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  • caspar whitehead

Together again!

Today I have been thinking about the times and places we have arranged to meet since Simon and I have known each other. Like that time in Hanoi, Vietnam. Simon went over to teach there- it is now over 20 years ago - and I joined him there a few months later. In fact, I spent NYE on the plane while flying to Hanoi via Bankok. During a stop-over there I was offered to share a room in a hotel with a stranger - I was so freaked out - obviously being an innocent girl from Slovakia! Anyway, there I was, getting through the customs and immigration in Hanoi, collecting my bags (rather heavy ones - some things never change:). Once out, I spotted Simon who came to pick me up on his Minsk motorbike (the old Belorusian brand). Our friends Simon and Hazel also came over to say hello. When I enquired about the means of transport back to the house, I was told it would be by motorbikes..😲. By motorbikes? Prior to that I had never ridden on a bike. That was ok. However, trying to balance a 20kg bag while driving for what felt like hours through busy streets of Hanoi was another matter. I was scared of falling off or of dropping the bag off or some other disaster (again, some things never change:)). Of course we made it back fine thanks to Simon’s bike skills and Hazel and Simon’s help with my other bag! Trust your man and believe in yourself and your friends! Anyway, here we are 20 years later. And we have taken meeting each other in a far-away places to a different level. This time children are part of a deal too. While I have flown from Slovakia via London, Los Angeles and Tahiti (10,531 miles) Simon has sailed from Caribbean, passing through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific (5200 nautical miles). We are now waiting for Simon on Fakarava, a beautifully tranquil atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He should be here by 4pm. Maria


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