Saturday, June 12, 2010

Goodbye K

Only for Katherine would I go out at at 1:30 am to a bar to watch soccer. That's what time the US/England soccer game was here, and K is an avid soccer fan and player, and it was her last night in Saigon.

In fact, she is so avid
that she flies out today to Egypt en route to South Africa, where she will watch Portugal play North Korea in the World Cup. As for the rest of her summer, allow me to bore you with t
he details... after Egypt and S. Africa, she will fly to London to stay with her sister for a bit and then together they will travel in Croatia.

I know.

And then she will return to her beloved city of Montreal to try to find a PE job in a very tough job market. But - Montreal is where she wants to be, ultimately, and she knows that sooner or later she must put in the time to get into the system - so why postpone it any longer?

So on her last morning, we got rice cakes. A double order. Then we climbed up on T and T's stand to do a little business.

What to say now?

My experience in Saigon would have been nothing without this partner in crime I found on my very first day here two years ago. And I mean nothing.

Katherine is... well, she is just comfortable in her own skin. She is solid, funny, 100% loyal, fun, supportive, loves a challenge, is always ready to laugh at herself or at any story she is told, and is, as Rita wrote in her post,"the best listener in the world." This might not sound like a compliment, but to me it is of the highest order: she is an easy friend.

For two years we have figured it all out together - finding the castle and discovering the market, learning to cross the Saigon streets from a blind man, seeking the best food, spas and tailors in the city, Sunday night cooking with the T's, throwing up together on New Year's Eve in Thailand, theorizing what happened to the pomelo man this past month (no sight of him at all), organizing massages in the balcony, getting a palm tree up five flights of stairs, teaching these great kids, and getting mugged by a motorbike thief. We have figured it out and then debriefed all of it, most significantly while swinging in the hammocks on the roof. We agree that one word that could best summarize our friendship would be the word "debrief."

I appreciate so many things about how people look at life here, but one of my favorite sayings is "I wish you very lucky." That's what it's all about in this harsh life, what luck might come your way. Katherine came my way in a definite form of lucky, and I wish Katherine nothing but lucky returning to her life in Canada (the country I am so much more familiar with after being in Vietnam even though I have lived two hours from it for most of my life). I will quote Dorothy here in her honor:

"I am going to miss you most of all Scarecrow."


The Norris Clan said...

It has been a joy getting to know K along with you...

SeattlePam said...

This one brought tears to my eye Margie. I know how amazing a good "adventure companion" can be - and indeed your journey would've been much different if you weren't able to share all the craziness and joy and make sure that all those things REALLY DID happen!! You were both blessed, and surely this is just the beginning of an amazing lifetime friendship.

Mungo said...

Any friend of my LFP is a friend o' mine...

marjie said...

Pam, that is exactly it... sometimes you just need a witness to confirm that it all happened, someone who gets it all. Having eighteen of you at the castle helps with that, too~