I went to visit a friend and her family today and, as I’m used to doing in Vancouver, Canada, I texted, “Can I come and visit at 5 p.m.?” For many people in Canada, it would be considered rude to just show up without a warning or not letting people know in advance. I did this especially because my friend just had a baby.
But as I learned the last time I visited, even if they are feeling tired or sick, they like having people around. I asked them, “Is it ok to come without messaging first?”
The husband said, “Yes it’s ok you can come anytime. It’s a different culture. You don’t need to message first.”
It made me think a lot about how much we value our personal space and what’s comfortable for many of us in North America. In Cambodia, space is shared by friends and family at any given time.
Next time I visit, I may just show up, though the thought of showing up unannounced makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.