“Haven’t heard from you in a while” should be every expat’s epitaph. No matter that you spoke to them just days before, it is the rallying cry of friends and family around the world. Something to do with the fact that people are secretly sure that you are actually on an extended holiday, funded by your lottery winnings from 1995. The thought that life overseas really can be as mundane as working, doing laundry, commuting and other forms of daily life is inconceivable. Therefore you should have the time to call them on a regular basis, bringing the glamour of your life into their humdrum world.
Last night, on the other hand, the comment was slightly justified. It had been a while since I last spoke to the friend I called, but we do text on a regular basis, sometimes as many as 20 or 30 texts a week, so no need for a guilt trip here, thank you very much. The conversation that ensued was as expected, with lots of discussion about the upcoming wedding, what the arrangements for accommodation would be and what I would sing at the wedding. Okay, that last bit was unexpected, but life does need a bit of excitement now and then.
One part of the call, however, took a decidedly surreal turn:
RN: “Am putting you on speaker phone. Need you to sing”
RN: “Just join in at the bass bit”
She then began to sing along to the chorus of “Guide me, O thou Great Redeemer” – the bit that Welsh Male voice choirs do so well to the words “Bread of Heaven”. You can watch one such choir here.
These were not, I must stress, the words she used. The chorus had turned into:
“You aren’t pooey, you aren’t pooey, you aren’t pooey anymore…”
RN: “Well, go on then”
Me: “I think you lost me…”
RN: “I am changing the little one’s nappy, so he isn’t pooey anymore. I always sing a song to take his mind off it, and as he is half Welsh…”
I spend the next minute accompanying the nappy-changing of a friend’s baby half way around the world on speakerphone. At least, that is what I was told I was doing. You just have to trust your friends sometimes, I guess.
Does anyone else do such random things for their friends or is it just me?