It was hoped that we could get something arranged so some filming could be done for the documentary, as this was the biggest meet up that I had been involved in was taking place so far, it was quite important that plans were firmed up so it could be captured on camera. Unfortunately because we had people coming from different areas, having people meet up together was tricky. It was hoped that we could meet at the O2 as this was a prominent landmark.
It became clear that this wasn’t going to happen since the day before it became apparent that the District Line and DLR tube lines were out of service due to weekend maintenance which put paid to that plan. Also, permissions would have be changed and applied for and time was far too short to be able to cater for this. Sadly, this meant that the cameras had to stay in situ on the living room floor!
The weather couldn’t have been better if it had been pre-booked. Some of us had previously met before, and a couple of us had met for the first time.
I met Le Thanh outside Victoria Station and the meets were staggered from then on with people arriving at different times at Moon Under Water pub in Leicester Square. On reflection, this worked extremely well so I was able to meet with each person personally and in good time and have a good chat with them without being overwhelmed by the whole situation.
The Reunion was a lovely occasion, and thoroughly enjoyed by all, polished off quite nicely by a meal at the Viet Noodle Bar on Greek Street in Piccadilly. It was quite strange because although we were practically strangers, the fact that we share this unusual and unique fact that start our lives off, this is the only bonding fact that we needed to ensure that a conversation ensued and the bond is something I’ve never really experienced before. Having a common connection that many of us don’t remember is enough to form a lifelong friendship, I still have difficult fully explaining this but totally understand it.
It was mentioned that all of us adoptees or Asians have “Foot-in-Mouth syndrome” and perhaps there should be a study on it. There were even a few adoptees who agreed there was a likeness between them and this fact cannot be ignored – because we all went in our own directions after that airlift and without proper documentation, this is a very real fact, that through these reunions (and upcoming plans to have DNA tests recorded) a sibling could well be discovered.
It’s amazing how the food seemed to bond us together; the aroma & textures appeared to weave its magic smells on us, except the smell of the fish sauce was not to my liking, plus it appeared that the fish sauce wanted to bond with my hair!! To others, the smell of fish sauce reminds them of the Mekong Delta.
So now we’re all looking forward to more reunions in the coming months and of course the big reunion in Vietnam April 2010.