Monday, February 23, 2009

Strangers and friends

I have been tardy with my posts again - and so much has happened!

Two sets of hospital visits (Mel got the Novo virus and Sally broke her wrist), a few gigs (including a whole unplanned evening with Ted and Maria at the Unicorn in Cambridge) and the Mel went to New York too. So much that I could have blogged, should have blogged!

So here's a simple story of my Sunday evening. I met with one of my friends from the writers forum I belong to. She was up from her home town in the West Country for a work meeting on the Monday. She was staying in a hotel only 30 miles from me so I drove over to pick her up from the station and have a 'face to face' chat at last.

We've known each other for about three years, informally over the web, so to meet up was going to be interesting. What would we talk about, just the writers we knew in common on the forum? The weather? Meeting someone new is always exciting and always a little nerve wracking (for me), what if I'm not like they expected? What if they don't like me?

Well, putting all that aside, I drove down to the station following my Sat Nav which dutifully took me down an alley and into a dead end the wrong side of the station! After a 54 point turn, I extricated myself and vehicle (why didn't I follow my instincts and ignore that stupid machine?!) and picked up my friend at the station. She recognised me - I had a big black hat on.

I drove her over to her hotel and we sat in the bar and talked. And talked! For nearly five hours we just talked about everything: cats, jobs, men, medical devices, writing, the Armenian diaspora, childhood, history...

She is partly Armenia, hence the conversation around the country and the persecution and genocide. Though denied by Turkish authorities even now, the population of Armenia was reduced by 75%. I once knew an Armenian who worked with me at the computer company and we spent an evening in Milan (or some European city) many years ago playing cards and talking about his home country. I remembered him saying how his family had to leave his country. Now, I have to say I am not up to date on European politics or history, but this is a subject I should study more, if nothing else just to understand human nature better.

I once heard it said that no oppression or attempt at subjugation of a people had ever truly worked - but I think I need to understand the Armenian situation more fully to see if that statement bears truth in this instance.

We talked about so many other things too - some quite personal subjects - but we were very comfortable with each other instantly I felt. She had a few glasses of red wine, I had so much cola I had to keep visiting the ladies room, but it was a lovely evening. My friend on line was now a friend in person.

Talking with someone new, learning new things, having intelligent conversation was very stimulating. I'm normally asleep by ten, but we stayed up chatting till 12 and I then headed back home, with a really good feeling inside. I hope she enjoyed the evening as much as I did.
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