Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wedding Dress

Today is the wedding day of one of my better friends, Mei (better, because they are better than good friends). Mei, an English of Chinese descendant, is getting married to James, an English of Spanish descendant, I believe they will have beautiful children. To start with, Mei is a charming woman. Her charm came from her heart, not only from her looks and awesome fashion sense. 

I should be in London this week to celebrate her big day, but work is piling up and there is no way I could get away from my desk this month without feeling guilt. So, I called her at London time 2am today, yes I must be mad to interrupt a bride's beauty sleep. But it is not easy to choose a good time with the 7 hours time difference. 

Thinking back, I have already known Mei for 11 years. We got to know each other during our Master years. I recalled it was a cold autumn mid-morning in Keele, I was having bad jet-lag and hungry, and had no place to stay, yet. The warden asked me to wheel my two big suitcases myself - and later I found out my dorm was a good one km walk from her office. Having pampered with the facilities of having own car in Brunei, I wheeled the suitcases and annoyed with the warden and the university at the same time!

Then, a tall, Chinese girl in her early 20s walked past with rocket speed, I stopped her and asked: "Excuse me, how far is Horwood from here?"

That Chinese girl answered with very strong British accent: "That's far, can you manage these things on your own. Let me help you!"

We walked for a further 10 metre, and I asked her, "Err, I know this might sound weird, but do you happen to have instant noodles? I am extremely hungry. This is dinner time back at home." 

"Yes, I do. You poor girl. How long do you have to travel to get here? I am from London. My brother drove me here."

"I had to take a 14 hours plane from Brunei + an hour domestic flight from London + 2 hours coach ride from Manchester to get here" (Back then during my first trip to Staffordshire, I didn't realise I could just take a train ride from Euston Station to reach Stoke-On-Trent, and another 20 minutes cab ride would take me to Keele University). 

"Oh, you really must eat. I will cook instant noodles for you as soon as you settle down." 

This is how our friendship began. Over the years, we have come up with a phrase together from our Keele experience ie. "If we could survive Keele, we could overcome all other things in our life".

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