Recently, we received a story from Steven in London, England. He and his friend Chan met when Chan and his girlfriend, Hyeji, came to London for a summer session. What we love most about this story is their connection through humor and laughter. Keep reading to learn more about this amazing friendship!
Steven: My name is Steven and I live in London, England. I am a student and I major in Christian Theology. I guess the most interesting fact about me is I am training to be an Anglican Priest within the Church of England. My hobbies are watching movies, socialising with my mates on Facebook and interpals, I like to sometimes watch football (I support Arsenal FC), I love to read and I also play games in my spare time.
Chan: Hello I’m Chan from South Korea. I’m studying chemical engineering and going to graduate next Feb. Though I’m engineering student, I’m interested in learning foreign languages. I’m studying English, French and German. That’s why I’m really interested in learning and feeling many kinds of cultures in the world. My hobby is traveling the world and making new friends. Until now, I usually travel many famous places in Korea and other countries during vacations! Traveling many countries, I’m finding a country where I will spend my old age. Until now, the candidates are London in England and Switzerland.
Steven: I am not learning any languages for I have Special Educational needs but I am thinking about learning how to write in other languages to overcome my learning barriers. I only speak English.
Chan: Yes I’m learning English and French. My English is intermediate level and French is just beginner.
What led to your becoming friends on Interpals?
Steven: I was the first to send Chan a message on Interpals in April 2014. I was in search for a Korean person so that I could learn more about their country e.g. Culture and Political situation. I liked Chan’s profile because it was quite interesting and it wasn’t complicated to understand. He stated on his profile that he wanted to improve his English so I thought I would offer to lend him a hand. What drew us together was that Chan was coming to visit London with his girlfriend Hyeji. Chan was going to travel Europe and the UK was his first stop because he was going to do a 3 week course. At first I doubted that we would meet because I was and still unemployed so I had to do a lot of Job hunting. When we skyped for the first time it was our sense of humour that drew us more closely together. I don’t consider myself a funny person but a lot of people on Interpals find me quite funny and Chan has got to be my biggest fan. Chan is a very respectful person and he always listens, no matter what we talk about, weather it be religion or matters in the world Chan listens and takes everything in to consideration. The biggest thing I admire about Chan is that he has a Big Warm Heart for people, those he loves and those he comes into contact with.
Chan: A few days after I started Interpals, Steven sent me a message. I was really thanks to his message because I was happy someone got interested in me. We started to share our cultures, experiments and so on. Since then we became friends.
Steven: Chan, Hyeji and I fianlly met on the first week of July 2014. They arrived in Regents Park, London and I went to visit them on their second day. I went to Regents park by train and I met them at the station.
Chan: I applied for an international summer session program of Westminster University in London where Steven lives. Fortunately, it was not hard to pass it so we can meet in person in London!
What are your favorite things about your friendship?
Steven: I think the best thing about our friendship is story-telling and us learning from each other. I tell Chan stories from my old mate John who is the Chrch Warden of our Parish Church of St Catherines, Neasden. I also tell Chan things that happens to me in my life and funny things I experience on Interpals. Chan always laughs and tells me I am funny. I took Chan & Hyjie to the Museum of London and educated them a bit about London’s history which they really enjoyed. Afterwards I took them to see my Church, St Catherine’s were they met John and my other mate Robin. I showed them around the church and I demonstrated a typical Sunday service. Chan engaged with long conversation with John. John to is quite a keen person and like to ask lots of questions, so this experience was quite exciting for John too. I also took them to my Local Park which is big huge open space were you can get a good view of London and Wembley. We talked about our High School lives and all the naughty things we did. We took some really good photos and a someone’s dog decided to join us at one point (you will see in the photos above). My favourite part of Chan & Hyeji’s visit was when we went out to and evening dinner and Bowling. This was the funniest of part. I took them to a restaurant called “Nandos” which is quite popular in Britain. Chan ordered this quite a large meal and Hyeji ordered about half the size of Chan’s meal. I had never seen anything like, they ate everything on the plate and all the chicken bones were polished. They said they really enjoyed it and I was so shocked I burst with laughter.
Chan: We had many experiences in London. Two things I think special are London Museum and Neasden. Because I like history, London Museum was really interesting. Especially, he explained easily each events to us when we moved and moved to other exhibits in the museum. And I remember clearly the time we spent in a park in Neasden. He bought chicken and chips for us and we went to the park and talked a lot. I had a pleasant time with Steven even though I was not good at speaking English. He listened closely to my funny episodes and told us his. We were unaware of the passage of time.
Steven: Our friendship was special when we met and still remains very special to both of us. I think even though we haven’t known each other for very long its like we know each other inside-out. We would gladly do anything for each other.
Chan: It has rigidified much more than before we met. He was a kind of penpals who I met online but now it is certain that he is one of my real friends. Of course He would be one of my friends and we could be closer even if I couldn’t meet him in London, but it is fact that we became much closer when we met and shared our experiences and cultures in London. We keep contacting and becoming closer and closer. I’m sure I will visit London again to see him!
Steven: The best advice I can give to other Interpallers who want to meet their friends is Go For It and Believe you will meet. Look how at first I doubted I would meet Chan and even though it was only by chance we met because Chan was coming here to the UK it still happened because it was our union that pushed us to make our meeting a reality. When friends meet, it is special and fruitful friendships becomes like Family. If Chan did not come here, I would eventually gone to visit him in Korea because I wanted to meet him so badly. Guys, never give up and always believe you will meet those great and amazing friends you have. You can make it happen even if it takes you years to save up the money, your meeting is in your hands and trust me it will be Worth the wait.
Chan: Of course, there are many kind and nice people on Interpals but you might meet bad and rude guys easily. You have to be able to distinguish if he or she is there to make friends or other reasons. If you can do that, you will interact with a lot of interesting people from the whole world.
Do YOU have an Interpals friendship story? Write to us – we’d love to hear from you!