Sunday, December 31, 2006

Meeting the Neighbours

One of the couples who live on our street had a little get-together last night for everyone who lives on the street. It was a good chance to meet some of the people who are our neighbours, although we had met some already, partly by chance on the street, partly due to the note we had sent out before. We took along Lena, having bought her a party dress the day before for her big debut. She was the belle of the ball as they say, very well behaved, which of course made her endearing to everyone. Don't think they would have ooh'ed and ah'ed the same way if she had been screaming her head off.

Everyone is very friendly and it's nice to know the people around you. Nearly all have said something to the effect of feeling free to drop by for a cup of tea or if we need any help, to be sure to let them know. It was also good to have the chance to start to possibly make friends, as unlike living in a "foreign" country (England is a foreign country for us, but not in the larger scope of the word), there's no quick way to meet other expats by going to a local bar or to some sort of English-speaking event.
Of course we will meet people here, but it's something I've known for a long time - people who grew up in one place don't have to go out of their way to meet new people. It's not that you are against meeting new people, but you already have a large circle of friends from growing up in the place and most are likely to be around for a long time. Whereas, when you are an expat in a foreign country, you don't have that built-up social network, so you are always open to meeting new people, because if all your other friends are also expats, they could move away any day. Living away from your home forces you to be more sociable than you might otherwise be.

Back to the neighbours; they are apparently quite a gregarious lot, and are already talking about a barbeque for the summer and/or a street party later in the year. Everyone also enjoyed being able to drink up and not have to worry about catching a taxi, haha! I look forward to more events with them all.

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