Since moving to Paris I've made some pretty amazing friends from all over the world. They've become my second /third family here. Next week, two of our friends will be leaving to open the next chapeter of their lives in the United States. There's a phenomenon that happens when you live abroad, you seek out what is familiar to you. Be it simply going to the supermarket to buy a 4 euros tub of peanut butter or learning where you can find double stuffed oreos(at the Bon Marché) just to have that little peice of home.
See how the 4 euro tub sizes up to a regular tub of American PB. :)
And as ex-pats find comfort in the little things that remind them of home, they some how find each other even if it's just in passing as a nod on the train or an encounter over coffee. For example, just the other day during our weekly knitting night an American gentleman came and sat near us to find shelter from the pouring rain. He sat there a few minutes listening to us giggle and chat and finally turned and asked "So, what are you all studying here?" One of us responds, "We're not, we live here." He asked again the same question looking around, "So, what are you studying again?" We looked at one another and in unison and responded "We live here." He smiled and said he did too. We proceeded to have a mini conversation (he's was heading to Shawnee, Kansas which is 5 minutes from where I grew up in Olathe, Kansas!) like many ex-pats do and off he went with his empty espresso cup.
Last night, we had dinner at a friend's apt and then ventured into the city to ride the Bateau Mouche or as we call them the Fly Boat together to celebrate doing something you could only do in Paris. Later that evening we caught a Frenchified showing of the Rocky Horror Picture show in the only theater in France that has the license to show the film. We sang the Time Warp, laughed, danced our hearts out, sang asshole (brad) and slut (Janet) and were weirdly seduced by Tim Curry's Frank N. Furter. The show left us happy, drenched with water (we're the ones under an umbrella) with rice in our bras and shoes, thinking, "only in Paris..." and I thought, "only with my friends".
There's some kind of magnetic attraction ex-pats have on one another. I'm grateful for it because I've met some pretty amazing people that way. Internet and blogging has changed the way I meet people. I've got blog friends from all over the world that sometimes know more about me from reading my blog than my real life friends do. One of my oldest blog friends signed, "Blog friends forever" and it made me smile from cheek to cheek. But now I'm faced with the parting of good, real life friends. My husband and I know we've made friends for life with these guys and with the ease of the Internet and long distance telephone we'll be in touch in no time. As easy keeping in touch has become I'll really miss having my friend just across the Place d'Italie and my husband will miss his neighborhood buddy that he could go and drink beers with up on the Buttes aux Cailles. This isn't goodbye but a bientôt because soon we'll be pulling up to your street in Madison, honking away ready to go grab some 'merican burgers and beer. So, Bon voyage, friends... We'll miss you but we're only a hop, skip and a plane trip away. We won't be strangers, ya hear?!