Dedicated to Chelsea and Patches.
Rule #1: Don’t hide your delight when your host offers you a morning brew using his homemade bike-art teapot warmer, fashioned out of gear chains, a hub thingy, and rubber tubes, with room for a little tealight candle in the center. Yes, it is as beautiful and amazing as it appears.
Rule #2: When no one expects it, do some spontaneous dishes. A houseguest pulled this on me one time and it’s become a favorite ritual of mine ever since. It (1) allows you to contribute to the home, (2) occupies your hands without interrupting a conversation, (3) lets you get cozy with the kitchen, and (4) guides the overall vibe toward generosity and warmth. This is a particularly useful rule for households of people under the age of 25, in which case there will always be dishes in the sink, and your hosts will be extra floored that you are willing to touch their dirty shit.
Rule #3: Abet adventure. When your hosts suggest setting out to find some branches for decorating their walls, make no attempt to disguise your goofy enthusiasm. Express your excitement for all manner of romps, forays, jaunts, and missions.
Rule #4: Pick thoughtful, fun-loving, generous, and all-around brilliant hosts. And you’re golden.
I recently did the dishes at my friendhost’s place in Boston, it got me right into the homespace ecosystem :)