If you write a book or a blog or, it seems, even post naked picture of yo’ fine self on social media, some people will be touched (settle down, no worries. I ain’t going all Kim Kardashian on ya). The blogger-author has no idea who gets ‘touched’. Some of those who are touched, sometimes touch back. They usually just write. Comment section, emails, the very, very occasional ‘meet-up’ (if they are in the neighbourhood) ensues and a relationship may form. Maybe. Dave-up-North, NonCon, Wim, Aldo, Margy and Untidy mind come to mind. They are friends. I have been touched (OK, teched! But you know what I mean!). Anything more than that is a special kind of magic…human magic….very good stuff.
And this week, we had a bit more than that more common-ish but still weird magic. J, H and their daughter K left South Africa and settled in the U.A.E a couple of decades back – the United Arab Emirates in the middle east. They settled in. A year or so ago, J got an itch and, like a select few others (D&K, DW and wife and a few others), started (as I did) sniffing around the internet kind of pointing unconsciously in the OTG direction. He was mostly responding to his feelings (see last blog). One thing led to another and he found my blog (not easy) and then bought the book! I had a reader from the Middle East! They have desert there, fer Gawd’s sake! Sheesh!
A few emails later and a Covid year, J, H and K left the UAE, got Canadian residency (even more magic) and flew out in a direct line to BC. OMG! A few days in transit and they end up at the end of the road and we have guests for the night. Did I mention…DIRECT FROM the UAE?
A quick reconnoiter of the area was conducted the next day and even the still-quite-reluctant H was making tentative plans to move here.
C’mon! that is incredible!
What does it say? Well, that J, H and K are adventurous and unafraid is obvious. That they responded to my book casts them in a suspect light but maybe it was the humour. C’mon, face it – there was not a helluva lot to go on regarding living OTG in that book except that we were so ill suited and unskilled and yet still made it work. Somehow, they saw some appeal in blood loss and ravens – go figure. It also suggests that they are already committed to something OTG. Think about it: it had to have cost them $10,000 for that journey – probably more. J was a sponge for OTG information. H was hesitant. K was keen on her parents leaving to go OTG (she was returning to the UAE). She has a boyfriend. This could be win-win for her.
He is skilled and has a South African farm-boy background. The guy knows enough. H is hesitant but most urban wives are. Sal was. But 80% come around and many have stayed even if the hubby left. This place has appeal for both genders but it is not as clearly evident to the urban female at first. I could be wrong, (right, Moira?) but that is what I have seen. Makes no never-mind. A couple (or three) of years is all it takes. You either fall in love by then or you don’t.
They are, however, pushing the age envelope. They are already 60. My own measure of the challenge is that after 55 it gets too physically difficult. Still, that is an individual thing and he is in good nick. And money can buy some time. H, too, kept up well on treks and hikes. They may be on-the-edge age-wise but, with some hired help, they could pull it off. It is kinda neat watching dreams grow. In fact, it is very human and very touching. If they make the leap and pull it off, it truly is a dream-catcher event.
I am touched they chose to share that dream with us.