Posted by: shineonali | February 21, 2010

Loving the International Life

I’m a little sad as I write today’s slice of life story.  My best friends just left to go back to Shanghai, where they teach at an international school. Of course I’m sad–I’ll miss them!  We worked together in Madrid for seven years, and we lived around the corner from each other.  But then I start thinking about how lucky we are.  When my parents moved from Manchester to Toronto before I was born, they left behind friends and family who they got to see every few years, if they were lucky.  Since K and G moved to Shanghai almost three years ago, we’ve never gone more than six months without meeting up somewhere in the world–Shanghai, Borneo, New York, Madrid and Bangkok a few times, and next month, Manila.

We walked today in the dazzling tropical sun, peering down the sois in search of the restaurant we’d heard about.  We walked slowly and listlessly.  Was it the heat?  Maybe.  Exhaustion from too many late nights?  Perhaps.  Anticipation of saying goodbye in a few hours?  Probably.

“I think this is it,” I said, trying to sound out the name of the restaurant in Thai.  (I can’t help it now.)  We walked a little way down the soi.  “This is the first time I’ve ever walked down here,” I commented, surprised to realize how little I’ve explored of my neighborhood.  We turned into a beautiful restaurant, with a garden and wooden walkway.  Inside, everything was white with dark wood trim, and hanging on the wall were artistically framed family photos.  The setting and the waiters were delightful, and the aroma was heavenly.

K turned to me with shining eyes as we sat down at a table.  “We love your neighborhood,” she marveled.  G nodded in agreement.

In that moment, I looked at my home, my life here with new eyes.  “I guess it is pretty great,” I said modestly, smiling to myself.  Thinking, how lucky am I that I can share these moments with my friends.  Even if we don’t live in the same country any more.

It's a small world, after all.

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