How I Became Friends With Jodie

When: Last November, during CELTA training at lunch break.

Where: Dunkin Donuts, 3 minutes walk from the center.

My mood: leave me alone

Who: Jodie an Aussie girl who was one of the participants in my group. We were the only girls in the group.

I had been told by my seniors at the office before I started my CELTA: make friends with people in your group, they’re the one who’s gonna help you through your course. Naturally I’m the kind of person who’s easy to be friends with people. I can be friends with most of the people I’ve met and I think that’s because I really like people in general. Everybody must have their own stories and it’s really fascinating to see things from their point of view.

But that day, I wasn’t in the mood to put up with any type of personalities. I’d been having a rough week -mostly related to me feeling inferior in CELTA environment- I decided to have a quiet lunch at Dunkin Donuts, knowing most of the participants usually had lunch at the center’s canteen. But from outside the restaurant I was annoyed to see Jodie sitting on a booth all by herself, but I didn’t want to go back to the center. So I stepped inside and hoped she didn’t see me. I walked straight to the counter and was relieved to see an empty booth far from hers.

I put my earphone and was about to enjoy my tuna sandwich and coffee when.. ‘Hi! I thought it was you!’ Damn.

Being a nice Asian, I invited her to join me. And then we chatted. She told me her bizarre encounter with a stranger in Bali. I told her about my bizarre relationship.

Little did I know that time that the conversation never really ends until this moment. (We talk via emails and facebook, now she’s in London living her dream).

A few weeks before the course ended and we would be separated without knowing when and where we’ll have coffee and talk face to face again, she told me about the day she had said hi to me at Dunkin Donuts.

Jodie: “I know you wanted to be left alone, exactly the reason I said hi’

Me : ‘You said hi to a person that you knew was not in the mood to talk?’ I asked her in disbelieve

Jodie: ‘Usually no, but that kind of person interest me. I like to push their button. Anyway, I was surprised that you invited me to join you.’

Me: ‘Well, I kinda have to, you came up and said hi. It would’ve been rude to not invite you’

Jodie: ‘Really? If I were you, I wouldn’t invite myself.’

Me: ‘If I were you, I’d stick to my doughnut and leave the annoyed girl alone.’

But I’m glad she did it. We shared so much in those four hellish weeks. On the last day of the course, she gave me a Christmas edition tumbler from Starbuck’s (I had one but it was broken and I was soooo sad that she gave me another one – exactly the same- bless you Jodie Anne Jackson)

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