Monday, March 17, 2008

To a missing friend

Out of the ether, she suddenly appeared. Like a wavefunction that exists everywhere and nowhere spontaneously collapsing into the pure and distilled existence of a positron, she announced her undisputed existence by dropping a comment in my blog.

“Hey, I came about your blog through yahoo-ing my name. And, apparently we have the same name.”

We chatted a bit on MSN, but seeing that she did not have an internet connection that time, those few times were only when she was at friends’ places or internet cafes.

That was before the Chinese New Year of 2007. I had made a batch of CNY greeting cards (designed on Photoshop to fit a 4R print, and printed at a photo shop for 50 cents each), and thought it would be cute to address a letter to a Tan Yee Wei in Kuching from a Tan Yee Wei in Melbourne.

From that letter, she captured my mailing address and we became… *ominous cadence* pen pals.

We communicated using snail mail (which takes a long time), SMS (which carries very little data), phone calls (which cost a bomb) and MSN (which occurs rarely). Despite the inconvenience, we became close friends.


On occasions when I complained about the dullness of my weekend, or whined about feeling very sien, she would suggest that I step out of my comfort zone. Go to some bars or clubs, interact with people from different demographic groups, for example.

In the final quarter of last year, fate (or perhaps a wavefunction’s an aberration) brought us out of our respective comfort zone.

She received a job offer from a large multinational firm.

I received an offer to work in China.


By then, our lives were already diverging, and we communicated less and less frequently. One would imagine that a communication system based on a combination of mail, text, calls and instant messaging would not fail that easily, but it still happened.

Circumstances changed, priorities changed. Nothing is permanent.


Perhaps our paths might cross in the future, and we will finally see our namesakes in person.

From one Tan Yee Wei to another, all the best in your undertakings, may you find your source of happiness soonest possible, and take care