To come to Korea, Kris and I left our South African friends behind. It was a painful thing to do for both of us. While we may not have the widest friendship circles, we have formed deep bonds with a number of people. It is the desire to see these friends and our families that is the primary force drawing us back to South Africa. However, as we have spent more time in Korea, we have bonded with others here. Sadly, this weekend, we had to say goodbye to a pair that we have grown remarkably fond of. Even though we only knew them for a couple of months, we forged a friendship that will (hopefully) last a long time.
The lovable gent in the cover photo is Holm. He is a scholar, a gentleman, and, occasionally, a model for the fashion properties of pumpkin pie. It is Holm and his lovely girlfriend Kristy that we had to say goodbye to.We spent yesterday with them, doing what we love to do best – eating, playing board games, and talking about everything and nothing. We met at a sushi restaurant, walked over to play Munchkin at a nearby bakery, then ventured to a Western-style restaurant for our final meal together. It was a fitting end to chapter one of our friendship. When we parted, I was fighting off tears. I will miss them both immensely.
Today, on the other hand, was a day of bonding for both Kris and I. Kris went to have a bitch and stitch (a feminine gathering where they knit and catch up) with one of her close friends, Robyn. She will also be leaving Korea next March, but that is a tale for another post. I spent my day writing and gaming, before Kris returned home and we had a Skype session with this scalliwag:
Findlay Matheson. The only thing longer than his hair is his influence in my life. Findlay is my oldest friend. He and I often spend hours talking about inanities that most of humanity would abandon after mere moments. Tonight’s Skype was a brief discussion about his brother’s partner’s pregnancy, general catch-up, and an intricate discussion of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Yes, we have our priorities completely correct. Words, even my words, cannot describe how much this man means to me.
Friends are important in keeping ourselves sane. Or at least suitably, functionally insane. New friends such as Holm and Kristy and old friends such as Findlay help me keep touch with exactly how much we have accomplished in our time in Korea. This is a formative part of my life, with decisions that I make now likely having far-reaching implications into my future. With friends like these, I know I will be guided on the correct path for me. They say if one can hold a friendship for seven years, it will last a lifetime. I have been friends with Findlay for more than twenty. I foresee Holm and Kristy reaching similar lengths. I cannot wait for the moments that I will share with these, and all of our other, friends in the future.
Whether we stay in Korea for a long time or come home after our next contract, it is friends that will help us along the way, and friends that will be there to cheer us on as we reach our dreams. Whatever the future holds, Kris and I will face it with input from our friends. Thank you for always being there for us.