Monday, July 21, 2008

on making friends.

before coming to korea, i had envisioned meeting heaps of new korean friends... just sitting at a café, being me, and swapping cell phone numbers on my hello kitty phone. that's me being me: i live in some kind of fantasy world. the harsh reality hit when i moved to seoul. maybe it's easier for foreigners to attract korean friends in smaller towns, but in a big city like seoul you're not all that special. they've seen foreigners before you. you're not a curiosity, you're just another lost soul in seoul.

my first months were a whirlwind of everything new, and everything exciting, and roller coaster emotions. most weekends were spent sightseeing with aaron and just settling into my new life: getting a gym membership, a bank account, some appliances. however, after a bit, i started missing my old life and my friends from back home. i missed sunday morning brunch with my girlfriends and shopping sessions and 'the hills' marathons. yes i'm like that (a bit).

i realized i didn't have too many close friends here. luckily i had some amazing co-workers who became good friends, but i needed more. how do you meet people you can relate to when you're abroad? i guess you have to go out of your comfort zone when you're living in another country. i know that most foreigners hang out at bars and meet loads of people that way, but i'm not too big on that scene so it was going to be more challenging.

so comes the internet. yes, as dorky as it sounds, i think meeting people online is probably the best way for someone like me to find girls who share the same love for seoul, the same love for traveling, the same love for stuff we can't afford, the same love for overpriced coffee and fancy bars. i found not one, but two girls who were in the same boat: loving life in seoul and everything it has to offer, and longing for new friendships.

meeting them in real life is like a blind date. after a few email exchanges you finally meet. you wonder if the other person is going to like you and find you interesting and you worry about how they'll perceive you. you go out for lunch and drinks then totally hit it off and can't stop talking for four straight hours. it feels so great, and having friends here make me feel so much more like at home.

and my boyfriend can finally take a break from my gossip girl drama talk.

oh, and today's observation: i never got so many stares from koreans as i have today... walking around seoul carrying a huge, costco-size box of honey nut cheerios.

1 comment:

PAM said...

i can totally relate! :)

one thing i learned is.. its easier to meet friends in school than work! i think it was also that spontaneous idea i had (studying in xiamen 2yrs ago) that made me want to try working here again.. u know, meeting new people once in a while.. like in xiamen, i had this really great crowd (my bff's korean) - from korea, japan, indonesia, thailand, kyrgstan, russia, and sweden - they're all there! but now.. only a few :) and its really hard keeping some new friends.. yes, i meet them at the bars or just sitting at starbucks.. but i guess, starting all over again 'tires' me a lil bit :)

my friend who also moved to HK met her BFF thru the internet, and now theyre inseparable! haha she's hongkie and the other girl's british! and they blend so well (the ones in my picture).. so i think, u start there.. and its great cos u met some already :)

have fun! enjoy korea!