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Old 22.03.2011, 19:27
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

I also think if you want your friends to relate, you have to explain to them, tell them about your reality a bit, not assume they will want to always ask you...

I you are afraid as coming across as a complete snob, pushing on them facts about your lovely new life in a lovely, solid culture, they will never know, will they. They will never just ask out of the blue, so what's new in Coop and how's the preparation for Fete de voisins going...I try to relate things here as close to their world as possible, although it is sometimes funny and off, they come up with "wow, sounds really like commie times", especially about shop hours, centralized day care situ, etc.

Listening to home radio really helps, frequents calls help, I read news online, catching up with gossip helps, but there is only so much one can do..If I was from a giant, confident, significant country, people probably wouldn't care either about my little life in little CH, since people from giant cultures are quite centric. If you leave this centric culture, you cease to exist, for some. But sometimes it takes this distance from your home culture to really find out that it is only you going out of your way to have some kind of communication, which isn't really friendship, in my opinion.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:49
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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For a change, I'll try to keep the OP brief here:
Do you find yourself gradually losing contact with people you used to know in the 'old country'? If so, when you speak to them, do you find it difficult to find anything to talk about?
Do you find their cultural references unfathomable? Do you tire of the latest buzzwords (if I ever hear anyone finish a sentence with "End of.", I am liable to hang up on him without further ado)? Do you find their relentless discussion of politicians and celebrities you've never heard of and care little about boring beyond belief?

Am I just a miserable old sod? Well?
Yes, you are a misearable middle-aged sod.

None of my friends talk about celebs although they do talk politics. Does it interest me? Somewhat, but having left the my homeland for another homeland and now for Switzerland it is only normal.

We are friends not aquaintances and we are interested in each others lives; thank you internet and Facebook for giving me back many of the people I have lost over the years from all of our various moves.

I recently spent a weekend with someone I had not seen in 32 years and it was fabulous, sure some of the time neither one of us knew what the other was talking about, but that is normal- that could happen if we lived next door.

Maybe it's because I am old I appreciate contact from back home and make an effort to understand as I know they do.
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:50
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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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.
This is my extended family. They keep asking when we plan to move back. We've been here for > 10 years, bought our place 5 years ago and are currently planning a kitchen renovation. Our plans are to stay here. We cannot understand one another as they would never leave where they are and we cannot imagine moving there (western Ohio, <shudder>).

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Drifting apart is one thing, but realizing you are drifting apart is often more painful.
My former bestest friend ever forgot my birthday this year. Not even a mention on facebook. That hurts. She bestest friend ever is too wrapped up in her newer friends that the old friends are history. (I am not the only one who is out of sight and out of mind for her.)
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Old 22.03.2011, 19:51
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

OK, apparently I just got groaned at like, multiple times, which is a whole new experience for me on this forum.

Um, I guess y'all have an issue with the concept of friends you make in your 20's and 30's versus friends you make in your 40's.

Here's an example: When we know we are traveling back to the US, I email our friends. I tell them exactly which dates we will be arriving and when we will be leaving.

They then divide up the days and plan accordingly. We have a function planned every single night, bar none, for 7 nights or 10 nights or what have you. Literally, our friends are so excited when we come "home" it is the highlight of the social season where we live.

There is no "um, well, I keep in touch on FB", or "well, we still like them, but we can't relate," or whatever! It's just, "YAY, Trailing Spouse and Mr. Big are coming home so let's party and play cards and catch up."

Groan all you want, people, but tried and true friends are those who have seen you at your worst and who love you anyway. Tried and true friends are those who swing by your house that you still own there if they see a strange car in the driveway. Tried and true friends are those who CALL YOUR GROWN CHILDREN to wish them a Happy Easter when they know their parents are not going to be there for the occasion. Tried and true friends are those who WATCH OVER YOUR GROWN CHILDREN when you are not there.

Until you out there in EF Land have experienced a horrendous, traumatizing experience back in your "home" country, and had to count on your tried and true friends to step up to the plate and do yeomans work in your absence, please don't groan at me. You don't know what the hell you are talking about.
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  #65  
Old 22.03.2011, 19:58
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

as far as i can tell, most of you spend way too much time on this forum to maintain significant human contact with anyone anyway, i am p1ss poor at keeping in touch with people, my wife is better. but i am always happy to catch-up with friends from home and have a great time when meeting in person. less good on the phone, prefer email frankly
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:03
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Until you out there in EF Land have experienced a horrendous, traumatizing experience back in your "home" country, and had to count on your tried and true friends to step up to the plate and do yeomans work in your absence, please don't groan at me. You don't know what the hell you are talking about.
You are insinuating that because I am under 40 and DON'T HAVE GROWN UP CHILDREN I don't know what the hell I am talking about?

Are people under 40 incapable of stepping up to the plate to help their friends?

