My life in
Yet it is only since coming to
WHOA. HOLD ON A MINUTE.
You’re probably feeling sorry for me, thinking “aw, poor dear, she’s socially awkward and doesn’t know how to have a proper friendship.”
Not exactly. I did have several close friends, but we were all so busy and spread out geographically that our conversations were mainly limited to whenever we were able to long talks on the phone.
Making time for relationships- this is a new high priority for me. Making time to talk about any random topic that happens to pop into my curly head. Making time to have deep conversations about feelings or err, work (of course, my close girlies and I would never dream of gossiping. Honestly, never. It has been said of me that I only speak the truth.).
Last week on a long bus ride my oh-so-witty Aussie friends and I were passing time by discussing the timeless topic of poetry. Of course, as an English teacher they automatically expected me to have an abundant knowledge on the topic and even asked me to quote
“I wish that I’ve read more poetry,” rued one.
Flippantly I replied, “That’s okay, it’s not practical to your line of work [He’s a geography specialist].” As usual I wasn’t serious, but he looked at me with a serious expression on his face.
“Life’s not always about work, Elaine, what’s important in life isn’t always practical.”
Bam. He hit the nail on the head, as he frequently does.
My activity driven life is focused on a flurry of how much can be done in as short a time as possible. Efficiency. Positive change.
Isn’t that why I came to
Instead, the many other cultures I’ve been exposed to in this close-knit expatriate community have taught me something new; The Art of Chilling.
Ah, The Art of Chilling. Kicking back, sipping tea, talking leisurely about what’s on your mind. Once at the beginning of last year my phone beeped and I checked my message, it was Jan:
“Come round for a cuppa.”
“What in tarnation’s a cuppa? A cuppa what?” my poor Americanized mind was bewildered.
This was the first of many similar invitations to a hot beverage and a tête-à-tête. Frequently the Aussies and Europeans I work with will invite me around for no other reason then to enjoy each other’s company.
Coffee as a medium of building relationships it utterly and completely foreign to me. In
What a shock to find the rest of the world sip their coffee sweet, milky, in china cups, and with the added essential element, of a friend to have a chitchat.
“Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of caffeine.”- S. Piro
Let’s rephrase that.
“Behind every successful woman is a substantial friendship.”- E.G. Baker*
*I realize this assumes I am a successful woman, which some may say is debatable.