Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friends: Making them

Fact: Making friends in a big city is a lot more difficult than back in the countryside. Not that Osaka people aren't friendly- I've met some of the warmest, nicest people here. It's more difficult to actually put myself out there and create ties.

In the countryside, I met most of the crowd I would become close friends with within my first week there. In a small place like Marugame, I would always run into the same people (sometimes a great thing, other times a horrible one) around the train station or few fun caf├ęs/bars. Everyone was automatically friendly and very inclusive, therefore I would be aware of any event that would take place on any given weekend and had a comfortable circle of friends. The repeated crowds and events quickly got old and I did not always have too much in common with anyone, but regardless I built some of the most unexpected, wonderful friendships, and I love them and miss them all so much.

In Osaka, I've had to work much harder at meeting people, and actually hanging out with them on a regular basis. There are so many different people here, which can be interesting in the sense that the chances are higher to meet friends who share the same interests. I'm reminded daily that making friends eerily resembles dating, which can be completely exhausting, as I'm not the most outgoing person ever. I went through the exact same thing in Seoul, where it took me several months to make friends, but those became strong, lifelong friendships.

Some nights I miss how easy and natural things were in Shikoku- I would just hop on my bike, ring Daniel's doorbell, where he and Adam would be waiting for me with strong cocktails and we'd listen to music, spill our hearts out and send naughty text messages to our friends... and drinking nasty Chu-Hi in the supermarket parking lot with Jonathan. Or cycling around town with Isabel, hunting for sweets and meeting everyone at Marugame castle for conbini food and drinks (now that I think of it, rural living involved a lot of alcohol).

Yet, in Osaka I love being able to hang out at more sophisticated venues, and most importantly, having a variety of cultural activities to choose from (aside from um, drinking) and being able to easily avoid anyone I would not want to see. I have already met wonderful, fun people, and saying yes to a few more invitations opens up so many opportunities, as I'm finally getting out of my shell a bit more... which mean turning off Friends to actually go make some real ones.

Osaka, you're kind of a tough one, but I love you.

{Happy, happy times with my bestie}

{A bit of my Korea world in Japan}

{A bit of my Shikoku world in Osaka}

{A bit of sweetness in Osaka}


{lovely little things} said...

Keep your head up! You are such a sweet, fun loving girl, I know you'll find some people with shared interests soon!

Rosemary Brennan said...

I loved this post, Vivian! Making new friends is hard enough in your own town but abroad it must be so much harder! It's really inspiring to hear how you've put yourself out there--and how wonderful it is that you've made some really fantastic friends!!

Isabel said...

i love this; i love you!