Geneva, Switzerland – It’s another Monday morning, and I’m not headed into the office – thank God! Rather I’m sitting in a bougeoius coffee shop in the heart of Geneva. Eating my Bircher muesli and drinking a creamy flat white, that came with an artfully formed heart stamped into the top. I have a hangover. The after effects of three days of drinking rose in the sweltering heat. My yearly jaunt here in July to celebrate my friend Aud’s birthday always puts a serious dent in my bank balance – which now after a year of not working is non-existent – and eats a hole in my liver. A lives life to the full. Nothing is done by halves. Her birthday is a full-blown affair that always tests my stamina. And compared to her, I have none.
Cuenca, Ecuador – During my sophomore year in high school, I enrolled in a class called World History and Geography. It turned out to be one of my favourite school courses ever. It was taught by the charismatic, slightly eccentric, but lovely Mrs Meyer. She had a way of livening up the subject that kept me engaged the full hour. I can’t remember what we were discussing one afternoon, but she piped in that she had a friend in that far distant country. She went on to say that she had friends in dozens of countries around the world. I was in awe. I wanted friends from all around the world too!