Do you have any friends in the UK?

It was one of many questions for me to fill in if I wanted a visa to visit the UK. The online form allowed me to add a maximum of 5 friends. In the three years I lived in the UK, I befriended a multiple of five friends – not to mention those who were not in the country anymore. Because it was impossible for me to provide enough information, I chose to put down details of a friend. In my defence, five is almost as far from the fact as one. So why bother? My boyfriend, who proofread my application, didn’t see the same logic. He insisted I put down more names & addresses; or else he would use his friends. “You met him. He is your friend, too”. If he were right, I would have had a multiple of 50 friends; therefore, never had enough patience (and time) to finish that application form. He wasn’t right, but he still successfully made me sit on my arse pulling out details of my friends. One by one: name. address, phone number, status. Coming along were their stories interwoven with mine. Our paths crossed so that we could share parts of our life; sometimes, one of the best parts.  They made my time in England unforgettable. They made it mine.

When my boyfriend went back to England for a visit, he asked me if I missed anything there so that he could bring back to Hanoi for me. I listed Fox biscuits, Earl Grey tea, meringue, and mashed potato. I mentioned my friends but he failed to bring anyone back. I wished he could. I knew I had my best friend in Hanoi with me. But I was greedy. I still am being greedy for friendship.

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