Thursday, October 4, 2012

You can choose your friends

When Germans ask me what I miss about England I always say "my friends", the rest is importable - within reason, but friends are trickier. Hour long phone calls have to take the place of leisurely lunches and weekend/week long visits have to be organised months in advance to replace those casual drop bys for coffee and a chat. Long distance friendships like long distance relationships take time and effort from both parties in order to last and flourish.

I am lucky to have a good group of expat friends here now that supplement my 'old' friends back in the U.K. We are a mixed group of nationalities and ages with two things in common, we all speak English and none of us is German, and perhaps just as importantly, we are all there for each other.
This maybe sounds a little twee, but for most of us the closest relations are at least an hour's flight away, I say 'most of us' because some are married to Germans and therefore have inlaws close by who can be called upon in an emergency. And it's in an emergency, when you're living as an expat, that friends come into their own. Stuck on the autobahn because of a traffic accident and need to collect a child? Call a friend. Need someone to hold your hand at a gruesome doctors appointment? Call a friend. Missing a vital ingredient like Golden Syrup or self-raising flour? Call a friend. Need a lift home from the garage? Call a friend. Want cheering up with an evening of cocktails? Call all the friends.

This morning we (my expat girlies & I) spent the morning together celebrating three birthdays, Rachael's was last Saturday, Emma's was Monday and mine is this Saturday.
What a feast.
Karen was hosting, and boy, does she know how to put on a breakfast spread, we ate until we could eat no more and then there was cake, of course!
I think we (9 of us) got through two bottles of of Prosecco, many jugs of coffee, an egg casserole, a smoked salmon pizza thingy, plates of cheese and ham, banana loaf, croissants, bread rolls, tomato and mozarella, boiled eggs and last but not least cake.
Friendship is truly a remarkable thing.

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