Friday, July 23, 2010

Making friends...

...is hard to do. So far, I pretty much have my flatmate, who doesn't go out very much, the intern at work, who is making the transition to an outside-work friend hopefully (cos after next week she won't be the intern at work any more, and I will have no-one to have lunch with boohoo) and the guy I was dating but all signs point to that I am not dating any more (so no need for follow-up questions mother).

So today, for the third time since I got here, I went to this monthly meet-up organised by this girl I met one of my first weeks here. Usually up to a dozen people turn up, so theoretically a great place to meet people, right? And meet people I have, but moving past 'meet' to, like, actually talking to them is another story. When everyone sits around in a noisy bar and talks, I can follow maybe 50% of the conversation at best, so actively participating in said conversation is a challenge to say the least. So I just pretty much sit there most of the time and try to listen. So of course no-one's particularly into making friends with that weird girl who just sits there in silence all evening, right? Think back to the 'foreign' people in your life - quiet? shy? boring? My money's on they just bloody well couldn't fully understand what was going on, couldn't fit in with jokey banter, or didn't want to bring the whole conversation to a screeching halt while they took 20 minutes to formulate a sentence.

So yeah, things are tough. Tonight we at least went to a salsa evening. I was really bad at it, but at least I was bad on a mostly linguistically-neutral level. My problem is the same one I have with things like driving - once I think about it, I can't do it (and someone ends up dinged). It seems like it might be good for meeting people though, so maybe I'll go back next week.

On the way home, I had to look at a bloody map to get from the main square in the old town (Place Plum') to chez moi. This is like almost as if I got lost trying to get home to Queen Street on a night out on K Road (which I wouldn't put past myself either). Rub-bish!

After tomorrow (which brings with it an up to THREE HOUR web-meeting gahhh), one week of work to go! Yeah, I generally like my job, but as the hols draw closer I am totally counting down! Oh, and talking of linguistic issues, today my big boss asked me to explain an English term (Digital Humanities Workshop) to her IN ENGLISH and I totes failed. Trop embarrassant! Well, it's complicated, and I'm not 100% sure exactly what digital humanities entailed and I didn't really know which words she would know. Am now convinced that she thinks I'm just pretending to be a native speaker.

2 comments:

  1. There is no way that a "digital humanities workshop" could be part of the English lexicon. The least you could have done is suggest that it imay be the sort of place that would be attended by madmen (and women, e.g. Grandma) with a prediliction to make rude signs at each other with various digits.

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  2. Big sympathy hugs to you, Gwan! I find making friends with the natives to be something next to impossible to do as well unless you've got a stubborn foot in a door somewhere -- i.e. a boyfriend's best friend's girlfriend, which was never the case for me since my hubby and I have never lived in either of our home towns!
    With all the travelling you've done you probably know about CouchSurfing (www.couchsurfing.org), but if you don't, it's not entirely for sleeping at people's houses -- there are also people who are happy to meet up for a coffee and a chat, both French and anglophone alike. It might be worth a look to see what kind of people are in your region and to help you find a social circle where you feel appreciated.

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