In everyday life though I find I need another kind of friendship. Everyday friends. These aren't the ones where we have lived our youths and fiery passions at the same time. But they are as important. I need the kind where I can call a person and arrange a fairly impromptu meet for coffee and a gander. Or the kind where they won't roll their eyes because I need to go to IKEA for the 10th time in 3 months but offer instead to go with me. Everyday friends, where the history is being built now, at this later stage of life.
I used to worry about making friends, that I wouldn't be liked for being outspoken. That being helpful would be seen as being obtrusive. A friend did once say I was hard to be friends with because I tell it like it is. I almost told her not to bother in that case. I have to say that as I have grown older I don't worry about perceptions within what is on offer in my friendship. Mainly because my side of it comes with a loyalty that doesn't bend and a realism that means we must cut through the chaff pretty quickly. But I have also mellowed and my opinions are not as harsh. Also I don't often share the deep thoughts.
I've been lucky in HK to meet a few lovely mums at the service apartments with kids a similar age and an outlook of a similar nature. Women comfortable with who they are and what they seek from this expat life. Women who are trampling through the tall grass of a new life in this city with as much aplomb as they can muster. Once every month or so we try and meet for a longish breakfast. Once the kids are safely away we meet at a Classifieds that is in the area we live in. Classifieds is a chain to be found dotted around the city - the breakfasts are not inexpensive but good-ish value for good ingredients. It's greatest draw though is the fact that it opens at 9am in a city where that is considered early (unless you live in Central). So post drop off we congregate there and sip mochas and cappuccinos, and talk about the settling in of our children, the furniture finds and the new and interesting things we may have done since we last met. We make plans to explore together this new and intriguing city. We also talk about the cities and people we miss, the change in work life balance and where the best place for a pedicure might be. It's a wonderful few hours of words and camaraderie, an escape from the chores into eggs royale so to speak.
These are my everyday friends here in Hong Kong. And our breakfasts are what make my days sunny side up.
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