Took 14 years for me to finally meet my best friend whom I met online when we were 14 and 13 respectively. I still remember our first conversation, which was mostly about the awesomeness called Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys. Yes! We met in a BSB chatroom and soon began emailing back and forth, a thing that continued over the years as we both grew and went through different life experiences.
Every-time the conversation would move onto talking about best friends, I always felt weird talking about Sivan, after all we’d never met yet she is the only one who knows the most about me. May be not having siblings did that to me, I just never related to friends on that emotional level. Even today, I have a lot of friends but Sivan is the only one who I feel the most comfortably complaining about life to! 🙂
I always thought I’d visit her in Israel one day but it just never happened. Finally, in April I made up my mind that I was just going to go ahead and get the visa/ticket and meet Sivan. Over the 14 years we never spoke so I didn’t even know what she sounded like yet we celebrated each others birthdays with presents. For an outsider, it might seem like a weird relationship but as it turns out, Sivan isn’t a serial killer-rapist! When I landed in Tel Aviv, my excited brain started surfing for a curly blonde and within a few second she had spotted me.
She was tinier than I imagined her to be, even skinnier but there she was, my best friend, standing with a red balloon! After much squealing and throwing bags on the floor (the snack bag which I lost in all that excitement), I remember hugging her for what seemed like forever. It was the strangest, loveliest feeling. The universe hadn’t forgotten me. I too had a best friend. Sure it took 29 years for me to meet her face to face but something out there cared for me.
Sivan had made plans for all the 9 days that I was living with her. The enthusiasm she showed was only something that family would show. She welcomed me in her apartment and had freshly baked brownies waiting for me. Her hospitality was beyond what I could have imagined. There was a huge packet of Bamba (my favorite Israeli snack) waiting for me in the bedroom. She even had Skye, her dog put up at her boyfriend’s as she didn’t want me barked at on the first day. Everything about her home oddly reminded me of India, my grandma’s home actually. This sense of comfort was alien yet known at the same time. Who does this for a friend they know online? May be, it could be, that I matter just as much to Sivan as she does to me 🙂
I don’t think I even had a doubt about how we would get on in person. Everything was so easy and since our personalities are exact opposites, it is really easy to get along (or may be I thought so!). Sivan shares a lot of her traits with my Mom so I knew before hand that spending time with her won’t be difficult plus we could never run out of things to speak about and if we did, we could just start Whatsapping again!
My Dad has wanted me to visit Israel for years now but I always kept putting it off as I didn’t want to spend so much money. I couldn’t believe how supportive my parents were about this journey. Everyone else around me was throwing fits about my trip to Israel, especially when I was off to meet a friend I hadn’t even spoken to but my parents seemed more excited than me! I appreciate the faith they put in my judgements about any situation.
Even the Israeli airport security guys thought it was weird that I was jetting off to meet a friend I knew for 14 years but only online! Knowing we met on a BSB chatroom, gave them enough laughs for the day. Sure enough entering Israel as a foreign passport holder is a TASK! The security checks are endless and they ask all sort of weird questions, you aren’t even allowed to lock your suitcase but in the end you know that you are going to have a very safe flight!
I have loads more to write about Israel and all the amazing places I visited. Who knew Israel was such a hidden gem! I really wish more people visited Israel without fearing it. There was nothing out of ordinary there, infact I felt more safe knowing there were all these soldiers around, not to forget, some very hot soldiers 😉
Technology is weird and fun. Over these 14 years it made possible for Sivan and I to share endless lengthy emails and messages on Hotmail, MSN, AOL, ICQ and Whatsapp. Without any of these, I wouldn’t have a best friend today. How lucky am I to be alive in this tech age!
My trip to Israel has been spiritual in its truest sense. It was one of those milestones I had to cross, like my saturn return! Sivan taught me the biggest lesson of all -that I must learn to accept love and live in the moment. For the first time in my life I let someone else make decisions, someone else do things for me and it felt so amazing! I am truly blessed to have the coolest, loveliest and kindest best friend+sister ever.