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  #41  
Old 22.03.2011, 16:56
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Yes and no.
Facebook is good to know what's going on with people "you know" but perhaps weren't your closest ones.
My closes group, the "fab five", we keep in touch in a group email almost on daily basis. We started when one from the group moved to the US, and started to write even more after I left too. So I know all about who shagged who, who's turned into a b1tch and should not be in our friend zone anymore, jada, jada...

BUT - going back home always makes me feel weird. It's like time has stayed still since I moved away, NOTHING has changed but me. So I don't feel I relate as much to them anymore, I've just gotten a whole different view of life now.

Yeah selfish or not...
I didn't go home for my mum's 50th birthday last year, because I couldn't afford it. One month earlier I had spent a week in Turkey. She never said anything, but I can sense she thinks I'm selfish for that.
I however plan to see the world and life my life. So sorry, but this bird has flown out of the nest.
The trip to Turkey could have waited. She will only turn 50 once and if that's important for her then you should have been there IMO. When I have kids I would never expect them to go out of their way to come to my birthday...but I know fine well if I missed my Mother's 50th last year for any reason she would never forgive me...everything else waited...
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  #42  
Old 22.03.2011, 16:58
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

I understand that people grow and move on. There are reasons why some friendships end but there are others that continue on uninterrupted.
There are few good friends I keep in touch (not through facebook, not a big fan as you are obliged to add everyone you “know” ).Like anything else, friendship needs maintenance be it money(trips going out with them when visiting home/ time /care.
If you keep in touch regularly, there is lot to discuss in those details. But out of the blue if I have to update someone of my last 7 years, I will not be so comfortable with the idea.

Also, you have to be comfortable sharing in “real” .When one can share problems on train/coffee shop/ funny pregnancy ideas on the forum. Why not with your old friends back home? I am sure there are lot of interesting topics to talk, if one wants to. My observation is we are getting more vocal on anonymous forums than in real life.


Back home it is different culture, not as slow or peaceful in Switzerland. People don’t have “quiet” weekends, meaning keeping in touch through emails or calling friends on their birthdays or special events.


As regards to family, I have (thankfully) not reached a stage where I or they don’t want to keep in touch. It's a shame that we don't figure out to grab and hold on to meaningful relationships. Something always intervenes.
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Old 22.03.2011, 17:04
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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The trip to Turkey could have waited. She will only turn 50 once and if that's important for her then you should have been there IMO. When I have kids I would never expect them to go out of their way to come to my birthday...but I know fine well if I missed my Mother's 50th last year for any reason she would never forgive me...everything else waited...
Yes and no.
1. Turkey was cheaper than Iceland.
2. It was over the eastern, all of my friends were going. If I had skipped it I would have to wait until I got to know somebody that hasn't gone there and wanted to go with me. + I would have to be alone for a week - no job over the holidays and no friends available and these kind of situations just kills me.
3. Mum had planned a trip to visit me only 2 months later after her birthday, so really... does it matter that much that we made a cheers-happy-happy 2 months später? For me not.
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  #44  
Old 22.03.2011, 17:18
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Mum's hat on - must say I am very happy and grateful my kids and grandkids did join us for my 50th and 60th- and for their dad's too. I wouldn't have sulked, but it just wouldn't have been the same. My parents have gone now, and I am glad I made time for their 'special' bd's and events - even though I flew out of the nest very young. Miss them.
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Old 22.03.2011, 17:21
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Yes and no.
1. Turkey was cheaper than Iceland.
2. It was over the eastern, all of my friends were going. If I had skipped it I would have to wait until I got to know somebody that hasn't gone there and wanted to go with me. + I would have to be alone for a week - no job over the holidays and no friends available and these kind of situations just kills me.
3. Mum had planned a trip to visit me only 2 months later after her birthday, so really... does it matter that much that we made a cheers-happy-happy 2 months später? For me not.
It is certainly not a problem if both of you are ok with that.

But when someone spend a lot of time to complain to not see you or your kids and how terrible they feel everytime they see their friends with their grand-children and they don't have this chance, yada yada... It is very annoying!

Annoying because you know they could come, they have the cash and could do it even twice a year plus the time you visit them. But they say they don't have any money.

They have the money, just not the priorities at the right place. If you have the money but prefer to spend it on you or your house, fine by me but don't complain you don't have any freaking money to come to visit, you have it but prefer to spend it on something else.
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Old 22.03.2011, 17:30
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Mum's hat on - must say I am very happy and grateful my kids and grandkids did join us for my 50th and 60th- and for their dad's too. I wouldn't have sulked, but it just wouldn't have been the same. My parents have gone now, and I am glad I made time for their 'special' bd's and events - even though I flew out of the nest very young. Miss them.
Okay, I'm starting to feel like the bad daughter now.
In my defence I have a large family and it is something "big" going on ever year with some close relative. I'm always sad to miss it, but it's just a part of not living in the country. I go there every christmas, they know they are also always welcome to visit me. It's expensive to go there, and I really-really want to use my spare money + holidays to do more than just go back home.
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Old 22.03.2011, 17:32
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Okay, I'm starting to feel like the bad daughter now.
In my defence I have a large family and it is something "big" going on ever year with some close relative. I'm always sad to miss it, but it's just a part of not living in the country. I go there every christmas, they know they are also always welcome to visit me. It's expensive to go there, and I really-really want to use my spare money + holidays to do more than just go back home.

