niedziela, 26 stycznia 2014

Why does an expat girl need an expat friend?

- Is everything ok? Why are you not answering your phone? - Maurice asks a bit worried.
- I’m sorry, I was just cycling when you called. I cannot use this phone when I’m wearing hand gloves [ah, the downside of a smartphone]. Plus I was already very close from home. I thought I’ll call you back.
- You were just coming back home? Why so late… I thought you were supposed to meet with girls for lunch at 13.00? - he sounds surprised
- Well I did… It just took a bit longer. You know we always tend to gossip for long. And we haven’t seen each other for sooo long!

The WastefulWives Club is reunited! God I love these lunch meetings. They always take the whole afternoon, we often discover new, cute places in our city and we can gossip nonstop for few hours and share stories called “I’m never gonna understand these Dutch…[honestly, who can??]”. It’s still nothing comparing to going for lunch with my friend Lidia (we always somehow ended up at some bar drinking vodka on the rocks somewhat after midnight), but these were different times. Student times. Now the Wasteful Wives have husbands/children/cats to feed. Nevertheless, when we meet, for these few hours nothing else matters.

We all know, that a woman need her girlfriends same as she needs an oxygen. Love is great, carrier’s amazing, motherhood… well, apparently some people enjoy it ;) You can have it all, but at some point this day is going to come, when you’re gonna want to kill everyone around you. And at this day only a good, honest girl-talk can save you. Especially if you live abroad.

If someone would ask me how do I remember my first months as an expat, I would say: long. Sure everything was new and fresh and fascinating (or terrifying). There was a lot to discover, a lot to learn and accept. But those days were quite lonely. Maurice was working a lot and coming home late (well he still is, but now I’m also busy). Me on the other hand… I was trying so much to fill my days with anything. I was desperately needing a friend. Someone like me, who has moved here and had similar hopes, worries and emotions as I did. When I finally met my Expat girls I was relived. Than at school I met more girls, who became my best friends in this country. I could finally feel like home. I had someone to go out for coffee, to meet. Someone who knew exactly what it feels like to move abroad for love.

Human is a herding animal and he needs to feel he belongs somewhere. Women need it even more. Being an immigrant who doesn’t speak the language yet kind of makes you stand out from the rest of the society. You can try to integrate 24/7  and you’re still gonna be different. And you’re gonna have these thought like “Why are they being so weird? Is this nation sane? Or… am I still sane?”. This is when your friends step in. A lost and confused girl can exchange their observations, compare the analyses and draw conclusions together: she’s not the only one that’s crazy. There’s more of us – the incoming paranoids or it’s the Dutch nation that’s not exactly normal ;) And there are hundreds  of such a social scientific topics to discuss: the Dutch savoir-vivre, struggling with learning the language and “the hate stage”, the healthcare system, the laid-back fashion and style (and why it’s pointless to even style your hair), relations with your in-laws (and why even if they are awesome, you don’t want to spend with them significantly more time than hanging on a phone or skype with your mom)… These conversations help you to feel that you really belong somewhere and realise that you’re not alone with these confusing feelings and ambivalent emotions. And if there’s more people like you, it means your mental health is still fine. So live long girlfriends and the relaxing time spent with them!

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