Earlier today, my Brazilian friend Larissa was finally able to fly back home… To BRAZIL!
The pandemic has kept her here in Taiwan longer than she had planned. I guess it is the same for almost everyone. I am “stuck here” too! I like Taiwan. Don’t get me wrong. It’s proximity to my beloved country, the Philippines, and the convenience it has to offer made me come back here multiple times! Geez, it even inspired me to learn Mandarin! However, I am one of those people who feel the need to fly back home once in a while.
So, I do get where she’s coming from. The pandemic has kept families apart, torn relationships, and if I am trying to be positive… maybe… hopefully, it also inspired kindness towards one another (this may not be the case for me as I am still not a kind person).
Today, as I am sitting in a coffee shop supposedly doing my homework or studying for an upcoming major exam, I just remembered to spare a few minutes and a few characters in her name. You see, this born and raised in Brazil ethnic Taiwanese girl I met last year through a common friend, Caocao. I was supposed to have lunch with Caocao when Caocao said she wants to invite another friend she just then met in the library.
I remember that day we had pasta and got discounts and freebies, too, thanks to Caocao! Then Larissa tagged along with Caocao on another lunch date with other classmates and then our other friends became her friends, too! And the rest is history. Isn’t cool how we all came together and became friends?
Then, earlier this year she moved to another school in another county called Tainan and although not very frequent, we still kept in touch. Then she finally went back to Taipei to meet all her friends and relatives before she flies back home however, because of the flight restrictions it got delayed. And delayed. And rebooked. And flights were changed. And delayed. And rebooked. It was changed, delayed, rebooked multiple times she said she does not feel disappointed and excited anymore. She probably shook the numbness off inside and got all the feelings back when she got on the plane. But I’d probably know after a few days. For now, I just want to write again, and writing about my friend seems like a good idea at the moment.
And going back to my friend, I am laughing at all these delays and goodbyes! If you knew that we had more than two attempts of a get together (our shot at a Despedida- no parties) to send her off and how many times we have said our goodbyes and miss yous, you would probably laugh! Oh, there! Now you know! But I don’t think you are laughing since details of the said comedic events are difficult to integrate here. Yes, I know! You are still not laughing.
We would have wanted her to be with us for a longer time but I, we, her friends here, we’re truly happy that she was finally able to get on a plane and “soon” be “stuck” with her family. And meu amiga (in Portuguese), as our running joke goes: Let’s meet again after 5 years!