We all know that ERASMUS is intense, things are in constant flux and relationships materialise at the drop of a hat, etc. etc., but I think I’ve just made a friend who blew it up to a whole new level. Over the course of exactly seven days, his last in Switzerland, some kind of magic alchemy happened and I suddenly find myself in the midst of a separation as unexpected for it’s sadness as its suddenness.
Whence did this friendship suddenly blossom? Well, both parties having recently experienced the “loss” of someone close, in our mutual grief and lacerating loneliness, we found one another… In all seriousness, though, circumstances have changed of late, the end is all too nigh, people are leaving at an alarming rate and we who rest are clinging to our final moments together.
Friendships take time to mature but it’s like this one got a queue-jump. How is it possible to bond so rapidly with someone? A whole load of D&Ms (Deep and Meaningful conversations), that’s how. I’m always going on about alchimie (chemistry), shared values, kindness, mutual intrigue, etc. and here we have it in bucket loads. Knowing we had so little time left was no deterrent, in fact made us more determined, to talk one another’s ears off every moment we could.
Had circumstances been different, would we even have become friends? A fortnight ago, I would have been vaguely indifferent. Now, the thought doesn’t bear thinking of; the irony being that we’ve both been here the same amount of time, met about three months ago, but somehow missed one another. He has been my saviour in what would have been an otherwise unbearable week (since England got kicked out of the Euros, everything went to shit…!); a warm and reassuring presence. So though he’s made the last few days incandesce, he’s also just added another farewell to make the ever-looming end of my sojourn even more painful; but then I prefer to see it more as a bitter-sweet “see you later”.
Isn’t it funny how things can turn in the blink of an eye? In general, I mean. And how all these ties, whether they last or not, will probably have ripple effects for the rest of your life. How one random encounter at a tandem soirée can literally light up your life. How bothering with a simple salut can make the difference between distant neighbour and warm friendship. How a little (too much) alcohol can set off a sequence of events that would entirely transform everything. How a random decision right toward the end to go watch the football together could lead to something beautiful.