Once in the early 90s two Stockholm girls went to college to major in Chinese. They became friends: one was half-Chinese, the other had spent part of her childhood in China. They would one day become the Architect and the Sculptress. But first they went to China to pursue their studies, and made friends with an expat Chinese Stockholm girl who had come there for the same purpose. She would later become the Journalist.
In China the Architect picked up a local Painter whom she brought along when all three girls returned to Sweden. In the end it didn’t work out, but Architect and Painter remained friends. Instead the three girls settled down with the Philologist, Saxophonist and Archaeologist, and Painter paired up with the Industrial Designer.
Today we all had lunch together, the people who have accreted around those two college undergrads, accompanied by our progeny (n=6 and counting) and two kids from the neighbourhood. Afterwards we went down to the beach, a little colony of Chinese with groupies, and sat down next to a clutch of Africans with groupies. That beach looked like the United Nations.