disclaimer: i'm not a stalker, but....
last night i decided to try and track down some long lost friends. i've tried in the past, to no success. but every now and again i give it another go, testing if their old email somehow works again, or if they've decided to join the rest of the world and get a facebook account. unfortunately for me, these still came up as dead ends. ok, regroup. so it wasn't going to be easy, but surely in this age of technology there was a way to find them. i've got the world wide web at my fingertips. WORLD WIDE!! i just need to dig...
so both of these people are friends i met in New Zealand, back in 1995-96. I did a fairly good job at keeping in touch, especially considering the lack of email in the beginning. that's right, we wrote letters. on paper. envelopes and licking and stamps and the whole old-fashioned rigmarole. sadly, i lost touch with one of them sometime while living in the UK in 2001, and the other a few years later, maybe 2003ish. but time to reconnect, i am on a mission!
my first endeavor was to find my old flatmate Cathrine. i knew her maiden name, her married name (although the marriage was a sham to get her a NZ visa so i had no idea if she still used it), and i knew she'd moved back to Norway at some point. with that, i began googling. eventually i stumbled on some Norwegian home buyers page that, after translating to English, listed her (with maiden/married names) as having bought a house in some little Norwegian place i'd never heard of. after a bit more googling i found her again - this time with a new last name but the same address i'd just seen! and with that new last name i found her on Facebook!! no photo available, but when i checked out her friends list i saw some other familiar names from all those years ago. it was her! on top of the facebook find, i also located her on a NZ "old friends" site, although not sure when she last used it. But, i learned she has a kid. wow, what a fruitful search! i sent her messages both through facebook and the other site, and now wait with bated breath for a response. i have no idea how often she logs in - if ever - so all this could still leave her out of reach.
next up: mike, another kiwi friend. after meeting him in '96, he came to visit me in '98 or '99 and we took a road trip to NY. i last saw him in 2002 when i stopped by Auckland on my way home from SE Asia. he doesn't exactly have a unique name, so googling him wasn't giving me any concrete leads. however, my search was not a complete bust. i found his name associated with a company in Auckland. no contact info. i googled the company. no website but it comes up in that "old friends" site because someone has listed it as a former employer. who? not mike, a girl. my stomach flips. now that i see the name, i remember that was his girlfriend's name. maybe they worked together. she has a photo up, and although i only met his girlfriend once, and that was almost a decade ago, i think it might be her. her blurb mentions living with her boyfriend of 12 years. the timing fits. and i see she worked in Australia for a bit and i remember they moved there briefly. it has to be her! so i send a rather awkward message asking if my friend mike is her boyfriend. again, i have no idea when she'll get that message, i just have to cross my fingers that it will reach her and she'll respond.
i went to bed much later than should have, but totally wired from all my exciting detective work. i'm closer than i have been in a decade, and i may actually reconnect with them! now i keep checking my email, hoping to see something from one of these long lost pals, trying not to get my hopes up, but really it's too late. oh, i'm so close, so close!! please still use those emails and websites, please don't let my messages get spammed out, please get them and read them and write back!
ok, must chill out. for now i should congratulate myself on my excellent sleuthing skills and just give it a bit of time. i mean really, that was way tougher than trying to find carmen sandiego. fingers crossed!