Five of my best friends – Jennifer, Susan, Alka, Anne, and Shelley – had the audacity to hold a girls’ night out even though I’m in China. The occasion was the D.C. arrival of Alka from Delhi, one of the Asia members of our far-flung gang. (I’m the other one.)
In any event, I logged onto Skype to call my mother, and there was a little green light on Jen’s account, and there they were, sitting around a table at Guapo’s, drinking margaritas, and all talking at once. And there I was sitting in my Beijing apartment in sweatshirt and sweatpants, with mussy hair and feeling as much a part of the group as ever.
They passed Jennifer’s iPhone around the table and we all talked about all sorts of things. I watched them sipping their drinks, tallying up the bill, and laughing.
Coffee is no substitute for tequila and being there in person is no substitute for a Skype chat, but it was certainly better than nothing at all. Real time contact, evening or morning or both, makes being on the other side of the globe in some ways not nearly as remote.