Love and Longing

Our resident Amico Nikesh Murali gives us a beautiful insight into a modern long-distance relationship…


Mr. Morris and I are sitting across each other at Chong Co in Woden and he seems to be not that enthused about the Pad Phrik King served up with peppercorns and vegetables carved into flowers.

This is scientifically impossible, I think to myself.

We have the same thing every day for lunch and compete with each other to finish the tasty dish in record times. We are Chong Co addicts/fans who will not insult the chef by mulling over life issues while the smell of flat rice noodles and beef cooked in palm sugar and lovely Asian sweet sauces waft up our manly nostrils.

But hey, sometimes a man is in pain and no culinary gem can soothe his soul.

So I proceeded to ask him:

Why the pain in your eyes Mr. Morris?

Because I have a blocked right tear duct that will not let me weep over my lovely Angela’s absence even if I want to.

How did you guys first meet?

Angela and I first met through a mutual friend while I was in Peru in 2009. I then latched onto her (as half a stalker) in the world of Facebook. Through FB we maintained a steady flow of correspondence until we both decided that we had given up on subjects in our respective countries and decided to really make a go of a long distance relationship. In late 2012, we met in Cuba for the first face to face meeting as a romantic couple. After just a week we flew out of Havana planning our engagement.

Do you think the dynamics of an intercultural relationship is different?

The foundations are the same, but I think an intercultural relation has so many more variables and moving parts to it. I have loved being exposed to (often quirky) cultural differences as Angela and I have grown together.

What is the thing that you miss the most about your loving partner?

It is always the little things. I always miss that last kiss before we head off to work, then me looking back at our apartment to see that she is still waving from the front window.

What strategies have you guys put in place to deal with the time it’s taking for the immigration processes to run its course?

From the horrific reports from others who have been through a similar process we were always aware that it was going to be long and painful, but we make sure that we speak at least twice a day and never go longer than six months without visiting each other. We have planned an extended tourist’s stay for Angela (six months) that will hopefully cover us until we have a visa to marry. Also, we try and keep ourselves busy planning for our lives together, including two weddings.

Do you think love can transcend space and time? (Sorry, I love Nolan’s Interstellar. Had to ask that question.)

It survives… feeding on the expectation that your time apart is not forever. Copious amounts of comfort food and alcohol also helps.

What is the first thing you are going to cook for the lovely Miss Angela when she gets here?

Given that time will at last be on our side, I think I will slowly roast some amazing meat. I am thinking slow cooked pork knuckles with garlic mash and mustard string beans, of course accompanied by some long aged Irish whiskey.

Do you have any suggestions for people who are in long distance relationships?

Save your pennies, communicate often and carefully manage your own expectations of timeframes. But most importantly, as a couple, bitch about the immigration process as much as you can. It creates a common focal point of blame and strengthens the resolve of you both to conquer the odds stacked against you.

A fist bump follows. Sympathies brother.Sympathies.

We eat our Pad Phrik King in silence.

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