Sunday, July 28, 2013

Friendship in Curaçao: The Sad (Part IV)

This is the end of the series Friendship in Curaçao: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Sad.

If you've been following this Friendship Series, The Sad won't come as a surprise. The red line throughout these musings has been, after all, the temporary nature of an ex-pat's stint in Curaçao. Sooner for some, later for others, but inevitable for most: relocation.

This little group felt as permanent as the hot tarmac
on the street outside.
A promotion to the company's main branch in, say, Singapore or Barcelona or the UK. An offer from a competitor that can't be refused. A new opportunity, bright and shiny. Or perhaps it's the 90+ degree heat, year round--you just can't take it anymore. Or you miss the bustling cultural life of non-insular civilization. Having to drive in circles if you want to go for a ride longer than an hour finally got to you. You miss home. Maybe there's a family situation that requires more than your presence by Skype.

Whatever. Point is, you leave.

And here's where I--a collective I that encompasses every ex-pat you're leaving behind--wish I'd taken a page from the Antillean book and kept my emotional distance. Sure, email and Facebook make it a small world after all, and at the airport we'll promise to stay in touch, we plan visits back and forth--that's the selling point of your departure: "Now you have a home in Singapore / Barcelona / Timbuktu." We may actually do it, see each other once a year, maybe twice. But that doesn't fix the hole you leave behind, a cut-out of your silhouette in the fabric of my--collective my--life.

The reunion three years later. Patrycja, already relocated
to London, came back for a visit. Wim & Deborah
had their first baby; they left in 2012. Arno had a
girlfriend--soon to be wife. They left in 2011.
They're a fact of island life, these trips to the airport, these farewell parties, these garage sales. Our house is an exhibit of the departed: that patio set from Arno, the Cuisinart and the glass pitchers from Patrycja, a jewelry box from Carlos, the Avalon ashtrays from the other Carlos, the piano from Deborah & Wim. A testament to the friends we've made, the friends we've lost.

But I--individual I--would gladly trade in that Cuisinart and piano and patio set and whatever to have them back.


  1. Awww ... that is sad. Too bad it has to be this way, but life sure puts us through a lot along the way, and losing a friend to relocation isn't fun at all.
    Great series, Guilie. Enjoyed reading it through and through.

    1. Glad you did, Silvia :) And I enjoyed your comments!

  2. So so far behind on my blog reading. But now that I've caught up on your posts, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your friendship series.

    1. Haha--Cindy, I understand. I'm so behind on my blogs, too. Thank you for reading this series, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it :)


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