I was exhausted. My aunt and uncle wanted to show me the sights of London but I just wanted to sleep. A week later my English friend Liz invited me to visit her in Belgium before I went home. I got on the ferry and crossed the English Channel.
I had been in Belgium once before. We had done a road trip through Spain and France. On the way we met a team led by Normand Saidon.
My sweet friend Henriette had left the ship a few months before me and she was in a state. From the day she had walked onto the ship, she knew she would marry Normand. He was one of the busy, choleric types who didn’t seem to have any time or interest in romance. She kept it to herself for two years. In her last week, she tearfully blurted her dilemma out to me. He didn’t give her the time of day and didn’t seem to know she existed. She needed to know. If she was wrong, then she would forget all about him. If she was right, maybe he needed some prodding.
Henriette and I had been writing to each other and I asked her if I could chat to Normand about it. She reluctantly agreed. She didn’t know of any other way.
When our teams met up, I pulled Normand aside and told him Henriette had said hi. His response was “Who is Henriette? Oh, the South African girl.” I told him what she had told me and he agreed to send her his newletter. How romantic, I thought. One newsletter turned into another and before we knew it, they were writing to each other. He fell head over heels in love.
On my second trip to Belgium, I thought Tony may need some help. He had no way of contacting me and I wondered how we would stay in touch. He seemed to be very cautious about being in a relationship.
Liz was sending him her newsletter, so I scribbled a note at the bottom of it.
“Hi Tony, I’m with Liz and I saw her writing to you. Have a good trip back to India. Please send me your newsletter. My address is: 28 Rolleston Place, Woodlands, Durban. Linda”
One newsletter turned into another and before we knew it, we were writing to each other.
Quite subtle, I thought; quite subtle.
So so weird to think back on those days, Lin. Thank you for the good read. x