Foreign friends

22 02 2011

I am not sure if tag this post as a funny thing or not. It is quite funny though!

I remember that about one month after I had arrived in Hefei one Italian guy I met by chance in Revolutionary was leaving Hefei after one year here and giving out several things to other foreigners still here. I was quite lucky to get some stuff from him as well.

The way I met him came from my reading of Hefei Expat Forum from before I moved here. Since I had decided to start this new experience, I visit (as usual for me) some of the social networks like Facebook and browsed internet in general to find info about Hefei and maybe establish some contacts with people here beforehand. So I knew that most foreigners hang out in a bar called Revolutionary: once I got here, the second night I think, I took one bus to the center and started looking for this bar, walking around as I always do. Using the basic info posted at that time on the forum (now there are much better info!! And I am proud to say I am also a quite active member of the forum!). Once got there, sitting at the bar, listening to the enjoyable band playing, drinking some of the cheapest beer they have there, I waited until one other foreigner came by and asked me if I was new. One thing lead to another and my second time there i met the Italian guy. A pity he left less than one month after, but very nice of him he gave me quite a few extremely useful house appliances. During the nights before and after I met him, I had the chance to meet also a couple of South American ladies here as Spanish teachers. They also got some stuff from the Italian man. And together with them we had a dinner and we went to dance a couple of times at MGM.

In one of this occasions, one of the Spanish teachers told me how lucky I was. Right now I am lucky for a few reasons, first of all because I took a hell of a long step and life decision and I still do not have many regrets about it! At that time I was just arrived, and enjoying, so I had to ask why she thought I was that lucky. Her point was that thanks to meeting the Italian guy and her I had been introduced to several other foreigners and shown new places, while for her before meeting anyone and finding Revolutionary bar it had taken a few months here in Hefei..

🙂 I smiled.. and said nothing.. 🙂

I discovered MGM thanks to Chinese people that took me there and found the second day, all by myself, Revolutionary thanks to.. internet. I met people by myself. Of the people I met with them, them included, I do not have any contact anymore since the Italian man left!!! 😛

I would say I am lucky because I look for the luck!! I stop staying at home and waiting the luck finds me.. never happened before.. it won’t happen in the future!! For this I must thank my family: we spent all the summer holidays since I was 6 years old until I was 18 in camping in center and south Italy, almost never going back to the same place. So every summer I had in front of me a new challenge: how to meet new friends, how to establish new connection. And from the age of 10-12, I admit I enjoyed a lot to meet foreign tourists and practice my basic English!

The most relevant thing is that for that girl my luck was related to meet foreigners. I perfectly know how from time to time I feel so frustrated working in a Chinese company where communication is a basic challenge. And sometimes living so far from the center that I can go up there and get some life only in the weekends.. when I am not busy working, I mean! But, I also know that right now I do prefer to meet Chinese people. Maybe people that speak little if any English and people that often I need another friend to communicate to, but since already my years in Norway, I always prefer to get to know locals!

If we want to talk about luck, I am so lucky to meet quite a few very interesting Chinese people with a very open mind and during these 11 months in China I have spent a great time with them!

Aus-UFO barThe other day I was thinking about foreign friends, these famous foreigners I was so lucky to have met initially. It’s true, I do know quite a few foreigners here in Hefei as well. But hanging out with foreigners? Since the day that Aussie Kim closed his bar, Aus-UFO, I do not go out anymore knowing in advance I will meet foreigners! I loved the atmosphere in that bar, not because there were many foreigners. I just felt at home in the bar. Thanks mostly to Kim, that I regard as one of the closest friends here in Hefei.

UlrichBut then, when I think who are my foreign friends, the only name that jumps on my mind at once is Ulrich, my great Aikido friend in Shanghai! And now after we have been knowing each lots more, I can say we share not only Aikido, but are basics interests as good food, good drinks, good music and happy time! All things I actually share with all my Aiki-friends, far far away, and not only Aiki ones 😉 And then, trying to focus on the question: which are my laowai friends in Hefei with whom I hang out very often.. I do not have an answer!! Maybe most of the foreigners here do think I am a snob person (! me??? I know, difficult to believe!) but I certainly prefer either hang out alone and go dancing or meeting some of the Chinese friends and see how the evening evolve.
Then if we want to talk about luck, I have been lucky to meet here in Hefei some Chinese with good English, like 潘蕾,静静,Young, Rae, Rosa, Melody, Hubert, Yoyo and finally Yuming, new colleague and friend.

Luck is important, I admit it! Looking for luck is even more important though!

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