Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Forces of Friendship

The bonds that bind friends together is truly an amazing force. Although time and distance may separate friends from each other, the power of friendship has almost a supernatural way of either speeding up the clock to make up for lost time spent apart or traveling at the speed of light to close any time zone or distance gap that may exist. I was lucky to have my friend Frank drop by Singapore recently on business and it was a fun and hilarious experience to get caught up with each other and recount our many adventures that we had been apart of in the past.

Even though both Frank and I work for the same company and are both Americans, we only first met each other when we were each stationed in Munich, Germany. Frank and I literally arrived into Munich a few days apart of each other, along with another close friend Keith. For those who have followed my Blog from its inception, you will recall that it was this experience in Germany which gave me the beginnings of my online musings. Frank was a big part of my Munich experience, but he has also always been a true friend who has bestowed upon me wisdom and experience that has helped to shape my career and attitudes.

Of course there will always be the stories Frank and I will tell again and again about Oktoberfest, German efficiency, and endless characters that we encountered in the office and on our travels; but I think the added factor of having some serious moments when we compared notes on life, its meaning, and our unique role within it has been some of the most lasting conversations of our friendship.

What many people have learned (some the hard way) about Frank is that he is a master with PhotoShop. The guy alwas has a camera and is ready at the helm to document the moment, no mater how shameless it may be. And if reality is not funny enough for Frank, he will open up PhotoShop and add his own artistic and comedic flair to ensure side-splitting laughter. One such element of Frank's efforts took place just after I had departed from Munich and went back to the US. Frank, Keith, and I were often together experiencing as much of Germany as we could together. But after I left Munich, there were only two of the orginal three castmembers. Frank likes to tell the story of how both he and Keith were having a teriffic day on the slopes in the German Alps one weekend. Upon taking a break to reflect on the day, they both said that the only thing that would make the day better was if David was here to join in on the fun. Since reality didn't allow me to be with them, Frank and PhotoShop soon took over to allow me, if only virtually, to be there with them on the slopes. The YouTube video below captures that day perfectly. Turn up your speakers and let it rip and see if you can spot my appearance with the guys!

Frank will always be a part of my Munich Crew. And I hope he will continue to remain a close friend as well. When he got back to the US, he dropped me an inspiring email about the wonderful opportunities that he saw for me in my role and within my region here in Southeast Asia. The words meant more to me because they came from Frank and I have found myself reflecting upon them whenever I am feeling frustrated or down. This is the kind of actions we expect from good friends and no factors of time nor distance will disrupt this powerful force known as friendship.