I am often tempted to see my life as ordinary but when I recall some moments of my life, I realize that it has never been ordinary. In fact, I think it’s quite extraordinary after all.
Imagine being 12 years old and going on a wild goose chase to try and contact someone you admire. I guess this would be quite equivalent to one of my nieces trying to contact Justin Bieber. Then the sudden elation when the reply from Sergei comes, after close to one year. (Sergei is not his real name. Just for ease of writing, I’ll refer to him as Sergei.)
I guess only someone nutty like me would try to move heaven and earth to get to see Sergei’s performance. Bear in mind that I was still in my early teens then. Sergei was already a legend, performing in various countries around the world back then. However, I became frustrated because as usual, we seemed to miss out on all the fine musicians. eg. I don’t think the late Arthur Rubinstein ever performed in Asia. I came close to actually seeing my dreams come true and even received a reply from the city mayor who informed me that if the concert materialized, he would invite me to the performance. (Sadly, the concert never happened.)
However, Sergei’s manager told me that my sister could attend his concert. She was studying overseas and received a complimentary ticket for his performance. What I would have done to switch places with her.
My communication with Sergei and his family continued throughout the years and finally east met west at a neighbouring island where he performed in a recital. That was 5 years after I started writing to Sergei. Imagine having so much to say and ask over the years, and yet – when I was finally at the backstage, somehow, those words failed to come out. It was a dream come true.
I kept in touch with Sergei and his family. Letters became fewer when I went abroad for my tertiary education. I remember receiving a video cassette so I could see his recorded performances. I’ve also received cassettes since I couldn’t find them in any of the local stores. (Today,.. thank God for iTunes.)
Today, after 15 years, I still keep in touch with them. I still read the latest reviews etc…
So, why am I so excited for my travel next year? Well, …east will meet west again. It’s another long wait but it will be worth it.