Thursday, May 13, 2010

She Took The Midnight Train Going Anywhere

On Tuesday night, Nina arrived on the Intercrap from Windhoek. Six hours late, and after reading many a tweet about Nina’s ‘Future Husband’ she had met on the bus, I picked her up. As well as Future Husband and his friend, and we went for drinks. Cheers to making new friends! And yes, we approve of Future Husband: he is about to qualify as a medical doctor; he has just spent seven months working at hospitals and animal rehabilitation centres in Africa; he is joining the Dutch air force in August; and he is totally gorgeous- a real Aryan, but with cool scars from cheetahs and such. He plays chess with strangers on the bus, he loves cheese, he counts cards and he really, really looks you in the eye when in conversation.
Alas, the fun had to come to an end as the next morning was an early start. Nina was set to fly to Taiwan on Friday. By Wednesday morning she was still sans Visa and any clue what was going on. I swiftly took the position of personal assistant, chauffeur, mother and friend. I also bunked class for her, but seeing as this happened all the time at Stellenbosch, it felt just like the old days.
It was a day of banks- getting a new card, setting up internet banking, setting withdrawal limits, getting statements, stop orders. It was a day of gathering information- flight details, Wikipedia’ing the town. And then there was misc- photographs, invitation to the country, forex... Five hours later we got back in Peter [my car] and headed off to the Taiwanese embassy. Sans GPS and avec traffic like I have never seen before, we found it, and arrived only three hours after Visa applications had closed. But they took pity on us [I think they could see that I was so hungry I was about to eat Nina] and after something along the lines of ‘you look tired. Sit down and I’ll do everything for you’, Nina has a Visa. Yes, she is going to Taiwan tomorrow. We’re not sure where exactly, but go she will!
So, I [well, we] pulled it off. There were many mini dramas in between, but her big adventure is about to begin. And I got to thinking about this whole ‘go-to gal’ thing. So maybe I am not a professional shrink, or a legal advisor, and maybe my relationship history is one big fail. But maybe, just maybe, I am a good enough friend to be able to help. Not because I can, but because I really, really want to.

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