Maiko and I met in kindergarten in Yokohama, Japan when we were 4 years old. We did everything and went everywhere together – we were inseparable.
Until one day, Maiko-chan suddenly disappeared. I suppose my mom had told me that “Maiko-chan had to move away to Australia” but in my mind, she just… disappeared! Poof! I don’t think I quite understood what happened to my dear friend. But time went on, and as a child with the attention span of a happy puppy, I quickly adjusted to life without Maiko-chan. We wrote letters to each other for a short while, but it wasn’t the same spark as we once had.
A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from a familiar name – Maiko?! It was something along the lines of “Hey! Remember me? I’m coming to LA for a business trip – want to meet up?!” I was so excited, but also, nervous at the same time. I didn’t know anything about her anymore! What does she do for fun? What kind of music is she into? Where should I take her? Does she even drink booze? Does she have an Australian accent?! Despite my
fear nervousness, of course I agreed and offered her a place to stay.
Maiko arrived at LAX on a Friday. I waited and waited at international arrivals and kept my eyes glued open for any familiar face… Then I received a Facebook message “Hey – I’m here by the flower shop!” Uh, what? How could I have missed her! I walked over to where she claimed to be, and lo and behold… there was my dear Maiko-chan! Wow, a lot taller than I imagined (lol). “HI!!” she says in an extremely Aussie accent, “OMG HI!” I respond in my American accent. Alas – we were reunited. Our first conversation in the car? “Wow – you sound so American”. “You sound so Australian!”
My mission was to show my long-lost friend the highlights of Los Angeles in two days. So, on her first night in LA while she was still jetlagged, I decided to call up my friends and go to some club in West Hollywood. And here is our first picture together in 24 years:
Day 1: First stop, I took her to the number one tourist spot: Hollywood. She seemed to have a wonderful time 😉
I have to admit though, I had some fun being a tourist with her 😉
We then ventured on to Santa Monica by taking the scenic route, that is, going through LA rather than the freeway.
Day 2: I wanted to show Maiko that LA isn’t all about glitz and glamour, and introduced her to Venice. I’m telling ya, this is where all the weird people hang out!
And then she got sucked into all the weird-people madness…
After a solid, well-executed 2-day tour of LA (*wink*), it was time for us to part. My long-lost friend and I connected like we were 4 years old again. Well, I like to think we’ve both matured
slightly. We spent the last two days catching up on many things that we missed out on for the last 25 years; how our lives have turned, the decisions that we’ve made and the adventures we’ve encountered. We learned that we both lived very similar lives and share similar interests. There was so much more that I wanted to tell her – 2 days simply wasn’t enough. We hugged, promised “see you later”s and off she returned to Down Under.
And I’m sure we both meant the “see you later”s. Just not sure when that would be… but hopefully soon!