Monday, July 14, 2008

facebook ain't that bad after all

Facebook was pretty exciting at first, and I must admit I was hooked to it, spending hours replying to messages on My Wall, sending out Growing Flowers and Hatching Eggs, checking out new Pokes and adding Places I've Been To, and saying yes to applications that came my way.

Not too long after I got bored as I realised what a waste of time it was! But I still went in once in awhile to check for messages and to say hi to the hundreds of friends I have there. It really is a great tool for keeping in touch, but frankly to really nurture a friendship or any relationship for that matter, I would consider this a poor substitute. Having said that, I still found it much better than Friendster in many ways.

One of it is you can find out how you're related to each other and that makes you realise how small the world really is, as cliche as that sounds. Like 2 of my Malaysian friends here in Japan actually were classmates with 2 of my friends back in uni. Or how my undergrad friend has a connection to my ex-classmate in Kelantan who has since moved to Hong Kong. Or who's become a couple, who has just recently gotten married, and who's single again. Yup, that's how open this thing is, for good or bad.

After being inactive for over a month, I decided to pop in to check for new messages. I was utterly surprised to find a friend request from Sadig, a long-lost friend from my CF days in MMU. I will always remember him as my guardian angel when we had that game where the angel is supposed to bless you with gifts and encouraging words, but keep his/her identity a secret until the day where everyone reveals who they are.

The first gift I received from him was a pastel green bookmark with some Chinese characters on the front and a penned message from him on the reverse. I thought that was a dead giveaway since I roughly knew who were Chinese-educated or who were banana's*! The other gift that I still keep (ya I think I'm a sucker for anything nostalgic, or like my dad says I collect rubbish :p) after all these years is a quirky mug made from a see-through material which held deep blue liquid about half-full with a couple of little plastic boats in it. The boats float and tumble along nicely when the mug is shaken. So sweet, this must surely be from a Mandarin-speaking grrl, or so I thought.

So I was really surprised when this almost-6-feet tall friend from Sudan told me he was my guardian angel! We had a good laugh about it all when I told him about whom my suspects were. That tale, coupled with the fact that we had very few foreigners on our campus that time, made him stand out quite a bit.

And it delighted me that he still remembered my nickname back then when he replied to my message on Facebook. I've almost forgotten about it since it was only used mainly in our circle of friends and that sorta became my trademark for a while. He even used some Malay words in his message, I suppose he must have picked up the language quite a fair bit, or he's still around in Malaysia.

With another friend reunited, it looks like there still is hope - I guess I will not abandon Facebook just yet!

P/S: If only I knew my Chinese back then, then I would have known that the bookmark had the words "Happy Birthday" on it!

* banana - a common Manglish term whereby being yellow on the outside and white inside that refers to a Chinese who is Western-educated and most likely do not speak Chinese

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