With H whom we actually met in Singapore
One thing that blew us away when we were in Chicago, was the genuine hospitality of the locals. They go all out and most were people that we just met!
So we stayed at my friend, J's house in Chicago. He was away on business at the last minute but generously left the house for our use and it was terribly kind of him. We were supposed to meet up his friend who had the house keys and over email, she was friendly and enthusiastic in giving us suggestions for our trip plans. And she landed up picking
us up from the airport on a Friday afternoon where the traffic is notoriously insane and we literally got stuck in traffic for 90 minutes. We were complete strangers but she went all out and it was truly heartwarming. For the rest of the trip, she met up with us, drove us around to check out the places that we wanted to eat at and even drove us to buy groceries.
We met up with more new people during the trip and we noticed that the locals had a common trait - they were all hospitable and generous. We had people giving us lifts home all the time - yes, new friends that we'd just met, and it really made the trip more enjoyable. We felt really much at home. Bus drivers when asked about a particular stop that we needed to get off, would tell us that they would inform us and they did. They even chit-chatted and joked around with us.
Then our friend H, whom we met in Singapore and had re-located, lived in Chicago for some time and obviously, that hospitality rubbed off on him as well. He took
the effort to meet up with us, bought us drinks (very sneaky the way he did it) and introduced us to his bunch of fab friends.
I wonder if it is a non-Asian trait or so because in our culture, unless you are really close friends with someone, you won't invite them to your house not to mention, to stay. When B.T visited a country some time this year and he was stopping by for a few days and decided to tour it since he had never been there, we tried hard to find a place for him to crash (on the floor) but it was hard even with friends. I didn't blame them for the excuses they threw at us because it is hard to host a guy who's a boyfriend of a friend and you've never met the guy. But aside from that, there was no offer to even meet up for dinner or a drink to 'host' and he was quite baffled by that and it took me awhile to explain to him the cultural differences. And I guess, coming from his viewpoint where he gladly allows his friends to crash at his tiny
studio and not just friends but for example, a brother of his friend. So perhaps, it is really a cultural thing. In fact when one of my buddies visited us in Colorado over the holidays, his parents willingly allowed her to stay over and even picked her up at the airport! An not forgetting that in the States, you drive to other cities in order to get to the airport so it's one helluva drive unlike in Singapore where it takes 30 minutes from wherever you are at the most.
In future when I get a place of my own, I would like to get a guest room so that friends visiting can crash at. No matter how busy one may get, it's always nice to have a visiting friend and you get to catch up and stuff as well. But that's me and I guess, not everyone might agree with my above viewpoint and observation.