Not two hours ago I was sitting outside a local café wracking my brains about what to write for this week’s column (yes, Editor Sir, I do think about it!) when a young girl at the next table turned around. She asked me if I was friends with a mother and daughter who live in Ireland. She recalled the days of us all dancing in the Irish Pub in Lazimpat—which then dates it around 2010. She went on to recall that she knew them when they rented an apartment from her family when she was a child. Having just returned from study overseas, she appeared to be around mid-20s.
It was not the first time this has happened to me… About 8 or 9 years ago I saw someone on social media whose family name looked familiar (it's a bit unusual). I contact him. Sure enough his family used to come and stay with us on a regular basis when I lived in Bardia National Park! Subsequently he moved into my Kathmandu neighborhood and we became friends. Looking back on the Bardia days I was, at that time, more friends with his parents than his 10-year-old self but his recollection of the warm welcome I gave (gosh, how professional was I) when they arrived at the hotel was seared into his happy childhood memories. Being they were neighbors of a mere two hours drive away (nothing in a rural area) even my mother and aunt met his parents back in the day as I sometimes used to go visit them at their house too. Now with a child of his own we are family!
On another occasion I was having drinks with that same guy and a bunch of Friday Happy Hour folks at the old 1905 on Kantipath when a young woman came up to me and said— “you know my mother”. Her mother, a French woman running a trekking agency here, helped me out tremendously on a particular occasion. Her, then young, daughter was there too and she recalled both the occasion and me. I had lost contact since the time they kind of ‘rescued’ me, some 20 years ago.
Why, even the assistant editor of this newspaper falls into this strange category of folks I knew as children. Having met adult Sunny through his music, when this newspaper started he suggested I might like to write for them. Sometime around then his son was having his rice-feeding party to which I was invited. I’m dancing away to some Nepali song on the dance floor and spy a gentleman doing the same. We wave at each other and exchange greetings. I later say to Sunny that I met the guy who was previously the manager at the Sterling Club based within the British Embassy. Which I used to frequent on a regular basis, again back around 15 years ago. “Oh that’s my father,” says Sunny!
A few months back I was sent a Facebook friend request by a woman married to someone who used to work for me, going back around 20-25 years. I was somewhat surprised to notice that this woman, who looked about 40, is married to my ex-staff member who is oh, maybe 20. Then it dawned on me. Twenty years have passed since he worked for me. He is no longer 20!
There is nothing quite like being told by someone they knew you when they were a child to remind you that you are not 30 anymore but edging towards the other end of the spectrum. But worst of all—there is nothing quite like being on a date with someone who then turns out to be the son of someone you worked beside 19 years ago. And who most likely you met when he came along to visit daddy at work! Needless to say, there was no second date.