Last week I had the fortunate chance to meet a friend I first met in GYAC+IACC Brasilia. The Afghani Mr. O, let’s call him that, had a meeting in Budapest. Along with him came another Afghani, Mr. F, and his partner, the Italian Ms. R. Somehow we are all practitioners of, um, long distance relationshitships. Naturally, we went to share our stories…

Two months after marriage, O’s wife went to the US to start a master in gender studies. F met R in Budapest, dated and went into steady relationship, but had to be separated for more than a year when R went back to Italy. Me, well, I’ve spent the last 2.5 years in a similar state.

It’s always amazing to listen to the struggles of people in LDRs, and how they (or to be exact: we) cope with it. Say, O can not go to the US, you know, the very paranoid nation which complicates and makes it nearly impossible for any male in productive age who has moslem name, furthermore an Afghani, to ever get a visa. So every several months he reunites with the wife somewhere, usually in India or Dubai.

F and R must fight not only with distance but also settle for all differences in their lives. Having different religion is tough enough, I know the feelings, but they also come from totally different cultures, with many stereotypes plastered upon them, and even different continent. R’s family was initially reluctant to accept F, but when they met, they started to understand and recognise him as a part of R’s life. And now they know that Afghanis are not Arabs.

“I told them that to think Afghanis are Arabs is as offensive as saying Italians are French,” said F with a big grin.

Ha, I can’t help to evoke the feeling how offended I am every time people think I’m from Malaysia 😀

Anyway, cheers for all LDRs fighters! It’s not easy but we’ll survive! \m/

The strip is from the oh-so-famous

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