In a galaxy far, far away called my early twenties, I lived in Scotland. Glasgow, to be precise. I was there for two years and did the normal Antipodean backpacker things. Drank, travelled, drank, travelled, drank…you get the drill. And along the way I met the most wonderful people. I still miss them today. Alison, Lorraine Prentice, Gil Harvey, Charlie Kearton, Brenda, Eva Jacob, Brian O’Rourke. An endless list of people who made me feel welcome in their rough, working class city. A city I fell in love with. I will forever be glad that I got off the bus a little early in Glasgow instead of Edinburgh. If by chance, anybody reading this happens to know any of these people – please let me know how I can find them!
Anyway. This post was meant to be about international friendships. So I made a lot of friends and it was gut-wrenching to say good-bye to everyone. I’ll always remember how sad I felt as the bus pulled out of the Glasgow depot and all my friends were waving me good-bye. I was homeward bound. And I was miserable.
My bus was headed for London where I was going to fly out for Brisbane the next day. My friend Alison said she cried all the way home from the bus depot, and begged her boyfriend to drive down to London with her so she could see me one last time. That’s how close we had gotten.
That was 17 years ago. And now I’m the one who is befriending people who have moved here from another country. I have met some wonderful people who, inevitably, will move back home. For isn’t that the way it is? Doesn’t everyone eventually go home?
And when they do. When these friends eventually leave and return home. It will be me wanting to drive to the ends of the earth to say one last good-bye.
But they're still here now. And we'll always have Brisbane :)