Missing and Making Friends
I spend most of the day every day at home. I’ve been in Melbourne nearly two months now and I haven’t made any friends. I’m not lonely or bored; I have plenty to occupy my time – housekeeping, personal hobbies and projects, blogging, gaming, and so forth. But I miss my friends back in Miami. I miss the sense of community. I read on Facebook about all the cool things they are doing and miss being part of it.
It’s not that easy meeting new people and making friends when you’re an adult moved to a new country. We tend to meet people at school or work, but I don’t go to either. Another good way to meet people is through social activities. I joined a couple of Pagan Facebook groups and two Meetups, one for American expats and the other for girl geeks (women in tech).
This weekend, Theo and I went to a brunch with the American expats. One thing I don’t miss about Miami is how people RSVP to events and, if they show up at all, they show up late. I was pleased to discover that the majority of people who RSVPed to the brunch attended and arrived on time. The set-up, two long tables, was not conducive to mingling, but thankfully the women Theo and I sat next to were friendly and bright.
One of the women is from Boston and the other from Seattle. They’ve been in Melbourne less than a month and are entering the workforce. I was interested in their experience with that as they explained that many Aussie companies don’t hire directly and use recruiters instead. We bonded over the crazy Melbourne weather, the confusing public transportation system, and how expensive everything is. The Boston woman humorously observed that the ATMs here give out $50s instead of $20s and it’s perfectly normal to pay with a $50 at McDonald’s, which in the U.S. doesn’t even accept bills over $20 sometimes.
Theo and I had a nice overpriced brunch and said goodbye to the expats. We’re not on the road to becoming fast friends, but it was nice to get out and meet some people. I hope to see them again at the next Meetup and continue meeting new folks.
Do you have any tips? How do meet people and make new friends when you’re the new kid in town?
About the image: “Friends” promo, Time Warner Entertainment.