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Beyond Borders: Tales of European Travel

The Beauty of Strong Friendships

CANADA | Saturday, 14 June 2014 | Views [222]

This story is not going to make me look particularly good, and it's one that I would rather not share. It is important to mention when I talk about my life though, and I think that it's probably worth sharing. 

I met one of my best friends, Carolynn, in our first year of University. I had a schedule I kept to. I went to the cafeteria each day between my morning and afternoon classes to eat lunch and watch The Price is Right. One day, I arrived late, and Family Feud was on instead. Since that's not really my cup of tea gameshow wise, I looked to see what else was going on and noticed Carolynn, sitting eating her lunch and reading a book. So, I did what I thought anyone would do. I walked over and said "we have class together, and my show's not on, so let's be friends". And we've been friends ever since. 

Fast forward to the end of April 2013. Carolynn was going to visit me while I was on exchange in Leeuwarden, Friesland in the Netherlands. I was supposed to pick her up at Schipol airport at noon. Except, I missed my bus, and the second bus, and a third bus, and my first two trains. The night before Carolynn arrived, it was my friend Jamie's 21st birthday. Being an American, she needed to have one hell of a shindig to celebrate this monumentus occasion (even though the drinking age in the Netherlands was 16 for beer and wine and 18 for other alcohol. I had stayed out a little too late that night. I'd been up a lot too long, and I had made some bad choices when it came to beverages. And so, here I was, riding a bus hours late to head to the airport to pick up a friend who had just travelled more than 7 hours to visit me. 

We were planning to hit up Nice, France and Monaco together a few days later, but first, the Netherlands. 

And I was already an hour late, and had a two and a half hour train ride in front of me. 

So I finally got on the train, with the worst hangover I'd ever experienced, and headed to Schipol. I got there 3 hours late, and there was Carolynn - sitting on a bench waiting. And that jerk only let me apologize once. We took the wrong train going back, got kicked off a second train because my card hadn't scanned properly, and managed to get the most ridiculous story out of an airport pick-up that I've ever heard. 

And we're still friends. We still joke about the way we first met, but now we also joke about me arriving places on time. 

Having strong friendships is great, but it's also great having fun stories. 

I'm glad we have both. 

Thanks Carolynn. 

Tags: drinking, friendship, late, the netherlands

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