This is the story of the couple who visited us from South Ameria in March 2016... It was husband Ramon and wife Micaela who were travelling to India for the first time and we hosted them in our house in Mumbai (versova). Ramon was Argentinian and Micaela was Peruvian but they currently lived in Chile. They were travelling for 10 months and had bought world travelers air tickets and were visiting one country after the other. In mid-March, they travelled from Hong Kong to India...My parents were pretty excited to host them. For a typical Indian (like my parents), taking a break from work for almost a year and travelling the world were unheard of...
It was Great experience, especially for my parents to host Ramon and his wife- cooking Alu Paratha (India Pan cakes:)), and giving them tips about places to visit in Mumbai, and recommending Mumbai specialties - pani puris (Indian snack)....and I even took them for a local train travel to give them a real Mumbai experience where we discussed several subjects - crime, church, religion, parenting, old age etc. etc....
But the most memorable experience was this... - They had booked with us for 2 nights and were headed to Udaipur on the third day...They did the train bookings from Mumbai to Udaipur while they were at our house... They checked out of my house in the morning and we wished them great journey...Ramon put my cellphone number on the booking website just in case and then they went to Bandra station and waited there for their train! We were hoping that all went well with them and that they would board the train without any issue and that they would have a pleasant journey to Udaipur....
Suddenly in the evening, around 8 pm, I received a message on my cellphone that the train to Udaipur has a waitlist number of 156 (wait list means - "Reservation only if cancelled") and I told my parents about it. My parents were very concerned. Their main concern was that if they didn’t board the train, where will they stay in the night in a foreign country...They recounted the experience when they were stranded in Bay of Islands New Zealand for a night. My parents wanted their safety and comfort first and asked me to write an email to them (because neither Ramon nor Micaela had any Indian telephone number)....In the email, my parents requested me to ask them to call me in case of any assistance required...And guess what, at 10 pm Ramon went to a cyber cafe to book a hotel for the night because they couldn’t take the train and then he saw my email!!!..He immediately called me for assistance.....My parents’ overhead this conversation and asked me to tell them to come over and stay with us for the night. I was resisting because we already had a new guest who was occupying the guest room... At 11 pm, Ramon and his wife reached our place and I told them that they could park themselves for the night in the drawing room because I didn’t have a room to host them. And what followed next brought tears to my eyes. I saw my parents vacating their room so that Ramon and wife could occupy their room and sleep well...My parents and I spend the night on the couch waiting for the morning to arrive!....Late midnight when I asked my mom why she vacated her room and she said "Baljit - I and your dad loved New Zealand as a country when we visited there but just that one night stranded at the airport is all that she remembers...All the great experiences of travel are washed if you have one bad experience and she didn’t want Ramon and Micaela to have that bad experience; to remember India by that experience as they did"
Next week, when we saw Micaela' review of their stay with us - we felt content... It read "Amazing hosts!! Baljit is so friendly and did everything in his power to help us and make us feel incredibly welcomed! As I mentioned we had many problems with the trains and couldn’t have had a better host and a friend like Baljit to help us! Definitely recommend this place! Thanks for everything again Baljit and parents!!"
This is such a lovely story, and wonderful to hear the kindness shown by your parents. It sounds as though they thoroughly deserved the amazing comments left. Do they regularly have guests from around the world stay with them?
Your guest's travels also sound very interesting and I'm sure they had many stories to tell you of their adventures.
It has also made me very hungry hearing about Alu Paratha and pani puris. I have never heard of a pani puris before, they sound delicious? :)
Thanks so much for sharing.