Not long ago I got this text from my husband, "My sister called, she's at our house. My dad let her in." I was automatically filled with questions;
Did you know she was coming?
How long is she staying?
Did she bring the kids?
Is everything ok?
His answer, "I didn't know and I don't know." As if that would satisfy my unrest!
While my writing may seem to suggest I have accepted this cultural difference, the battle and culture clash continue. The phrase “used to” is a tricky one; I am used to unexpected house guests because it is a repeat event but I am not so used to that it no longer bothers me. I don’t think I will ever be ok with something that has been ingrained in me as an invasion of privacy and lack of respect. I can accept that it is not meant to be rude and is a common practice in Chinese culture but it is still and intrusion for me. Suffering this cultural conflict in silence makes me feel like an outsider in my own home and my own family.
But again I look at my own culture and wonder is it better to take advantage of people hospitality or offer words of hospitality expecting people to know better than to accept your words as sincere?