Dear ____: January 23, 2017

Hello again!

We just talked this morning, but I wanted to say how lovely it is to hear your voice and see you in person (on a screen). I don’t know how our ancestors did it, man. How can you move across the world and never see or hear your loved ones again? A letter that takes three weeks to arrive by steam ship is romantic and wonderful for a time, but to never be able to react real-time to their questions, their facial expressions, their bad puns…that’s torture. Plain and simple. Much as I hate technology at times, I am glad that it exists to shrink the distance down a little.

According to our family legends, my great, great (I think, but I’m not so great at genealogy) grandfather emigrated from Bristol to America back in the 1800’s. He joined the American Navy and during WWI he spent a night at the Bristol base on his way to somewhere (I’m not very good at history either). He wasn’t allowed to leave the base and, more painfully, his family were not allowed to come and visit him. To be in your home town again, after all those years, and not be able to hug your family or go to your local pub and meet up with your friends? I could not handle that. They were a tougher lot back then.

It’s not easy being so far away. I miss home a lot (not the snow and the inversion you are having now though!). After the events of last week reminded me that developing nations and their lack of legal infrastructure can lead to instant and irrevocable change for my friends (and myself tangentially), I long to be in a place where at least I know there are rules and people are held accountable to them. I know that there are loopholes and problems in any system, but it feels we’re always spit out the wrong end of them here. It’s thoroughly frustrating.

Good news though, we do love the new digs. The space is much more comfortable for us and somehow it feels more homey. We have a lovely view across the city from the roof (where we had a beer and watched the sunset yesterday), and we can walk (walk!!! imagine that!) to the corner shop and a mall (with a cinema) all on quiet, residential back roads where no taxis come and honk at us. It’s fabulous. We’ve both felt really happy here the last few days, possibly because we’ve had a lot of unexpected leisure time – it was in short supply the last few weeks so it’s wonderful to have it back!

Until next time, my friend.

xxxx

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