Beyond acclimating and adjusting to the foreign environment, being a foreign student means inevitably that sooner or later, you’ll have to say goodbye to that special someone who accompanied you during the highs and lows of life-- made you smile when you were sad, gave you hope when there seemed none, drank with you when you were broken-hearted and accompanied you during those moments of loneliness. For me, in addition to all of those, a special friend who would leave reminder notes on the most obscure places to make sure I did not forget my keys*.
Unless you travel like a hermit, goodbyes are as certain as the sun rising in the morning. There will be times, when the friend made during your travel was made from a seeming trivial passing. Perhaps you had required some assistance on locating a place and the person not only pointed you to the right direction, but accompanied you until your destination; or amidst the crowd in the train during rush hour, a considerate person saw you gasping for air while you are stuck standing and gives up his seat for you. Such trivialities at first they may seem, but for you it may be a small pebble that reverberates into a bigger ripple in your heart. The injustice of it all, this friend does not even fall under being an acquaintance, as deep down inside, you know that you probably will never see him or her again. This person is no more than a “hello-goodbye friend”, and at, most a kindred spirit.
Many will call you lucky when you have befriended and bonded with that special someone more than a mere passing. But the tears of goodbye grow directly proportionate to the special moments shared. Ironically for every hello that every foreign student picks up as a second-nature, it means another goodbye to be had.
On the day when goodbyes must be made and said, you will not remember the arguments, the headaches, and the disappointments you had shared. Rather all you will hear is your heart pounding loudly upon your ribs on the moment of parting, aching to come out to embrace the person in front of you-- now hoping for eternity.
But the tears still fall, knowing not only that even eternity is not long enough, but it will never be.
To all those "friends" made... whether we meet again or not, all we can say is "thank you for being part of my life-- thank you for the memories!"