I met my Barcelonian friend Elena in Tokyo of all places. We were both studying at Sophia University for a year.
We met through a mutual acquaintance and the three of us ended up on a three day trip to Okinawa. Both Elena and I share an enthusiasm for Okinawan culture and were so excited to go. We managed to see everything on our checklist and had an overall wonderful time there.
As it turned out, a few weeks later, Elena ended up moving into the same dorm as me. We ended up spending memorable times together, staying up to the wee hours of the morning chatting and eating candy.
Now, having only recently moved to San Francisco, we live on practically opposite sides of the globe. But we still Facebook and tweet at each other. And, most excitingly, we send packages through snail mail to each other, back and forth from Spain to the States.
While we were friends in Tokyo, Elena had no idea I drew at all. This was during my college phase of not having time to draw. Boy, was she surprised when she learned I was working on my graphic novel The Poet and the Flea. And, quickly, she became my #1 fan!
Elena became smitten by the rose from page 27 of The Flea (as seen on Part 4 of Behind the Scenes). So, for the winter holiday, I sent her the following ink and watercolor rose.
In return, at the end of January, I received a wonderful little New Year’s present from Elena (see photos below)! She sent me a delightfully long handwritten letter, a bag of candy, and a flyer of a favorite Japanese band called exist†trace (which I believe Elena was handed by the lead singer named Jyou after a The GazettE concert).
I would love for Elena to come visit San Francisco one day, or for me to visit her in Barcelona (when I’m not an unpaid intern making absolutely no money). Elena is really the only person I keep in touch with from my year abroad and I’m proud to have such an awesome friend! Maybe someday we’ll even return to Japan and even Okinawa together.
Copyright 2013 by G. E. Gallas