One of the worst things about living in an expatriate bubble is that almost everyone leaves in the end. When you are in your 20s this is great as the converse is also true and you have a constant supply of new friends pitching up and that makes up for the pain of departures and also, as you will be aware, the childfree can travel at the drop of a hat so they friends are not really gone, they’re just establishing new locations for short breaks.
In your 30s, you don’t make as many new friends. Some friends are decamping to Stockholm on Wednesday and I am gutted. I think it’s time we thought seriously about decamping ourselves.
In other gloom, I came home yesterday to find the Princess parked in front of the telly on the couch and the boys peering fixedly at it from their playpen and the childminder nowhere to be seen. In fact she was in the bedroom folding clothes. I know I might well do the same after a day with three children, I know it has never happened before, I know that it is nice to come home to a tidy house (and also mildly miraculous given the odds that C has to battle against) but it was a depressing little tableau.
Finally, we were chatting to the Princess about school and asked her who she slept beside for her nap and she said “Ines” and then she said “she doesn’t like me, she says ‘t’es pas mon ami'”. “I have no friends”, she continued sadly “at school nobody wants to be my friend”. Alas.
Oh bless her!
but you can’t get rid of fellow bloggers with dynamite. No matter how hard you try. Is this a good thing?
It’s hard being friends with the transient. I’ll admit when we moved recently I was happy to be the one leaving for once and not the one being left behind. But really neither end of the bargain is any good. There, feeling better? I’ll stop now. Wait, one more thing: Ines is a twit.
This was the one gripe I had about living in Brussels – everyone always left (sooner or later). Even NYC was a bit like this, because once people had kids they started moving to the suburbs – ie, too far away to catch up easily.
Now we are back in Australia and I have to admit I love the fact that noone is going anywere (at least for a while!)
Where would you go if you left Brussels? Back to Ireland?
I am such an idiot. I have ammended my email address accordingly xx
The expats I know find it hard to make friends with Belgians. It’s just we like to make long term friends. We don’t want to be sad when they go.
Surely the Princess wouldn’t mind moving either. My eldest son felt the same in his previous school. I couldn’t blame him really, the other kids were just awful. Hey, it is always the others’ fault anyway.
A little TV won’t hurt.
Aww. Poor Princess.
I know how it feels. We’ve just had great friends move back to San Fransisco, and it feels very sad. Sure we can visit them, and they us, but it’s not the same as having them around all the time. The longer we spend in Germany, the more German friends we make, but we still have expat friends – a group that’s always waxing and waning. As for the Princess’s kindergarten troubles, it breaks my heart. We have been going through something similar in my daughter’s first year at Big School, and we’re having to have a lot of playdates in order to combat it. It’s all hard life stuff, but for me seems exacerbated by the fact that we are Not From Here.
i was brought up in this sort of life – i started off in vietnam, then japan, then england, then, at the age of nine, boarding school and the holidays were everywhere. because of this i have never been able to make friends easily, and when i do like someone, am a terrible judge of character as i so want friends.
this makes me sound pretty sad and pathetic, but realistically i would have given anything to have lived with my parents and not have had to move around so much. there is always the chance to travel before/after/even during university that i think people appreciate and learn more then.
but that’s just me 🙂
I sometimes find myself suffering from the very opposite problem. I have a number of former friends, and I constantly find myself running into them at the grocery store. Awkward smiles, perhaps an awkward Hello, more often than not I run to a different aisle in hopes of them not seeing me.
(I’m a terrible friend.)
Poor Princess. I sincerely hope she is prone to exaggeration.
I’ll be her friend!