You know what makes me happy? Having friends all over the world, and being able to connect with them—and connect them with each other—because of this wondrous modern technology called the Internet.
Example #1: There’s a chewable antacid that’s available only in Britain. I contacted a friend there and asked if she could send me some. The first time, in exchange I bought and shipped some shampoo for her father that’s available here but not in Britain. This time, she noted that the kind he really needs is a combination of the two kinds that are available here…and the combo kind is available in Australia. So I contacted a friend in Australia and asked if she could buy and ship the shampoo to my friend in Britain, and I’d pay her. My friend in Australia countered with the request that I pick up some perfume for her, which is only available in the US. Isn’t this the coolest thing? We all get the item we want, that we can’t get in our home country. We all get to help each other out.
Example #2: A friend commented (on Facebook, maybe? I can’t remember now) that she’d found a great knitting pattern for socks but the site was in Finnish. And I said, yo, I used to live in Drachenwald. Let me ping some SCA folks there and see if they know anyone who (a) speaks Finnish and (b) knits. (I’m sure I met some lovely Finns when we lived over there, but I didn’t keep in touch with any of them.) And then, voila! I got an e-mail from a lovely woman (whose name does sound very familiar) who also happens to be on Ravelry, which my friend is on…so I pointed the two of them at each other.
When it works, it works. I love how it’s made the world a smaller and cozier place. I miss my friends in Britain and Australia as well as all over the US (and other parts of the world), but I don’t feel like they’re quite as far away.