This is gonna sound kind of funny but one of our goals when we moved abroad was to make friends. It's not that we don't and didn't have friends back in the states. We did and we do. Great ones. Ones who fly to where you are on the drop of a hat after your father dies. Ones who send you a care package full of your favorite soups and homemade cookies. Ones who follow your blog like crazy and like all your photos and comment on all your adventures. Ones who Skype you all the time. Ones you miss like crazy. But they weren't where we were; they had to fly to be with us.
We wanted to make Friday night at the bar friends or let's hang out and binge watch TV friends or lets go grab some dinner friends or hey they are married and love each other too and fight sometimes too friends.
We were lacking in those kind of friends.
And then we moved to Taiwan and found a solid group of friends. Some are married, some are single. Some are avid travelers, some are avid teachers. Some are very, very different than us and some are very, very similar. That's the cool thing about moving abroad: you meet all kinds of people.
We have made great friendships but two stand out from the others: Jamie and her husband.
They are a super cool married couple who we spend a lot of time with. I work at the same school as Jamie's husband and the four of us came to Taiwan at the same time. We hit it off right away. In the past year and a half, we've traveled the world together: Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Taiwan too. We have game nights a lot and play way too much euchre. And they have bailed us out of sticky situations on numerous occasions like loaning us money or subbing for me for two weeks. What can I say? Sometimes life as an expat can get a bit tricky.
They are great friends and people we want to know 10 years from now even if we are living in different countries on different continents. I think one of the hardest things about expat life is that things are fleeting: homes, schools and people. But the four of us often talk about meeting up in different countries on our breaks regardless of where we call home.
Recently, Jamie and I had a ladies afternoon adventure and scooted off in our matching green jackets and pink helmets and cameras to the little sea town of Nanliao. We stopped for some coffee [me] and wine [Jamie] and chatted about a lot of things. The really important thing about expat friends in particular? They understand more than anyone else how radically our lives changed since moving abroad, both for the good and bad, and can commiserate.
After chatting in a strange pizza joint crammed into the corner by the bathroom, we explored the town and took pictures before scooting off to the biggest mall in Hsinchu so she could buy beer and chips and I could buy movie theater popcorn, literally from a movie theater, and bring it back home because I love my husband way.too.much.
Now I am realizing that it is ridiculous that here I am talking about our friends but all I have to show you is pictures from Nanliao but trust me when I say that you don't want to know what scooter wind + humidity does to one's hair.
See, that is something Jamie understands.