At home everywhere. It’s a matter of course and feels it has two equally important parts. On the one hand there is no hesitation of entering other people’s homes, taking things or even biting off from your sandwich (it’s not that I wasn’t aware of this custom nonetheless it caught me off guard) without asking. And on the other hand as soon as you enter anywhere everyone is eager to make your stay as pleasant as imaginable. Food is served to uneatable amounts, your tiniest hesitation is registered and accompanied by worried questions if there is anything that can be done – and sometimes there is, e.g. I just don’t know how to eat it. So these visits are characterized by generous giving and taking on both sides.
Also it feels a little strange to eat alone, so I explain myself: I am not used to eating with an audience. So for me there is something I have to get used to before I can really enjoy this part of hospitality.
But I am very grateful for all the lovely people I meet and it definitely makes my work here much easier, I don’t feel as much as an introder as this is a usual habit. Although of course it cannot be denied that I do get some extra attention as a Foreigner.
The immense amounts and variety of drinks and dishes organized and served stay always the same, no matter how often I try so emphasize (and feel bad about it) I cannot eat that much.
After this ritual is completed, everyone is in their normal relaxed mode again and may also take some of the food that is left. This is the part of the visit that I enjoy the most.