Just call me Saffron, will you?

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

My friends, Gao and Boe

I was fast asleep in bed on a cold Thursday morning.

My eyes flew open at exactly 4.56am and the first thing I saw was that the screen on my phone was lit.

1 message received

Funny, I didn't hear the message tone. So why did I open my eyes then?

It was from Gao, sent at 4.50am. It said:

Hello friends, I will be leaving Malaysia tonight to begin a different chapter of life. It's been a lovely stay thanks to all of you. Hope our paths will cross again in the near future.

I didn't fall asleep again after that even though my class is at 10am. Much later.

In stark contrast to the post below to mark my 100th entry, I was struck by a sudden pang of sadness when it finally hit me that Gao and Boe were leaving for good.

Gao was the one who drove my car and chauffeured me to Bandar Sri Damansara because I didn't know the way there. It says a lot about my sense of direction when an African boy knew KL better than I did.

The African boy who drove me places in my car, November 2004 at Jon's place.

When we went to Penang last year, it was Gao who bought us tickets from Pudu the day before because I was just as clueless as Boe and Michelle were.

Michelle, Jon, Gao and I frolicking in the beach, August 2004. *photo courtesy of Thomas and Jon's Nikon D70*

Gao, Michelle and I, lost in Gurney drive August 2004. *photo courtesy of Boe*

The nights and mornings when we were shooting echoes were long and tiring and Gao kept me awake on most nights.

There is a small Italian restaurant a stone's throw away from my house that I've always been wanting to go to. On the way home from college one day, Gao suggested that we have lunch there. The food was delicious.

There were mornings when I'd go over to Gao's place for editing and I'd end up sleeping on the couch while he worked, only to wake up to the finished product.

Last month, Gao came over and ate a whole tub of Ribena jelly that I had made. A whole tub. And he didn't complain at all.

Gao, reluctant to be photographed with a slightly tipsy me, November 2004 at Jon's place.

We were on many shoots together, big and small. We've worked on group assignments together many, many times. We've been to focus groups with students from various universities and Gao outshone us all with his quiet demeanour and rational debate. Yes, that sole African boy surrounded by about 10 Malaysian undergraduates.

This same African boy who grew up in a farm in Botswana. This African boy who told me about his hunting trips in the wild, and of the bitter cold in Botswana when winter comes around.

This African boy, my friend.

*photo courtesy of Jon and his Nikon D70*

Gao made me laugh, many times, with his put on Malaysian accent and his exaggerated use of lah. Yet, at times, Gao catches me by surprise with his observation of Malaysians. Things I've overlooked before when it comes to my own kind.

In the years that I've known Gao, I've enjoyed his company. And I'm always bowled over by his intelligence and wit.

He's probably halfway home to his farm by now, and I'm missing him already.

I hope to see Gao next Christmas. I want to ride in a tractor around the farm and go hunting at night. I want to know what winter's like in Botswana. And then maybe, we can go to Boe's place after that.

Boe, my other African friend who can leave me laughing till my sides hurt, November 2004 at Jon's place

I hope to see you next Christmas, Boe, July 2005 *photo courtesy of Tania with my Kodak DX7590*


8 Comments:

  • Awwwww...I miss them too..give them my love...tc

    By Blogger Aysh, at 8:53 PM  

  • aysh> i'd like to send them my love, but they're far, far away now.oh well, i guess there's always emails and stuff...

    By Blogger Shavain, at 3:34 PM  

  • goodbyes are an unavoidable part of life... however, it's always best to part on good terms...

    =) tks for comments on my blog, chged the font heheeheh

    By Blogger leo, at 2:43 PM  

  • I miss Boe and Gao already :(

    By Blogger Mystery Wolf, at 4:11 PM  

  • leo-chan> boe said he doesn't say goodbye when it comes to friends =) i hope to see him again soon

    mystery wolf> i do, too...

    By Blogger Shavain, at 10:35 PM  

  • Wait, he said goodbye to me.

    Does that mean what I think it means?

    By Blogger oh-jon, at 10:43 PM  

  • oh-jon> oh jon...i'm sure he meant "goodbye i'll definitely see you again, man". must be the male ego think.

    By Blogger Shavain, at 11:45 PM  

  • hahah, yeah.

    yeah. *sigh*

    By Blogger oh-jon, at 2:04 PM  

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