Eleven years ago I was recovering from a relationship I had had with a German Dr. in Japan . Before I had moved to Japan I had befriended the owner of a small guest house in Chiang Mai.  Not being ready to return to Toronto, I sent many boxes to her house including my bicycle. She generously received all my boxes and stored them for me.
She has made her living renting three small rooms upstairs and also by taking in sewing. She also has a small building with a garden she tends on the outskirts of Chiang Mai.In her early sixties she is soft spoken almost to the point of a whisper to my ears. Life has not been easy for her in the past but she has befriended an American man who has been generous to her . I’ve met the man several times. He took her on a trip to Paris once he told me.He is a retired engineering professor.
 Several days ago as I was walking past her place I saw her outside working on a drainage pipe.
I had been concerned because for the past six weeks each time I passed her building it was shut up and dark. I had feared perhaps something had happened to her.
We had a short conversation and she explained that she had been visiting her family on a little Island off the coast of Koh Sumi. It’s a small fishing village with rather rustic amenities.
I was relieved that my friend of over a decade was indeed alive and well.