it's not paradise (1) all day every day

We didn't think too much about what to expect when we signed for the 13-year-old's exchange trip to Thailand next month. Now we can't think of anything else. only three weeks' time, a 13-year-old Thai boy will arrive our house to live with us for a month. The poor child will get the culture-shock of his life.

They gave us a little talk at the boys' school to tell us what to expect our guest. Apparently, the children at his school in Thailand are used to having many as 25 servants. In the Kemp household, our young visitor will find precisely none - you count my poor wife, who serves as cook, cleaner, washer woman, secretary, gardener and nurse, all rolled one.

They told us, too, that we should never raise our voices when our guest was . In Thailand, it seems, shouting is considered extremely offensive. In my family, it is the standard means of communication. Everybody yells everybody all day, every day. We have been practising with the boys to see how long we can go without shouting at each other. Our record far is 35 minutes. God knows how we will manage to keep it for a month. I am not optimistic.

I assumed when we signed up the exchange that our boy would be away in Thailand while the Thai boy stayed us. That would have meant our guest could take the 13-year-old's bedroom. I was wrong. Our boy will not be leaving for his month in Thailand the day after our guest leaves us. So not only we have no servants to look after Jetsada, we haven't even got a bed for him.