S(h)ituational Friendships

Thinking back to when I started on this whole moving to another country thing, I don’t recall ever worrying about making and/or having friends. I mean, there were just so many things to deal with at the time, and I don’t think I ever sat down and wondered what my life would be like once I actually got here.

Jumping forward six months (six months!), I cannot believe how lucky I have been. To summarise: through a series of very fortunate events, I connected with people from Munsan before I even got here. One of these people became a ┬ádear friend. Three days after I arrived, she invited me out to supper to meet some of the other foreigners. And that’s where my social life began.

My social circle has grown and extended. I now have distant acquaintances, social acquaintances, regular acquaintances, friends, good friends, great friends and a whole lot in-between.

What I hate most about these friendships, though, is their temporary nature. You see, all these friendships are situational. They all have an expiry date. And that just sucks. Yes, there’s the Interwebz and everything associated that helps people stay in touch, ┬ábut that’s just not the same.

Back in “the real world”, many of us probably wouldn’t have been friends. But here, we have one major thing in common: we’re alone in a foreign country, surrounded by a foreign language and a foreign culture. Anything familiar (read: Western) is wholly welcome. And so we welcome a wide variety of people into our friendship circles. We eat together, travel together, explore together, shop together, but mostly just be English-speaking together.

So far, I’ve had to say goodbye to three great women. Each one has left a mark in my heart in her own special way. I didn’t spend equal (or even significant) amounts of time with all off them, but I miss them whenever I find myself in a situation where normally we’d be together.

I form strong bonds with people, and this is even more difficult to avoid when the other person is someone I would have been friends with in “the real world”. So that makes it even tougher to wrap my head around the fact that these irreplaceable people will not always be around. But that’s something I’ll deal with when I need to. For now, I’m insanely blessed to have people around me who know my heart and who care about me as much as I care about them.

Some moments in time shared with friends that have since left.

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