Looking For A Long Lost Friend
is looking for something. The idealists among us would look for love,
or God, or a soulmate, or happiness, and they actually hope and truly
believe that they will find what they are looking for. Opinions would
differ as to whether the idealists are being delusional, but most would
agree that a difficult road lies ahead for the idealist.
A friend approached me just the other day with something, or rather someone, that she is looking for. She is looking for a long lost friend that she had lost contact with 40 years ago. She knows that the friend probably left for the States, and intended to continue on to Canada. She knows the name of the friend’s son and the university that the son attended. And....not much else. And she wanted me to help her track down her friend based on just that.
This friend of mine has never struck me as an idealist but this mission that she is on puts her, in my opinion, as an idealist of the first order. A lifetime would have happened in 40 years, and it is practically impossible to know where and how to find this friend of hers, and yet, she acted as if a reunion is the inevitable outcome of her search.
But, optimist that I am, I put on my never-say-die attitude and decided to give it a try. We tried a search on the web for her son’s school, hoping to get some contact details for her son. But it turned out that the school is no longer in operation, having gone under due to lack of funds some years back.
A search for her name and her son’s name on the web and on various websites yielded no promising results. That wasn’t too surprising as her friend was probably not too tech savvy, and would take to the Internet like a fish out of water...but that was a lifetime ago.
While we are still persuing other ideas, I hit upon an idea that could just turn the tide. As the saying goes, slightly adapted, “If Muhammad can’t find the mountain, perhaps the mountain can find Muhammad.” The idea is that my friend’s friend could also be looking for her, and we could set up a simple webpage with the relevant keywords so that the page will stick out like a sore thumb should anybody search with the relevant keywords.
So, I have set up a simple webpage here: Lena Poh’s Search For A Long Lost Friend
A Short Note For Those Thinking Of Doing The Same
Simply putting up a webpage on the Internet would not be enough. Google will have no idea that your page exists, and anybody searching on Google will not find your page. After putting up your page, you will need to get Google to notice it.
It is not as difficult as it seems and I would recommend one of the following techniques:
- Put up another page on a more popular site, and link to your page from it. This is actually what I’m doing here.
- Put up your page using a blogging software like Wordpress or a blogging site like Blogger. I tried this once and got indexed by Google in 15 minutes flat!
- Submitting your webpage to Google would probably also work, but the general consensus is that your page would take months to get indexed.
A special message from Lena (the girl looking for her friend) to Mun (the friend that she's looking for):
Mun, thank you for the beautiful memories shared
with me during your Hong Kong years. I agree memories are wonderful but one
cannot "catch" them. Remember the photo of you perched on the roof-top.? It is
still my favourite. I do not wish to be tagged as an
"unforgivable". Thus I hereby declare that I
I am fine, enjoying a simple but peaceful lifestyle and hope that things are fine with you too. You should be a grandpa by now!!. We are both in our autumn years and I would like to say "Hello!!" once again before the imminent "Good-bye." You left Asia to chase your American dream and, in a heartbeat, forty years have passed. Mun, do you not miss us??
I wrote to your KL hometown on 19/4/11 and Edgewood Street on 2/6/11. Both letters were returned as unclaimed. On 3/6/11, I appealed to the American Embassy but due to privacy issues, they were unable to conduct a search. Again, on 3/6/11, I also appealed to the property agent who closed the deal at the Edgerwood site and am still waiting for a reply.
It is only in 2006 that I was able to have the luxury to entertain thoughts or worries about old friendships. My sincere apologies.
3 Aug 2011
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