Friday, May 23, 2008

Fuel Prices and Frienships....

This makes sense to me, but I am sure everyone else will go........huh? It is quite simple, really... It's no secret that oil price is at an all time high, over $130 a barrel! There is a worldwide outcry, people cannot afford gasoline prices, heating oil prices...or food. Yes, that too has gone up the roof. After all, food has to be transported from farms to markets, from country to country, sometimes across the ocean. Every mean of transportation needs....fuel! and let's face it, there is not enough cheap ethanol to go oil is the thing.

What does this have to do with friendships, you'd ask. A lot. For expats like myself, who have not lived in their home countries in decades, this complicates things. We have made friends all over the place, we have kept in touch for years and ties have become stronger with time. Technology, that dubious blessing, have kept us in touch with emails, Skype, Facebook or MySpace. Even I, mostly computer challenged, have learned to keep up with the latest developments.

Unfortunately, nothing can take the place of a hug, a touch or a shoulder to cry on. That is only possible if we can see each other. This involves traveling! Every few years, if we can afford it, we will travel, sharing so much during those visits. So, now you can see...traveling to visit friends, meeting them somewhere interesting and new, getting together for special events in our lives are all cherished moments in an expat's life. If airline ticket prices and gasolines prices keep going are we to continue enjoying all this?

When it comes to family, there will always be a way. Children will find they need to go to their parents' home, grandparents will make the trip to see new grandchildren; somehow, we'll manage. I am afraid that we will find doing the same for our expat friends would be more difficult and that is going to be a shame. Sitting here, looking out my window....I wonder how are we going to accept these changes. I'm sure we will ignore them as long as we can. We will keep in touch with the usual technology, plan visits and hope all will be fine...but would it?Can't even think about it without feeling sad. It would not only be age and distance that separate us, it would also be the cost of fuel!!!

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