Today I am going to tell this story of meeting a new friend in another country through Slowly. On January 1, 2020, I left all social media platforms because of toxicity and my new year resolution (I am still keeping my promise 😅). Referring to a Reddit post, I found this unique platform and some amazing friends across the World.
Fast forward to December 16, 2021, I went to the United Kingdom from my home country, Bangladesh, because of a short fellowship. Unlike other South Asians, I loved the cold weather and slowly adopted the chilly environment. However, deep inside, I wanted to explore the country while making friends over there. You may know that unless you stay in a new place for a while, it is barely possible to have a friend suddenly with whom we can wander around and have coffee.
Credit goes to Slowly. Slowly is the place where I found my penfriend here. For the sake of the story, let’s call her Fima. On December 19, 2021, I randomly dropped a letter, and Fima replied to me on the same day. After making the initial introduction, we started exchanging letters and getting to know each other. We mostly talked about our lives, likings, food habits, and favourite movies, especially Marvel ones. Later on, we decided to exchange phone numbers so that we could talk over phones apart from sending letters. Because of our busy schedule, we could not talk all day, unfortunately. Nevertheless, our bonding was getting stronger each day. I waited for her messages when she had to work late while preparing for her exams. She did the same when I had to run my errands.
On December 24, 2021, a day before Christmas, I went to London, the most cosmopolitan city. I will miss this city because of the diversity and fast-moving culture it offers. I quickly settled myself near Central London and visited all the major places, starting from Big Ben to British Museum. After settling myself in, I wrote back to Fima and asked her one day whimsically whether she would be able to meet in London as she lives near London. To my utter surprise, she said yes because the feeling to meet was somewhat mutual. So, we fixed a date quickly and a laundry list of plans that we did not do eventually due to the short time. Our meeting date was approaching soon. For a long time, I did not feel this amount of excitement to meet a person. Then the day came finally.
In the evening, Fima arrived in Central London on December 29, 2021, and I received her from near the train station. We sat somewhere and talked for about two hours straight. Afterwards, according to our previous plan, we went to a bowling place at around 6.30 PM. But unfortunately, the site stays closed till 7.30 PM. It was disappointing but we did not have anything to do but to walk before our dinner. While walking down some random streets in London, we talked about our day and lives. Finally, we hit a Korean restaurant to have our dinner with Soju, which was in our common interest. In the restaurant, another hour went by laughing and pouring our mouths with Dumplings and Soju-like gin.
When it was around 8.30 PM, she mentioned that she needed to head back home soon. I understood that our meet up was coming to an end. It was depressing for me because I felt that this would be our first and last meeting. We wrapped our dinners quickly then and head back to the train station. I wanted to drop her at her home, but she did not let me move further. Hence, at the station, we bid our farewells to each other. I still remember hugging my only friend in the U.K. with watery eyes.
She texted me when she reached home at around midnight. After a couple of days, even though we became busy with our regular activities, I kept missing our time together since she was my only friend there. I left a couple of messages but it seemed that she became too busy to respond. Eventually, we got detached, and then I came back home on January 25 without saying goodbye.
I know this is not a story with a perfect happy ending moment like the Marvel movies. Nonetheless, I am grateful that I found a nice friend suddenly in a country full of unknown people and cultures. Her words, letters, and company made my visiting period memorable. I pray and hope we cross each other’s paths sometime sooner than later.
PS 1: This is the only picture that I have with her. We were going to that Korean restaurant in a tube.
PS 2: This is my very first story, and I apologise for the silly ways of writing the story.