Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Expat Survival - Friends Required

When I came over here in February, one thing I was very surprised (and grateful for) was the generosity of new friends who were basically strangers.  New country with archaic ways of getting things done meant that to get simple things sorted (power connected, cars, furniture etc) you had to ask people "How?" and also on many occasions those same people physically helped me out.

Initially my only contact was a fellow Australian family (Catherine & Peter + kids) who I was aware of via Niki because they had lived in our Sydney suburb and our daughters were in the same class... and they helped me out tremendously in those early days from everything to giving me a home cooked meal on occasion through to lending me a drill.

Well, its come complete circle as tonight I am helping out a new expat at work who has been here for a little bit and his family are coming over from the USA next week.  He was telling me how he is struggling to get a bed sorted for his daughter and that he needs to pick it up and put it together... he of course has nothing other than a leased Toyota and some kitchen utensils.

So, I am tonight going with him to pick up the bed from the furniture shop in our 4WD and I am then lending him my drill, alan keys and shifting spanner so that he can put the thing together.  It was only 6 months ago that I had borrowed Peter's drill and tools to do the very same thing.

When you relocate countries, its surprising what small details (like having some basic tools) can bring you unstuck and you have to rely on the kindness of other expats to help you out.  In turn, that results in people being very generous, giving and social.  I am continuously amazed at how we have been able to meet and socialise with people when in Australia, making friends is a much slower process.

It's kinda nice....

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