No you are not being a bad daughter, the fact that your mom was here 2 months later and also practically it is not possible to be there for every big event .
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  #48  
Old 22.03.2011, 17:40
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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No you are not being a bad daughter, the fact that your mom was here 2 months later and also practically it is not possible to be there for every big event .
Yes she's a horrible daughter. I'd be ashamed if she was mine. Stop trying to make her feel better


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Old 22.03.2011, 17:44
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Okay, I'm starting to feel like the bad daughter now.
In my defence I have a large family and it is something "big" going on ever year with some close relative. I'm always sad to miss it, but it's just a part of not living in the country. I go there every christmas, they know they are also always welcome to visit me. It's expensive to go there, and I really-really want to use my spare money + holidays to do more than just go back home.
Right on!

With my family and the isssue we had the last time we went, we decided to no longer spend money, time and energy on going back home... It wasn't worthed nor enough appreciated. It cost hell lot of money and you just pass your time to run from one family member to the other one. You are not in vacation, you just run around and try to ajust at their rythm and way of living.

For the money we spend in our Christmas trip, we could have had a All Inclusive 5 stars hotel for 2 weeks and have half of the money still in our pockets. Lesson learned.
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Old 22.03.2011, 17:52
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

No, my intention was NOT at all to make you feel bad- sorry if it felt that way. My point was that parents are not with us forever- and that if you CAN make them feel special when they can still appreciate it - then after they've gone you feel it was somehow worthwhile. I know so much what you mean Nil and Begga- we spent so many 'holidays' visiting my parents and family and as you say, not really a proper holiday. I used to travel by train from the Midlands with 1 toddler and 1 baby and a huge case - changing stations, walking from station to ferry and off again - several times on my own! Now, i just do not know how I did it. I was lucky because my parents also came to visit, and spent most Christmases with us as we couldn't go away at that time of year. They last visited when they were both in their mid 80s, bless them. And of course I am permanently 'on call' for my daughters, who know I'd be on the next plane in case of a crisis of any kind. It has to be a 2 way thing, I agree.
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Old 22.03.2011, 18:11
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Although I think this aspect of responsibility to visit parents very interesting, it's a subject we've covered to a certain point before and this Thread was really more about losing contact with friends because the way of life, interests, priorities and 'regional knowledge' has changed. One simply has so little in common with the acquaintances and friends of 'then'. In case anyone wants to read the other Thread it was 'What will I do when the parents get even older?'

Can we get back to the main theme now?

I write a circular letter to both friends and relatives - been doing it for almost forty years - and it helps to keep up to date with old friends. Not many of them but when I go back to the few, we pick up where we left off. I even have little 'family trees' so that I can remember which of their children is married to whom... Some of them have travelled a lot, others are more stay at home, but we still seem to find plenty of subjects of conversation which interest us both. But, as I said, it's few. They really need to have wider interests than the latest shopping centre.
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Old 22.03.2011, 18:37
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Yes

We have different lives now and distance makes it more difficult. Its not nice but it happens.
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Old 22.03.2011, 18:46
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

I never lose contact with the people that mean the world to me.

With others, whether it be here or Australia, I accept transience.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:05
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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when i read these posts it sounds like your greatest accomplishment in life was moving to switzerland. get over yourselves.
Lo and behold, I am going to have to side with Scrambled on this one. Sorry, DB.

For those of you who moved away when you were in your 20's and 30's, I am sure you are losing your old friends and connecting more with the people here in Switzerland that you have met. That it normal.

Take it from an old gal like me, 48!, the friends you have in your 40's and beyond are your Tried and True Friends. I don't care how many miles or how many continents separate you, you will always be friends, even if you only see each other once a year or less.

Friends that you make AND KEEP in your 40's are different. You have all been around the block together, no one is naive, everyone is experienced, whether they have traveled extensively or no farther than the corner store. People that you are friends with in your 20's and 30's are NOT who you will be friends with in your 40's and beyond.

And to Begga, stop feeling guilty. A parent with available funds and grown children/grandchildren should arrange and pay for all family vacations/get-togethers. Their job--not yours.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:26
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Friends that you make AND KEEP in your 40's are different. You have all been around the block together, no one is naive, everyone is experienced, whether they have traveled extensively or no farther than the corner store. People that you are friends with in your 20's and 30's are NOT who you will be friends with in your 40's and beyond.
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What a load of patronising crap.

Speak for yourself in the future.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:33
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

I'm sure it's a two way street.

"What have you done lately?"

"Well, we successfully registered at the Gemeind.... er... the place you have to register when you move somewhere... what? Yes... the council offices, that's it. Yeah, it was all sorted in about ten minutes, and apparently I can apply for my C Aus... er, pass... er, permit... yes, resident permit... well it's a different one, which means I have to organise paying my tax without my employer sorting it out, and... hello? Hello? I heard someone snoring there..."

