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Just Me

One and a half friends.

I have now been in Prague for about six weeks. Except I was away for two of those weeks (three weekends) on holiday.  Even so, in my mind this means that I have been here for AGES and should therefore have a fully functional support network of varied, interesting, quirky-yet-likeminded, supportive girlfriends who want to hang out with me.  Except I don’t.  Which is not surprising as after taking into account my fairly long and irritatingly unpredictable working hours, I have probably had less than 24 friend-making hours since I arrived. 
 
I have, as it stands, one-and-a-half friends in Prague. 
 
There is the lovely Anna*, who is the daughter of someone I know from the UK.  I had met her once before coming to Prague and then got in touch when we moved over.  She and her husband have lived here for about 4-5 years and so are well versed in all things Praha and also in the requirement to basically nab new friends anywhere possible.  She is really lovely, and someone I would definitely be friends with even if I lived in a country where everyone spoke the same language as me and wasn’t wandering about lonely and looking for mates. Score.
 
The half-friend is Steph.  I don’t know her well enough to call her a proper friend yet, but have arranged a friend date with her later this week to try and remedy that.   I went (with husband) to her house party on Saturday. And it was so busy.  She’s only been here seven months – how the hell did she manage to meet enough people to have a busy house party?!  I have (job notwithstanding) clearly been too lax with meeting people and am therefore planning a “friends-offensive” (I don’t want to offend the one-and-a-half friends that I already have, but am actively seeking some more, if that’s not terribly rude).  
 
There are certain obstacles to this:
 
1) I am typically English – I am not terribly proficient at forcing myself on people and find active friend-seeking about as cringeworthy at business networking… I think I’m just going to have to get over that and pretend that I am the sort of person who works in PR, and just being really painfully out-going.  Pointers please?
 
2) Czech appears to be a pretty impenetrable language – ok, so far I’ve only had one lesson (the other two were cancelled due to work, grrrrr) but it’s definitely not the sort of language you can pick up by osmosis. This linguistic difficulty means that I really need to reduce my target friend group to about 20% of  the population of Prague to include only the English, American, Australian and Canadians, and the (fairly numerous) Czechs who speak impeccable English.
 
3) I have friends. Tonnes of them. Really lovely ones that I’ve had for years, who know all about me and my family and my likes and dislikes, who helped me break-up and make-up with people and came to my wedding, and who know I like a glass of red and that I don’t smoke anymore but would really love it if they blew their smoke slightly in my direction.  Real friends.  Except they all live in sodding London, Paris, Edinburgh and everywhere except BLOODY PRAGUE.
 
4) I am married.  To a lovely man who is far more out-going and joiny-inny than I am, but who is also a lovely reason to just head home after work rather than pestering work-mates, one of the one-and-a-half-friends or random strangers on the street to come for a glass of wine with me.    And he also thinks that having “couple friends” (i.e. the people he plays rugby with and their WAGS, who, I hasten to add, are all very lovely) is the same as having “proper friends”.  Which it is not.  As per point 3 above, I have loads of friends and, in the main, I like their boyfriends/husbands/girlfriends.  But I would not choose to hang out with their partners all the time.  Just as they would not choose to hang out with my bloke all the time.  And also, if i spend my entire social life with my man (who also works in the same office as me) I will go insane.  I’m a “space” lover, and there’s nothing with the potential to make you more screamingly claustrophobic than only knowing your husband’s mates.
 
So, if you’ve found me (1) funny, (2) likeable or (3) completely irrational/irritating yet somehow endearing, then please do get  in touch.  If you don’t seem too mental or dangerous, I would love to go for a glass of red and/or some second-hand smoke.
 
*As I really do want to make new friends, and appreciate that some people might not really want to be blogged about, I have changed all names in my blog, so as not to piss people off too much.
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About CzechingIn

A blog about an English lady living in Prague.

Discussion

10 thoughts on “One and a half friends.

  1. I’m enjoying your blog and we surely have some things in common – we moved here roughly at the same time, we don’t know too many people and we don’t speak the language. I too have a partner (and a daughter) and tons of friends everywhere in the world but here (ok I am lying a bit, I do have a cousin here so it’s not that bad).

    Perhaps we can go for a coffee in the next couple of months (I’m still crazy busy with the logistics of settling here).

    Cheers,
    Alex

    Posted by light play | December 7, 2010, 5:39 pm
    • Hi Alex – thanks for your post – good to know that there are similar people here (I am sure there are lots of us, it’s just a matter of tracking them down!)

      Please do let me know if you’d like to meet up – Christmas can be a really busy time I know, and there’s so much to do with moving over and settling in – I can’t even imagine what it’s like if you have a child too! So have a Merry restful Christmas and get in touch in the New Year for a coffee!

      Posted by CzechingIn | December 7, 2010, 7:41 pm
  2. Hi Czechingin (clever name!)
    You partly answer your own question as to why you haven’t yet made many friends. Being away for three weekends (in a good cause, I know) & working too long hours! But I do agree with you – you need your own friends & not just your husband’s mates and their WAGS.

    Posted by chaplain.cz | December 7, 2010, 8:55 pm
    • I wish I could take credit for the name, but a friend of mine who is a writer (and therefore has a witty way with words I suppose) came up with it. Yes, the trip came at just the wrong time really, but we are, in the words of Take That “back for good” now, so fingers crossed for success from now on!

      Posted by CzechingIn | December 7, 2010, 10:07 pm
  3. Love it. As you know I understand. And frankly, with 24 hours of friend making time, you are on an excellent hour per friend ratio. I’ll find you a book on being painfully out-going and mail it. Love thee. R x p.s you simply must follow my blog too lady… http://racheltriestobefrugal.blogspot.com/

    Posted by Rachel Brown | December 8, 2010, 11:17 am
  4. Don’t despair, anonymous! My wife knows a bunch of British girls who I’m sure would be delighted to meet you. Stay in touch! Bill.

    Posted by Bill Lehane | December 15, 2010, 1:57 pm
  5. As wife of above Bill, I find you are already coming to an outing this evening with aforementioned gaggle of British girls. It will be lovely to meet someone in the same predicament! Welcome to Prague.

    Posted by Megan | December 15, 2010, 4:09 pm

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  1. Pingback: Friends with no Friends? | CzechingIn - March 7, 2011

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