Monday, November 21, 2011

Hospitality and the "Pop-In"

Hungary has taught us how to be spontaneous. The other night our friend Dáni Hamar came by to pick something up and hang out for a few minutes. As we stood in our entry way, talking about the change in weather and the boat trip we recently took together, Dáni’s brother, Dávid, called. It turned out Dávid was just down the street and Dáni wanted to know if his brother could pop in for a minute.

Now Let me pause the story here. Honesty is a quality we both admire and sometimes loathe in our Hungarian friends; it depends on the situation and what they are being honest about. But that night, as Dáni hung up the phone and waited for his brother to arrive, he made an honest inquiry about whether we could host the two Hungarian brothers for dinner. His boldness in asking us to host a meal on such short notice was both endearing and exciting!

Luckily for the brothers Hamar, Allie had already planned on whipping up some Tex-Mex for the evening. So there we were, two Americans rushing around the kitchen, eager to show our Hungarian friends that we too can be hospitable. When Dávid walked through the door, Allie was preparing chicken tacos with beans and rice, while I took the cork out of our best bottle of wine. We all stood in our kitchen, sipping wine and laughing as we told stories and waited for our impromptu supper.

The meal was a hit! Allie hit a home run, which is no surprise to anyone who knows her. Through out supper our conversation was only interrupted by, “mmmm” or “Ha! This is so good--Nagyon finom, Allie (very delicious, Allie)!”

Afterwards, we sat with our elbows on the table and reclined into more casual conversation. I kept thinking, “This moment was brought to you by ‘Spontaneity’.” And it’s true, because if we had said we were too busy or didn’t have enough food for everyone, we would have missed this moment. Nights like that one make me incredibly thankful for Hungarian spontaneity, honesty, hospitality and their appetite for life.