“The Girl in the Red Hat”
-A wait in the cold, a meal in the warmth-
On the morning of February 2nd, 2012, Amki put on her red hat (a further reference to the film “Elizabethtown”), and set out to meet the Englishman whose journey had begun at 7.00pm on the night before.
Having very little money meant James must find the cheapest possible fares, and that meant a long, long journey, with many changes and many hours of waiting. A walk down the cobbled streets of Lincoln’s Steep hill with a rolling suitcase; a run past the castle and through the town, between train stations at Newark; and a worried change of train at Stevenage, with only 5 minutes between arrival and departure. By the time James reached Cambridge, it was 2 degrees below freezing, and the train station then closed for 3 hours. He walked around Cambridge in the cold, trying to find a warm place with cheap coffee, which proved surprisingly difficult considering he was in one of the most famous university cities on Earth. He finally flew out of Stansted airport, towards Stockholm, at 6.05 in the morning.
James & Amki met face-to-face for the first time, in the snow outside Skavsta airport, just before noon on the morning of February 2nd, 2012.
There’s a funny thing about sitting next to someone on a bus, who you have loved for some time, and exchanged every detail of your life with, but have only just met… It takes a while for you to realise that the flesh & blood person you are sitting next to is the same person you have written to, recorded messages for, and seen on the other side of a computer screen for many months. It is a strange, and very 21st century moment, totally in keeping with the rest of their peculiar relationship, but in the end all it takes to make it real it again is a good old-fashioned first date.
Theirs was at Dolce Vita, in the middle of Stockholm, where a very enthusiastic waiter brought them a very enjoyable meal, and wished them well for the future.