Meanwhile, my friend wants to tell me all about her new tagine and some recipe she got from watching Come Dine With Me, and... well, you get the picture.

My life isn't half as interesting as she might expect it to be. I suppose she thinks I'm off skiing every weekend, and swanning off to Milan to do my shopping, which couldn't be further from the truth. Her life, meanwhile, is incomprehensible to me, as I haven't a clue what she's talking about half the time.

I'd been hearing people ask me if their faces looked 'bovvered' (over the phone!) for two years before I found out what on earth they were talking about...
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:35
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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now that your life is an amazing swiss adventure at the foot of the ALPS (with real italian food!) you can't be bothered with those boring people back home and their boring lives and their limited perspectives, right? who's being negative?
Think you may have misunderstood what's going on here. I can see how DB's second post might have come across that way but it is a normal reaction to the sudden jolt of alienation when you realize how far apart you have grown from old friends - not even in big ways, just in the little details that make up so much more of life than we realize. There is nothing to make you feel alienated like simply not knowing the slang and in-jokes of a crowd, or a whole country, you used to feel at home in.

You can see that reaction on both sides by the way. I have friends back home who think I have "gone all Yerrpeen" and "forsaken my roots" and goodness knows what else, because I am not in touch with day to day politics and culture - the small things that are common ground for them, that whether you agree or disagree on them are building blocks of a conversation. They can't talk to me the same way they used to - just as I can't to them - both of us have so many new cultural references that we effectively don't understand each other without tons of extra explanation - and it's frustrating on both sides.

So yeah, I think "Why would she say that? She must be limited by her [old country] perspective. My new life is yards better!" is a completely normal reaction to that jolt. Or from their side, "What's wrong with her? She's got her head so full of [new country] she's forgotten what normal life is. Oughta come back here and get her head straightened out!"

But if I (or the OP) truly didn't care, "couldn't be bothered about those boring people and their boring lives" I wouldn't be frustrated, right? That's why I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. It seems obvious to me (going by what he has said in this thread) that the OP does care about friends back home and that's why he finds it so frustrating not to understand them any more, or to feel that they can't understand him.

Drifting apart is one thing, but realizing you are drifting apart is often more painful.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:37
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Lo and behold, I am going to have to side with Scrambled on this one. Sorry, DB.

For those of you who moved away when you were in your 20's and 30's, I am sure you are losing your old friends and connecting more with the people here in Switzerland that you have met. That it normal.

Take it from an old gal like me, 48!, the friends you have in your 40's and beyond are your Tried and True Friends. I don't care how many miles or how many continents separate you, you will always be friends, even if you only see each other once a year or less.

Friends that you make AND KEEP in your 40's are different. You have all been around the block together, no one is naive, everyone is experienced, whether they have traveled extensively or no farther than the corner store. People that you are friends with in your 20's and 30's are NOT who you will be friends with in your 40's and beyond.

And to Begga, stop feeling guilty. A parent with available funds and grown children/grandchildren should arrange and pay for all family vacations/get-togethers. Their job--not yours.
A few really good and close friends I still keep in touch with today are ones I got to know when we were in our 20s and 30s. At least three go back as far as primary school. We still have lots in common.

Am sure quite a few on EF will tell you something similar to this.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:39
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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People that you are friends with in your 20's and 30's are NOT who you will be friends with in your 40's and beyond.
Well I'm definitely well and truly 'beyond' and one of my friends in England I have been friendly with since she came to the school I was already attending - we were both 7. Another I met when I was 11 and we have been real friends since we were both 16. A married couple I got to know when I was about 26; another lady I met when I was about 18. Maybe I was just lucky and we all 'grew' in the same direction.

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Old 22.03.2011, 19:39
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

An interesting question. I moved to London when I was just 19, for 6 months - but ended up staying in the Uk for near on 40 years. During that time, some old friends stayed put, but quite a few of us moved to other parts of Switzerland or indeed all over the world. Most of them have lost touch with each other, but I somehow always kept in touch with my 'favourites' - ending up being 'the link' between old friends. Now I am back in CH, quite near to where I grew up- and several friends who have also lived abroad have come back too- some I went to school with from the age of 5 to 19. If I go to the shops or a café - I invariably bump into people who've known me forever, know who my parents, grandparents, uncles, etc were. At the same time, I've kept in close contact with our favourite friends from the UK, by post, visits, FB or e-mail, as well as other friends we've made all over the world.
Yes, we change- and I must say it is easier to talk to other friends who have experienced other cultures, and now see things with slightly different eyes- it can be hard to see some old school mates having quite a closed attitude to some things (and people) but as DB said on another thread, you have to be tolerant of their views and perhaps try to quietly challenge such views at times. I am glad we go back to the UK very regularly to visit daughters, grand-children, family and friends -so we don't become estranged from them. We mainly watch UK TV and news, and it helps.
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