August 31st, 2013

Chinese, happiness

Life: 2013 is a year of reconnection

My mother bought me.. by shimmertje
My mother bought me.., a photo by shimmertje on Flickr.

It is just amazing how you receive blasts from the past. I had made a whole lot of connections with people from school and work through Facebook. Combing LinkedIn had helped with more, those with fairly unique names anyway.

I never really thought to turn to plain Google, but this year I did. That's how I found TQ with a bit of guesswork. We had written to each other a lot when in school, but lost touch after university. She was back in her hometown, practising what she had studied at university. What were the odds of that? I sent a vague email to her office email, naming her brother (now deceased :() and where her uncle had worked. She wrote back!

Google found me someone else whom I often bumped into at work events. I had the pleasure of bringing him and his wife around Hong Kong when they visited. We lost touch soon after that visit. FB and LinkedIn drew blanks, though I had expected him to be on both, it being related to his line of work. He had become a life coach! We are on Whatsapp now.

At work, I bumped into JT at a client event. I had wanted to reconnect with her many times, but I couldn't find her on Facebook or LinkedIn (turns out she has LinkedIn, but her name is too common, and Instagram, but under a username that combines her children's names). We had been close at university, and lost touch since then. I was standing in a corner of the room, and by complete coincidence -- in a room with more than 100 people -- she stood near me and made a request. We've managed to lunch once, and expect to see each other again in September.

And then there was the major secondary school reunion. I found ex-classmates from primary school and secondary school too. We even have our private Whatsapp group where we inspire each other with achievements and advice. It is amazing what a shared background can do.. years on :) So SL, CS, TJ, JT, AL, BS, I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know you again. And SW, GG, YY, CC, LL, WY, SZ, MW, the opportunity to chat the way we do now, because we were never close at school.

All this suddenly brought me to recall a couple in university. He proposed to her online, and I remember she was troubled as she is Muslim and he was not. Long distance relationships come with their challenges, too. I met him when he came to Singapore to visit her. I remembered his first name, and her chat name - hardly anything to work with!

So.. I Googled 'Muslim' and then his name, and 'Singapore'. He is on LinkedIn; older to be sure, but still in Singapore, and with a Muslim name, a good sign. I tried to connect, as he is a 3rd degree connection (yes, amazingly so) but LinkedIn did not allow me to explain who I am. He probably thinks I am some random stranger with strange ideas of connection.

I tried Facebook as well, using the name on LinkedIn. Both of them are on Facebook but it appears she doesn't use it often. They have public pages.. and five beautiful daughters. I sent them both Facebook mail with my number, and requested connections, but again FB mails of non-connections go to a separate mailbox. So.. I tried. Who knows why I remembered them all of a sudden, and that I got as far as I did in tracking them down. At least I know that story had a happy ending. That's enough.