When I travel I tend to think of people that I meet as Single Serving Friends. I’ve actually considered writing a book by that title. The reason I refer to them as Single Serving Friends is because I often meet people while I’m travelling, spend a few days with them, have a great time, and then never see or hear from them again. It’s really just the nature of travel. I expect the three guys who were part of my AF group during the Kilimanjaro trek will be Single Serving Friends, but for one week, we were the four best friends in the whole wide world.
Have you ever seen the movie, The Hangover? If you haven’t the premise is that this guy is about to get married so his two best friends decide to take him to Vegas for a bachelor party. In an effort to bond with his future brother-in-law, the groom brings along his fiancé’s brother as well. Once they get to Las Vegas everything that could possibly go wrong does; they get arrested, they steal Mike Tyson’s tiger, the responsible dentist marries a stripper, and they lose the groom. At the end of the movie the goofy brother-in-law sings a song about how they are the Four Best Friends that Anyone Could Ever Have. On our last night together Rod, Matt, Tom and I were joking about how the four of us mimicked the characters from The Hangover.
I was obviously the groom because in the movie the groom misses his own bachelor party, and here on Kilimanjaro, I missed the summit. Tom was the brother-in-law because in the movie the brother-in-law slipped roofies (or ecstasy, I forget) into the drinks of the other three. This analogy was the funniest because Tom is a vegan, so he was always offering people papaya pills (gives you energy) or spirulina tablets (helps with altitude sickness) or some other vegan remedy to keep you healthy. We all learned a lot about veganism during this trip. Matt was the responsible dentist because on our trip he was just that, the voice of reason, and very responsible. And Rod was Bradley Cooper, because he is tall and funny.
Though we didn’t have the same challenges as the characters in the movie we had our own unique experience which brought us together, most specifically the 8 members of the NSA, who we tolerated through gritted teeth (and then commiserated with one another about in private). I can’t imagine having done Kilimanjaro with anyone else. I will miss them very much. Considering we started off four strangers, all from different continents, we couldn’t have gotten along any better.
The Awesome Foursome- Matt (South Africa), Tom (Israel), Kelly (USA), Rod (Australia):