Monday 8 September 2014

A Long Distance Friend Relationship

Monday, September 8, 2014

Someone who does not live in your country

I knew right away who I wanted to write about. I emailed him and asked for permission. He's given me the go ahead, so now I just have to write about him.

James and I met while neither one of us were living in 'our own' country. He's from South Africa, and I'm from Canada (as we know). We met in South Korea. We were teaching at the same school in Seoul. He had been living in South Korea for a while before I got there. (A couple of years, maybe?). He had a girlfriend who was Korean, and had family living in Seoul as well. 

We became friends during the year I worked at ECC. I don't think we were the most fabulous friends ever, but we did okay. 

He teased me about things that should not have been funny, but I guess it was proof that we WERE going to be fabulous friends. For example, he made light of my break up with G. Calling me a 'heart breaker' for breaking up with him over the phone. Both of us knew why I did it, and although it was a hard decision, it probably helped making light of a situation I couldn't change. Not everybody could have made jokes about it. There were other things... many things. He just waited for stories from me because most of them were embarrassing stories. This hasn't changed. He thanked me for being the 'unloved' one in the office because it provided humour for him. Seeing him laugh about it, usually made me laugh as well.

We hung out as a group with friends, and sometimes together. We never dated, or crossed any lines that would cause trouble to a friendship. As I said, he did have a girlfriend. We laughed, we drank, we talked about life. We had fun.  

This is my favourite picture of us. What else do you do with weird bread sticks on your table. (Ignore my hair).
  New Years

A night out at Tinpan
Go Karts (I won).

Celebrating a coworkers wedding. Time to cut the cake? With a sword?

I left Korea, in 2006. This is what he wrote in my Korea Scrapbook (below): "Thanks for walking into doors, falling off skateboards, and not being loved in the office. Yours in Gossip."

I'm pretty sure his last words before I left were, "I'd say keep in touch, but that rarely happens does it?" I remember not being insulted or upset about the comment because it's true. Especially considering Facebook wasn't a thing back then. 

However, we did keep in touch, and our friendship is one of the ones I cherish most. It started with emails and letters full of great gossip on his end, and on mine, stories featuring me getting hurt or embarrassing myself.

We lost touch for a little while in 2007, and one day I received an email from him telling me about his life. The email came when I most needed his support and advice (the miscarriage), and we've kept in touch ever since. 

James and I are completely honest with each other, and never hide the stupid things we've done. We support one another from a far, and give each other advice when we need it. (Whether we've asked for it or not). We tell the truth. We don't judge.

We're pretty awesome. It's a friendship I didn't expect to be as long lasting and as good as it is. 

Although it stinks never seeing each other, we still share important moments of one another's life. He just got married, and although I wasn't there, I was there in spirit, and so excited for him!

I'm pretty lucky to have him as my far away friend. I am grateful that we've stayed friends through the good and the bad. We've been friends for 9 years now. I'm sure we'll continue the friendship for years to come. Some day, I'm sure we'll meet up again. I'll meet his wife and possible kids, and he can meet Clint and possible kids.

So that's one of my fabulous friendships with somebody from a different country. Hope you enjoyed the rave review, James!

And as always:
Most of my ideas are coming from It's leads to another blog where I found the ideas. My April onward details start with that post.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

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