United States are Friends country. Since I believe everything I’m told, I was expecting to have a group a friends with whom I could go out for a beer, or tell all my secrets to my new BFF while eating cupcakes. We’ve spent already a few months here, and we may have new friends…
The francophile friend. I don’t have a kid nor a pet, but I’m French and this is my “charming card”. Francophile people are easy targets, but I needed to find them. When I arrived in Boston, one of the first thing I did was to go to a yoga center. Each time I introduced myself to a new teacher, she could identify that I was French. Once I ran into a teacher who was a big fan of France, she invited me for dinner, and introduced me to one of her friend, who also liked France (and yoga). Perfect! Generally, francophile friends are familiar with the French culture and they accept my defaults (for instance, my love for complaining). They usually don’t speak French, but want to learn it: that’s how I met my conversation partner with whom we talk in both French and English.
The new guy. The new guy can be hard to find, but it’s the perfect opportunity because he’s also by himself and is looking for friends. At Manu’s job, there’s a lot of American people who are not from Boston. So they are most of the time available to go out.
The “flaky” pal. Flaky is a new type of people we weren’t use to, and unfortunately we met a lot of “flaky people”. He looks normal, he’s even very nice. The problem is that he cancels most of the time the dates, for no reason, and last minute (being tired isn’t a reason for cancelling – everybody is tired). A lot of people behave like that – and it seems pretty common here. We need to know the level of flakiness of people to avoid being super disappointed. Unfortunately, we tend to forget about this, and sometimes we are preparing for a night out with a person who simply cancel it. Flaky!! I asked a few people about this, and I was told that there was no reason to be upset, it’s a way to be, people don’t want to say no to go out, even if they don’t really want to do it. So they cancel.
The sportive guy. It’s an hard one (specially if you’re not a sportive type), but you can say to yourself that he will be a good ally for your health. Manu has started to go 3 times a week to the gym (well 3 times when he can) with a friend who became a sort of personal coach. As far as I’m concerned, I went to a boxing class and a spining class when a friend asked me to go with her. Hard, I told you.
The foodie friend. Birds of a feather flock together… we have a few friends who love “food”. Finding new restaurants, going to food trucks festivals and always having a good idea such as oysters happy hour, the foodie friend really is my friend. And it’s an easy subject for a conversation, no need to search for other things to say.
People in parties. American people are generally very friendly and outgoing, it’s easy to engage a conversation with strangers in parties. We drink in big blue or red cups, we eat bizarre chips and cheddar on stick (my nightmare). After a while, we introduce ourselves to each other “By the way I’m Graethekj” (I usually don’t really get the names), and of course, we love each other, we plan to go out next time. He ho, that’s a flakiness alert!!
I just want handsome friends.
French people. I know, it’s cheating, but honestly, it’s so good to spend time once in a while with French people. We don’t know many of them in Boston, and we met them randomly. But there’s always some kind of natural bond between us because we share an experience of living as expats. It’s so easy to speak, be understood and get all the cultural references. It’s just so smooth.
THE friends. Let’s face it, it’s not easy at all to find friends. We are here for no more than 1 year, the country is very different from France. I tend to forget it, but I have so many true friends in France and in Europe, I try not to think about it, because it would be so depressing. When we saw friends during weekends in New York, Montreal or New Orleans, and during our summer vacation, I was so happy! My friends, you have to know that we are maybe looking for new friends here, but we don’t forget you! I miss you!
And you, have you met a lot of foreigners in your country?