My friend Rafia

I spent the day with a good friend of mine. A friend from my college and medical school days. Rafia was the only friend apart from my mother, I used to write to after I came to London.

I was due to meet her at King’s Cross station and got there in time. I couldn’t find her train details on the arrivals board and checked the ticket again and realised that she was coming to the international station and not the other one. I walked to the arrivals area of the international station. It soon dawned on me that I was waiting at the Eurostar exit and she wasn’t coming from Paris or Brussels. I found Rafia in front of one of her favourite (Cath Kidston) stores waiting for me.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had Rafia all to myself. We had a lot of catching up to do. I wanted to show her Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross and totally forgot about it. If you are a Harry Potter fan you would know what I am talking about.

After checking into the hotel and leaving the luggage, we started our sight seeing trip. First stop was Westminster and Big Ben. We then walked to Downing Street and then past the Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham Palace. By the time we reached Green Park Station the energy levels started to dwindle and hunger took hold. So next stop was Leicester Square and Chinatown. As the Chinese New Year is almost upon us, next Saturday to be precise, Chinatown is getting a makeover with hundreds if not thousands of red lanterns.

Although Rafia was well prepared for the cold and suitably suited, layered and booted, she still couldn’t tolerate the cold. After our late lunch we walked along Regent street to Oxford street, popping into shops along the way to keep warm.

Soon it was time to say our goodbyes. We will meet again, but we might not get another day like this. We talked about a lot of things. We wondered whether we would like to live through our younger days again. For me maybe my childhood days in Malaysia, but I wouldn’t want to relive the rest. What I would like to do though is spend time with my friends like this and relive the good times once in a while. I certainly had a good time and know that Rafia did too.

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