Wednesday, 3 December 2008

A visitor from Down Under

Marie spends so much of her time on her laptop that the kids think it's an appendage. She uses Facebook, MSN Messenger and the No More Panic chat room – usually simultaneously. She chats with many, many people from many different countries. One of her chat buddies and fellow anxiety sufferer who has been chatting with her for over a year is a New Zealander called Tracy. One day Tracy asked Marie if it would be ok to visit her while she was on a trip to the UK. Marie immediately said Yes.
You never know if you are going to like somebody until you actually meet them. In the flesh. No amount of emails or chat room conversations can totally prepare you. Thus it was with trepidation as well as excitement that we went to meet Tracy at the local railway station. It was like greeting an old friend from the start. Even the children took to her straight away. Tracy stayed for several enjoyable days and it was with regret that we drove her back to the railway station at the end of her stay.
Marie has several chat room/MSN buddies who live within 50 miles from us, but have never suggested visiting. Strange, therefore, that someone from the other side of the world should visit, isn't it?
Strange, but nice.


rosiero said...

I have found the Antipodeans are more prone to visiting further afield as they probably have to travel vast distances in their own countries. I know one who did Scandinavia to Italy and France to Poland in 5 days by train!!

In this age of technology it is nice that Marie can make friends within her own four walls. In the past she would have been marooned in the house with only her own company. At least computers are doing some good in such cases.

Lynn said...

Awww thts brilliant. I cant believe the size of Orla though, frightening how big she is getting.

Robert said...

Rosiero, If you live in NZ, you've got to fly to go ANYWHERE. So I suppose UK is just a somewhat longer flight.

You're right about cyberspace - it can bring the world into your home - and that includes company & conversation. Being agoraphobic (or housebound for ANY reason) sin't as lonely today as it once was.

Robert said...

Lynn - hopefully, one day, you'll come & see Orla in person. Marie & I would really like that.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Hi, I think you have a perfectly normal family! (Just reading from your profile) I know exactly what you mean about meeting folk you have only spoken to via a computer. I have a great friend in Cananda (Aims) whom I am bursting to meet and I hope sincerely that we will one day. We speak to eachother via gmail and email eachother too.

Best wishes,
Crystal Jigsaw xx

Robert said...

Hi CJ! I won't say that this is typical, but...One of my daughters met a cyber-friend from California who had flown to the UK just to meet her. It was a disaster! She found that the interesting cyber-friend was seriously dull in the real world.

Guess what? They don't correspond any more...

Jax said...

Hi Robert!

I'm a long time reader, first time poster. My husband commented here a while ago after I showed him this site. (I thought he might like to know that he's not the only one with a wife that has agoraphobia. There's two of you!) We've travelled extensively (this is when the meds worked for me)and it's pretty much the norm for Kiwis to go and live and work in London for a couple of years in their 20s. This is when we roam Europe generally creating havoc. I think we just accept the fact that we have to travel long distances to get anywhere, and will use the slightest excuse to go and have some fun. Even when I lived in London, I couldn't get over the fact that you could take the TRAIN to another country. (That and the fact that Christmas is in the winter. That's just weird).

Anyway, keep up the posting. I've got my fingers crossed for Marie that the meds work for her.


Kaci said...

Hi! I have just stumbled across your blog and I am very glad! I also have been dealing with agoraphobia for some time now.

Robert said...

Hi Jax! Thanks for posting a comment! I remember your husband sending me an email. I hope that you are doing well.

I know what you mean about the Kiwi European exploration pilgrimage...Marie's cousins used to live in Auckland, but now one is in London & the other is working as crew on a yacht in Greece. They're in their 20's & don't think that now is the right time to settle down.

Best wishes