Malacca Travel Blog› entry 49 of 115 › view all entries
Since I've been on my own, each time I travel with someone for more than a few days, I get a little bit attached. I invest time in getting to know them, as you would any other friend that you have at home, and make an effort to develop a friendship. Inevitably however, after a stretch of time moving in the same direction: sightseeing, bussing, piss-taking, ferrying, joking, drinking and eating together, we go our separate ways.
I generally become a little bit morose and weary for a while, it feels like a kind of friend hangover. Each time these people go their own way, they take with them the little piece of my personality I've shown to them and, vice versa, I carry away a bit of theirs. So, I think, am I wasting my efforts to be friends on people I may never meet again apart from on Facebook? Should I simply be cordial with future acquaintances, rather than friendly?
Eventually I always manage to banish these thoughts as foolishly negative, pick myself up, shift on and meet more people, kick-starting the cycle all over again.
Shortly after I arrive at my hostel I meet Lindsay, a lawyer from Landan Tarn. We get on and take the piss out of each other in traditional English fashion. We have a good laugh, visit some museums to explore the history of Melaka a little (The Portuguese, Dutch and Brits seem to have taken turns grinding the place gradually into the dust before independence, at least if you take the modern day Malaysian take on things at face value). We eat, watch Indiana Jones and American Idol, firing off snide remarks about the contestants.
And then, after two days, she’s gone, off up to KL before heading back to Singapore and a meeting with her father.
This seems to make everything a little better and then I get to thinking again (I think way too much sometimes). It seems to me that these time-limited friendships burn all the brighter, forged as they are in common ground arrayed against the slings and arrows of unfamiliar territory. When people do leave, what hopefully remains with you are good memories. And that should be enough. On the travelling merry-go-round, you have to move on, meet more great people, watch them go, and remain yourself. Otherwise, just forget the whole thing.
The Aussies have a saying: Go hard or go home. I’m still going hard after 6 months. I won’t be going home just yet.