There have been books, and there have been movies. All about that little letter, with a dozen postage stamps on it’s envelope. You open it in anticipation, and a beautiful piece of parchment with loopy scripted writing falls out. You read it in excitement and carefully write a reply as soon as you can, chronicling all your life’s recent events, the problems you are facing and your innermost feelings. Then you send off the letter to half-way across the world, to someone you have never seen, never met and never expect to meet. And those are the joys of having a pen pal.
Times have changed. Nobody sends letters through post anymore. Nobody has a loopy calligraphic writing, nobody uses postage stamps, or yellowed parchment. But that anticipation and that excitement is still there, when you’re waiting for an email from your pen pal.
Being friends with a stranger is so easy, and so natural. They don’t know you, you don’t know them. You don’t judge them because you don’t know what they’ve been through, It is so refreshing, when you ask questions, and they answer truthfully. I’m sure at the beginning of such a friendship, people are so easy and truthful because they think that they will never see their pen pal anyway, what’s the big deal, let’s tell them everything. At the end, these strangers are the ones who know you so well that they are your best friends, your confidants, your mentors. And you are theirs.
That’s why every pen pal always ends up wanting to meet their other halfs. They want to see in person, if their friend meets their expectations, and fits in how they imagined one-another. Nowadays, you can send pictures, do video-conferencing even. But I believe that you can’t completely know a person until you feel the vibes they give off, the charm, the charisma and the sincerity with which they meet you with.
And that’s why there are a few people, strangers, of different religion and culture from mine, that I so badly want to meet. I always imagine that, like in the movies, I would be waiting at the airport, and my pen pal would come through and I would know exactly who they are. I would run up to them, we would look at eachother for a moment stopped in time, and then we would embrace like long lost siblings.
If and when that happens, I will be avery lucky person.