Sunday, 8 September 2013
Is it Magentism or Do We All Believe in Karma?
The invitation came out the day before, with huge apologies from V (mum) as she explained she was waiting for G (child) to know who she wanted to invite as school had only just started back and there were a few newbies.
When I texted to RSVP on M's behalf, V texted back right away (love a girl who's got her finger on the phone) 'that's great! please come in for a glass or two of vino when you collect her' Me-thinks I might have found a friend.
There were several other parents there when G and I arrived; all standing akwardly around the HUGE kitchen bench in a stunning kitchen. G and I hovered, not sure where to stand, or who to talk to, despite there being a few mums from school, so I whispered to G, come on, lets go down the end where K and G are talking and join in!
K (who I chat with every afternoon at pick up) introduced us to D 'D's just moved back to Dublin from London, and lived in Sydney for a while'
Oh we said, where in Sydney
Kirribilli, Cremorne and Mosman.
Lovely areas - a lot of Irish folk tend to live there when in Sydney and why not? The views amazing.
What takes you travelling?
I've always travelled. First with my parents. We lived all over.
Oh? Where ...
As the conversation continued, we learned that D had left Ireland aged 3 months, has lived in 42 cities over 42 years. His kids were born in China, went to school in Hong Kong, Sydney, London and now here. He was in banking (wasn't everyone?) and now he's out on his own in property management.
V joined in the conversation ..... they've been gone nearly 18 years having lived in UK and most recently, Chambley in France. She and her husband felt it 'time to come home with the kids'. He can work 'anywhere' and they were over London, so it was really a matter of where do we WANT to live and we thought Dublin was a good choice for everyone.
Well, and hour later and the 5 of us V, her husband L, D and G and I were still chatting away, comparing education systems, communities, lifestyles and settling/resettling into Dublin, how the kids cope with the move and settling, the value of Skype and FB.
What never ceases to amaze me is the instant camaraderie one feels when talking with expats.
Why is that?
We don't have a sign on our heads.
Our facial features might give us away (we were obviously not Japanese, but we weren't British either) so how does one expat suss out another? And when we do, why is there an instant connection? I'm not talking friendship cos that takes time tho expats know time is not always on our side, so we do tend to click quicker than others.
We all expat differently. As D said, his dad was an academic, so they travelled often (that's an understatement) and lived very normally, in fact, at times he said, less than. D's a banker so has lived the high life as an expat and is now self employed.
D mentioned his Irish wife (I say Irish cos with all his travels he could have married any number of nationalities) was the one who wanted to come 'home' years ago, tho now they are back, she's not settling well. Repatriation is THE hardest gig of all. I offered to contact her, and invite her along to IWCD. He said she'd love that. So, with her number in my iPhone, I'll call her tonight and introduce myself, and invite her on a blind date.
V, the mum who hosted the birthday party asked me what the Club was ..... she has also found it hard to resettle (yeah well, 20 years is a lifetime to be away from home), and so I might have another date, or at the very least someone to have coffee with.
Now the only question is, how long does one wait to call? or indeed, do I wait to be called, afterall I am the newbie in town?
We've chatted before about Expat Girl Dating. I'm pretty good at it, so I will call one, and leave the other to call me.
MissM and V's daughter are in the same grade, but different classes and seem to get along very well indeed, so the chance of a (are they called play dates when the kids are 9?) get together after school is high on the cards.
G and I talked about expat chemistry on the way home. He thinks it's a chick-thing, and then only some chicks do it well ..... I think it's a network thing, a magnetic thing based on the fact that we know what it's like to be the newbie vs the settled one and we all know that when it's all said and done, Karma's a bitch.
So, be kind to each other, open your home and your arms to friends, you never know where they will be found.