Make new friends but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold.
Meet my friend Sue.
I have talked about Sue from time to time but never officially introduced her. She is my mentor at work, has saved me on several occasions in Korea (also acting as my intrepeter on a regular basis – including but not limited to alterations, salon appointments and with the woman who made my sheets into a bed spread) and in the meantime become a very dear friend.
After 8 months of working side by side and now a full week together in the US – I’m convinced that friendship is something that can be shared even when you can’t understand one another 100% of the time.
Coming in at around 60-75% of clearly shared communication – you can have all sorts of fun. In some ways, I think it may even make the whole experience of getting to know one another more authentic in a childish sense. I find myself giggling at a lot of our conversations.
For example: Everytime we talk on the phone she starts with a “Hi Mary, I’m Sue” and we hang up saying “See you soon” (even if that isn’t on the agenda). Most of our conversations sound elementary due to the language barrier even when we are tackling serious topics. Somehow the simplicity of it makes it so lovely and reminds me of making playdates with Lyssie Burns when I was 7.
Being in the US together has opened my eyes to how Sue must have seen me over the last 8 months – as a foreigner doing my best to adapt to her culture – sometimes easily and others not. Now that we are here and the roles have been reversed, I have a whole new appreciation for my Korean cohort.
After hours in the car together we have managed to talk about everything under the sun, we put professional shoppers to shame on Saturday at the Mall of America and with each passing day I am convinced that she is a version of me from the other side of the world – even down to the fact that our names are as-ordinary-as-they-come for the places we were born. It’s amazing how much we have in common when so much of our lives have been so different.
Thanks for being my friend Sue. You are all sorts of silver and shiny.