A friend in need – a friend indeed?

Posted by Madbot on Mar 29, 2005 in Human Observation |

For many years I have been fortunate enough to have met a bunch of very good people who I’m proud to call friends.

And often I hear the story from others on how their “friends” have betrayed them or simply disappeared in their hour of need. I’d then give them a lecture on how they didn’t choose their friends carefully and therefore are suffering the consequences.

Today, I learned my own lesson.

Received words over today and yesterday from my sister in Sydney that my grandfather is critically ill.

My 2 aunts in Vancouver jumped on a plane to head back to Taipei last Thursday because the hospital issued a warning to recall all loved ones. And after hearing this, my sister and I are worried.

The whole communication became International as both my sister and I try to find information on just what’s going on and if and when we should also fly back. With the relatives in hospital in Taiwan, various people scattered across 4 timezones, and us being at work and unable to make international calls easily, this wasn’t going to be easy. Trying to reach the relatives in Taipei turned out to be impossible because of them being in hospital and the confusion about where in Taipei the 2 aunts are staying at. The only option was to contact the relatives in Vancouver to get their contact number and then hoping someone will be there to pick up the phone.

So a friend comes online on MSN. As luck will have it, this friend for 10 years now lives in Seattle which is much closer to Vancouver than Sydney or Tokyo. So after a quick explanation about the possibility of him ringing calling Vancouver for me, I got the answer “Get a calling card – it’s the same rate as calling the US”.

Strangely, that made laugh. Not because it was funny (hmm) but I was laughing at my own stupidity and the fact that I’m now suffering the consequences I’d been lecturing others about for many years. To me, it’s not about the money as .. well, gee how much was it going to cost? $20, if that? I’d have transferred the money to his account immediately. I mean, for Christ’s sake, I’d have paid for his time. It was about the quick palm-off coming from a friend when I’m in need and the thing I ask for could be done in 5 minutes.

Anyway, so that turned out to be a dead end. There wasn’t much I could do until I leave work to make the calls myself. Luckily, some time later, one of the relatives responded to my email and gave me the contact number. Managed to ring through a while back and well, things are not good with grandpa but the situation has improved since the weekend – so I’m staying on call.

So, the lesson in today’s episode? I need to remind myself the lecture I’ve been giving to others – and be even more skeptical!

And be more appreciative of friends who have proven themselves in the past.

1 Comment

Apr 7, 2005 at 10:46 pm

I know what it’s like having a relative that is sick. It scares the crap out of you and makes you see whats important in life. If you need someone to talk to i’m here somewhere and since i don’t sleep much these days i’ll probably be awake to talk 🙂 i hope that you grandfather gets better or you at least get to see him before he moves on. If you need any help from this side of the world just ask



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