the same. The heart and the emotions it feels are just the same as well.
The supper last night was such a beautiful gesture that even in this unkind chilly weather R&I felt warm inside.