"When live abroad you are more likely to lose your existing friends than you make new ones". How many of you are nodding heads and saying uh- huh??
As a rule, I am not afraid of making friends with other people. As a rule, I don't judge them by their rank, class, occupation or physical appearance. Whoever they are, I am pretty much all the time willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Off to a good start! Perhaps this is it; my small contribution to the big, ongoing global discussion on tolerance and non-segregation.
Being an immigrant as much as it gives you a chance to make friends with people from a number of countries and origins, it also makes you see your own nation from a completely different angle. They say that you do not acknowledge what is right in front of you, until you do not have it anymore. Common saying and completely true in this case. When I first emigrated, I felt really lucky to be able to engage in social groups with other cultures and thought there are real chances that some of these relationships may turn into a real friendship which, when so far away from home, I needed quite badly. When starting a new life overseas, people usually begin to seek some similarities in their new environment; something that either reminds them of their old life or gives them sense of belonging to the new one. For instance, those who were close to family and friends in their home country try to surround themselves with as many new faces as they possibly can so it feels like home.
With special thanks to my super talented sister -in- law, Beata Wiktorowska, who kindly drew these beautiful pictures for me. Enjoy!
And that is exactly what we Poles do. Try to make friends. I must admit that over the past few years my views on friendship underwent a drastic change and now I choose friends wisely. I may have only a few but they are "carefully selected" and definitely tick all the boxes! Here is why I praise my Polish friends so much:
they may not be the smiley faces and chattiest people in the world but this is not what I look for when making real friends,
extremely reliable and trustworthy.
catch up meetings are organised around dinner table so you can freely eat and drink as much as you like while you are talking (it always leaves me in a good mood!)
no biting around the bush. You will instantly know whether you are truly friends with them
they are hard on the outside but soft on the inside. Warm and charming people when you really get to know them,
sincere. Luckily we are not trapped by etiquette and social conventions so you always know exactly where we stand
people of more discreet character. They may seem to be guarded and do not open up easily, though I don't know what is worse: not saying too much or telling other people your whole life story within the first 5 minutes after you met them??
Whatever reason you choose to start making great friends with Poles who live all around the world, whether you search for fun, laughter, support or inspiration, I encourage you to give it a go!