Podcast

Episode 7 • Friendship

7

Go back a long way

Friend

Stay in touch

Drift apart

Bump into

Story

My friend Akari and I go back a long way. We’ve known each other for over 15 years. It’s crazy when you think about it. We met online, on one of these language exchange platforms. She wanted to learn English and I wanted to learn Japanese. I lived in the States and she was in Japan, obviously, so there was no way for us to meet in real life. But, we had so many things in common, we decided to connect on social media. So I friended her on Facebook. For a while we spoke almost every day! I couldn’t believe an online friendship could be so strong! We stayed in touch for almost two years, but then she met a guy, an American man who later became her boyfriend, she got very busy and we slowly drifted apart, until, one day, we stopped talking altogether. We didn’t speak for almost ten years. A year ago, though, I was in my hometown and guess what? I bumped into her and her husband! They had gotten married and moved to my city! And just like that, we became best friends again, only, this time, in real life.

Questions

Go back a long way

My friend Akari and I go back a long way.

• If you and a friend go back a long way, did you meet each other recently or a long time ago?

Well, you go back a long way, so you met a long time ago.

• Can you think of a friend with whom you go back a long way? When did you meet?

I think probably my friend Bea, him and I, we met in middle school, so I was 14, no, are you 14 when you go to middle school? No, I was probably 11, I want to say. Yes, I think it was 11. 11, I'm 30 now, I'm terrible at math, but I want to say that we've been friends for 19 years, so yes, we go back a long way.

Friend

'So I friended her on Facebook.'

• If you friend someone do you become friends on social media or in real life?

If you use the word friend as a verb, then you're talking about social media. Mostly, I would say Facebook.

• If you friend someone, do you send the friend request or accept it?

Normally, if you're friending someone that means you're sending the friend request.

• Do you have to actually be friends with someone to friend them?

That is the thing about social media, that you really don't, you don't have to actually be friends with someone in order to friend them.

• How many people have you friended recently?

I haven't met a lot of new people recently, and not really anyone that I would friend or that I would connect with on Facebook. Not many people, but I have friended a few people over the years. I mostly wait for other people to send me the friend request, but yes.

Stay in touch

'We stayed in touch for almost two years.'

• If you stay in touch with someone, do you maintain contacts with them?

Yes, staying in touch implies maintaining contact with a person.

• Can you stay in touch with someone who lives far away?

Staying in touch doesn't necessarily mean seeing each other, we can simply stay in touch through a phone call which brings me to my next question.

• What are some ways of staying in touch with friends?

Especially when you're living far away, a great way to stay in touch is through social media and calls.

Drift apart

'We slowly drifted apart.'

• If two friends drift apart, do they become closer or more distant?

Drifting apart which means they, unfortunately, become more distant.

• Does drifting apart happen suddenly or gradually?

don't know if you know what drifting means. Drifting is moving slowly usually on a surface. Drifting apart, it's something that happens over time, little by little. You don't have a fight, but maybe, I don't know, maybe someone has a child or maybe somebody gets a boyfriend or they get busy with work, whatever it is, they slowly lose contact, they slowly drift apart.

• What are some reasons why friends drift apart?

Actually, I was just giving you examples before, but they're mostly based on my life, but yes, I can think of my friend Faith, for example, she's had a baby and we have drifted apart ever since then. Also, the fact that I've moved away, that now I'm traveling, it makes it harder for us to see each other, so we are unfortunately slowly drifting apart.

Bump into

'I bumped into her and her husband.'

• If bump into someone, do you see them in person or talk to them over the phone?

Bumping into someone involves seeing someone in real life in front of you.

• If you bump into someone, do you meet them randomly or because you had planned it?

If you bump into someone, it's because it wasn't planned, it was totally by accident. You're walking down the street and, "Oh my gosh. Look at that. My old friend. I've bumped into my old friend."

• When was the last time you bumped into someone that you didn’t expect to see?

It's really difficult. [chuckles] Again, I have to go with-- oh yes, I know there's a good one. I met a girl when I was in Valencia and then she said that she was going to go to Barcelona. We only spoke for a few minutes, and Barcelona is a pretty big city. A few days later, I decided to go on a trip to Barcelona by myself. I was walking down the street and I bumped into her. What are the odds? This was a girl-- Barcelona is a very, very big place and we ended up bumping into each other.

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