Back in London, things should be easier and I can’t say that they’re not. I’ve got casual kind-of-friends at uni (people I hang out with when I’m there but not very often outside of classes) and I get on well with people at work but cos my job is teaching I spend much more time with my students than I do with my colleagues so making work friends takes a bit more proactivity. We go to the pub fairly regularly but I still don’t feel like they’re my real friends.
I think what I’m going to do is try to be in more regular contact, and meet up, with people from uni. Many of them are in a similar situation to me (having just moved to London) and I like them and think they’re cool interesting people. Wish me luck!
Well, the ‘friendship’ with the girl I met in Nepal kind of fizzled out but, since I didn’t feel like we had very much in common, I wasn’t bothered about it.
Also, I’ve stopped going to the poetry group meetings because a) no more young people have showed up there since that time almost a year ago, b) last time I went it took me two hours to get there and I had to cancel lessons in order to go, and c) last time I found the whole thing kind of depressing: the room was dirty and cold and hardly anyone came.
I never did ask for work at the health food shop; I found better work at an English language school which has been great for me. Although now, funnily enough, the health food shop is looking for people. But I no longer need the work and I’m only going to be in the country for another two and a half months.
AND I never started taking chi-gung lessons. My official excuse was that most classes happen in the evenings and I’ve been working in the evenings. But I probably could have worked something out if I really wanted to.
Oh dear. I can’t really say I’ve progressed on this goal in the last year. I’m in a situation now where I don’t have much motivation to start pursuing friendships, but I really think this will change once I get to London. It’ll be so much easier to do everything in English!
However, I do know that I have issues with being the first one to make a move and fear of rejection so this is something I’m going to have to work on in the next few months.
I met up with the Nepal girl again, this time without my boyfriend present, and it was fun. But I realised that, although she seems like a really nice girl and great to go out for a beer with or whatever, we don’t really have that much in common. The conversation flowed freely so it wasn’t a question of not having anything to say to one another, but she’s quite a mainstream person and I’m more of an alternative girly. I’m sure we’ll continue to meet up once a month or so but I would still really like to make friends with some people who are more like me.
I went to another poetry group meeting and this time there were a couple of young people there. I like the old timers but it would be nice if the young people come back to the next meeting.
The health-food shop plan and the chi-gung plan are still… um… planned. But I’m really busy now with moving house and then I’ll be abroad for five weeks so I expect to get onto those things starting end-July-ish.
I think I have made a friend! I got in touch with a girl I met in Nepal and a couple of weeks ago she came over to our place and brought her photos and we had a really nice time talking about our trips and what each of us is doing now, and so on. It’s funny; even though we didn’t spend all that much time together during the trip, seeing her again felt pretty comfortable and there weren’t any awkward silences or anything. I think she enjoyed herself too so I’m sure we’ll meet up again soon. (I even spoke Hebrew for most of the three hours we were together. Score!)
As for the poets, well, it was somewhat as I had expected. The average age of people in the poetry group is about 60, which is absolutely fine; I really like being around older people and it was a very interesting and entertaining evening. But I don’t think I’ll be going out to the pub and getting pissed with any of the club members any time soon! Of course, I will go back to the next meeting. There were one or two intriguing people there and it it’s nice to feel like I have more of a social life unconnected to my boyfriend and his friends. Oh, and it’s great to get feedback on my poetry too!
Okay, I’ve kind of had this goal on hold for the last couple of months because I’ve been travelling and, although travelling can be a great way to meet people, my goal is really more to do with making friends who live nearby, who I can see on a regular basis.
So now I’m back home and the time has come to take action! Having said all of the above, I did meet a girl on the trip who does live nearby and we exchanged emails so I’m planning to get in touch with her soon. Also, I intended to investigate a poetry workshop of poets who write in English, and who meet once a month in Tel Aviv. However, I got behind on my ‘things-to-do’ list this week. Hopefully I should get round to it in the next week or so. It would be nice to make some poetic friends!
I also intend to go and ask about work in my local health-food shop soon. Don’t know if they need anyone, don’t know if my Hebrew is good enough for a job in the service industry, but it’s worth a try because, despite needing the work, I’ve made three of my closest friends through working in health-food shops so the odds are in my favour!
for about three years now and, although I have my wonderful boyfriend (the reason I moved here) I don’t have any other friends of my own. I get on fine with his friends and almost got to the point with one of them where I thought he could be my friend too—and then he really hurt my feelings so I decided it wouldn’t be such a good idea.
All of my friendships I have have just seemed to happen organically. I can be quite shy so most of my friendships have been a result of the other person approaching me. I hoped this would happen here in Israel but it hasn’t. My job isn’t the sort of job where you meet lots of people (I teach English privately, mostly to kids) and my boyfriend and I have quite an insular relationship. Add to that the fact that my Hebrew is proficient but not fluent and it makes the whole making-friends thing pretty challenging!
But at least now I’ve got to the point where I’ve realized it isn’t just going to ‘happen’ and that I need to make it happen. My boyfriend and I are going travelling soon for two or three months but when we get back I’m going to take some steps. I’m going to seek out English speakers (for example, I know that there is a group of poets that write in English and meet once a month or so in Tel Aviv). I could take more Hebrew language classes and inquire about part-time work in the health food shop nearby where I’m sure I’d meet some interesting people. I could also take a course in something ‘alternative’ where I’d probably meet people more like myself: chi gung, tai chi or yoga would all be good ideas.