I don’t have friends.
That’s not inviting the sympathy vote or asking for any, it’s just how it is.
I find people hard to cope with so whilst I have work colleagues who I like and get in with, I don’t count them as friends. We don’t hang out, you know?
But holidays and travel throw up different types of relationships. For a set period you are thrust together with (hopefully) like minded people with whom you share a common interest. And out of that can grow a friendship that, even if you don’t see each other again, means that you keep in touch.
Jenny and Peter are from New Zealand and shared our houseboat in Kerala during those magical times on the backwaters. This picture is 4 years old now and we haven’t seen them since we spent 17 days in their company. But I’d like to think we are friends and we exchange regular emails and Christmas cards. We had good times and shared a lot of laughs during our time together.
In 1990 I went to India for the first time. As I’m a Patrick I suppose it was only natural I bonded with a Patrick and a Patricia who were on the same trip. Patrick passed away in February this year but ever since 1990 and hopefully for years to come, we’ve exchanged Christmas cards and I’ve sent them journals of my travels.
A trip to Sri Lanka in 1997 saw me meet Jeff and Inga from Sweden. It was Jeff’s surname that caught my attention as he stated it with one of my favourite footballers. Turned out he was the players Uncle and so it was perhaps inevitable that we got talking and a friendship developed. Again they’re another couple I would say are friends now rather than just people I met on holiday.
So I do have friends. They may not be your friends. They aren’t close bosom buddies who I go to the pub with or socialise with but they are friends. In fact they’re the best kind of friends, the distant kind, the kind I can give back, undemanding of me, non-intrusive and not those who expect anything from me other than a card or the occasional email.
Yes, I have friends.
Just not close ones, geographically or emotionally.
And that’s fine.