These are people I know. Folks I meet and have eaten with, multiple times, over the last 6 years. We have visited each other's homes and socialized to celebrate occasions and sometimes just like that. Yet I didn't know what to expect from the trip. It's one thing to meet people for a few hours every few months. It's a completely different thing to stay with them and be with them over the course of a few days.
While I mostly enjoyed their company, the majestic palace hotel we stayed at and the general chatter, I loathed meal times. Suddenly the dining table became a no holds barred advice giving forum. Advice on what to eat and how and why and when by the two ladies who are extremely health and diet conscious (read stick thin). Each time someone reached for a waffle or ordered Puri bhaji, there was a five minute discourse about how unfit the rest were and what wrong food choices we were making.
I'm a fairly rational person. I understand when people dish out well meaning advice But there is a limit to the mumbo-jumbo I could listen to from ill informed people bent on making my long pending three day holiday into a 'correct your eating habits' workshop.
So I did the next best thing, thanks to early rising with Sage that's become a habit, I quickly began going very early and ahead of everyone to have my coffee and breakfast in peace. We are talking waking around 5:45, walking an hour and heading to breakfast by 7 a.m when only the staff is around and they're still setting up for service. I can manage every other meal in chaos and tune out the noise, but I need my coffee and breakfast in absolute peace, preferably eaten in silence.
This arrangement worked to prep me for the rest of the day shared with other adults and a few kids and gave me enough time in the company I enjoy the most - mine.