Thank you for your recent visit – it was a pleasure, as always. It had been a while between meetings; if I recall correctly, the last time we spent some quality time together was in Buenos Aires, where you kindly brought round a pickpocketing, attempted mugging and flight-cancelling volcanic ash cloud all in one. Quite the achievement.
But that was a good nine months ago, of course, and good friends like us can’t go that long without an unannounced hello. And I’m glad you chose the week of my exams and flight home to Australia to drop by; I’d hate for our little meetings to be uneventful.
I have a feeling you may have taken personally my decision to leave an hour early for the two-hour trip to Rotterdam for my econometrics exam. Perhaps missing my company was the reason you chose to cancel my trains, and leave me scrambling to catch a late train, find my tram and make the exam on time. Perhaps our long absence apart was the cause of your encouraging the tram company to silently change its tram lines the week before, resulting in my travelling for half an hour in the opposite direction. Perhaps, Karma, a deep affection for our friendship persuaded you to gridlock the city roads after I caught a taxi from the other side of the city. And I can only assume a cheery desire for us to be reunited prompted you to ask the exam supervisor to confiscate my ‘unsuitable’ calculator after I arrived 45 minutes late for the exam.
It’s flattering; it really is.
After such a lengthy catch-up, though, I’m not sure why you felt the need to drop in on me for the final exam. After all, I’d arrived on time and made sure that leaving immediately after the scheduled finish would just about get me to the airport to catch my flight back to Australia. Having spent so much time together just two days earlier, Karma, I’m not sure why you felt the need to tell the professor to spontaneously give us all an extra half-hour due to the extreme difficulty of the exam – a half-hour, naturally, I had no choice but to decline and leave the exam, unfinished, to depart for the airport. Such is occasionally the way, of course, but to then delay my flight by an hour after my arrival at the airport, one might feel, was just a little cheeky.
You always did have a devilish sense of humour, Karma, and you continually surprise me, even when I think you couldn’t go any further. For instance, I thought your wittiness had reached its bounds after this proverbial salt-rubbing, but you had another gag in store to round out quite the performance. The off meat in the airport sandwich was a nice touch, perhaps topped only by the violent air turbulence to match the stomach. It was almost like you were right there with me, Karma, through the four flights and 30 hours it took me to get home. Such time together is, naturally, priceless.
But if I could be so bold, Karma, might I suggest we take care not to let these reunions become devalued by their frequency. After all, what with the intensity of our friendship, I’m not sure my stomach could handle the butterflies – or the ham sandwiches – of a more regular relationship. Perhaps a missed-bus postcard after my exams next time, or even just a friendly coffee-spilling hello. And perhaps not for another nine months, if you can hold out that long. Or perhaps, even, not at all.
I have to wrap this up now, Karma – they’re boarding my flight back to Amsterdam. Say – you’re not on board, are you?
Your dearest friend,