I will say it again, speak for yourself, because us out here in EF land have all had our own experiences.
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:13
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Um, I guess y'all have an issue with the concept of friends you make in your 20's and 30's versus friends you make in your 40's.

Here's an example: When we know we are traveling back to the US, I email our friends. I tell them exactly which dates we will be arriving and when we will be leaving.

They then divide up the days and plan accordingly. We have a function planned every single night, bar none, for 7 nights or 10 nights or what have you. Literally, our friends are so excited when we come "home" it is the highlight of the social season where we live.

There is no "um, well, I keep in touch on FB", or "well, we still like them, but we can't relate," or whatever! It's just, "YAY, Trailing Spouse and Mr. Big are coming home so let's party and play cards and catch up."

Groan all you want, people, but tried and true friends are those who have seen you at your worst and who love you anyway. Tried and true friends are those who swing by your house that you still own there if they see a strange car in the driveway. Tried and true friends are those who CALL YOUR GROWN CHILDREN to wish them a Happy Easter when they know their parents are not going to be there for the occasion. Tried and true friends are those who WATCH OVER YOUR GROWN CHILDREN when you are not there.

Until you out there in EF Land have experienced a horrendous, traumatizing experience back in your "home" country, and had to count on your tried and true friends to step up to the plate and do yeomans work in your absence, please don't groan at me. You don't know what the hell you are talking about.
I don't get your rant at all, I've friends from most decennies of my life and although Miss L-P is not quite grown-up many do wish her the best when things are good and when things are bad (including the next quoted person).

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You are insinuating that because I am under 40 and DON'T HAVE GROWN UP CHILDREN I don't know what the hell I am talking about?

Are people under 40 incapable of stepping up to the plate to help their friends?

I will say it again, speak for yourself, because us out here in EF land have all had our own experiences.
I will witness to Natasha's goodness when help is needed even if I'm the ahem-something with a child.

****
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:13
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Here's an example: When we know we are traveling back to the US, I email our friends. I tell them exactly which dates we will be arriving and when we will be leaving.

They then divide up the days and plan accordingly. We have a function planned every single night, bar none, for 7 nights or 10 nights or what have you. Literally, our friends are so excited when we come "home" it is the highlight of the social season where we live.
Guess what, this happens to me too with my VERY close (like family friends) that I made at 18 when i went to Uni. We are a very close bunch of 7 couples who treat other like family (better than family at times) they mean the world to me and no matter where I go they are my friends and we stay in touch, I feel sad I can not seem to make the same friendships here but as bad as it sounds those friends are hard to beat

But I guess being under 40 those relationships I perceive as special are in fact just silly and juvenile - once I reach maturity at 40 I will maybe realise I have been delusional all these years
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:17
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

But to get back to DB's original point. The acquaintances I had back home I have lost touch with and I feel like I am on a different planet to them these days but then they weren't close friends before leaving, but my true friends will never be anything other than good friends and we will always be in touch. I think it depends on the 'friendships' you leave behind. I miss my friends as much as I miss my family
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:17
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Um, I guess y'all have an issue with the concept of friends you make in your 20's and 30's versus friends you make in your 40's.
I suspect it's the rather arbitrary method of organising friends that is getting up people's noses.
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:18
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Spot on DB.
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:22
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Apparently all the friends I've made in my life are completely useless and not true friends...well that's according to someone who hasn't ever met me or my friends.
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:36
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Have been here all my life and I've always just kind of lived in between the Swiss, the Italian and Anglo-Saxon expat world, absorbing all three.
So I couldn't really lose contact with anbody..
I only really feel deeply comfortable with people who have lived it too (meaning several cultures) or who are open to differences and who look with the heart.
Sounds fluffy, I know, and perhaps it is.
I'm just thankful to have had the opportunity to have real friends
(though I've never been so special that anybody would consider organizing a week around me ! .... my that sounds very fancy)
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:44
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

First, let me say that I don't normally rant, as a rule. Second, I'm not knocking anybody's friendship with anybody. Lawdamighty, all friends are good, as far as I'm concerned.

I do, however, take exception to DB's original post, that some people might abandon their friendships if somebody is experiencing the supposed "good life" and they are not.

This little hypothetical situation wraps up my feeling in a nutshell:

Me: My son has been arrested.

A friend: Really? For what?

A true friend: I am in the car with a lawyer and a wad of money. Where are we going?
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:45
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I do, however, take exception to DB's original post, that some people might abandon their friendships if somebody is experiencing the supposed "good life" and they are not.
Huh? Where did I say that?
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:52
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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Literally, our friends are so excited when we come "home" it is the highlight of the social season where we live
Good for you. To help you feel more at "home" ...

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Old 22.03.2011, 20:53
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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I'm just thankful to have had the opportunity to have real friends
(though I've never been so special that anybody would consider organizing a week around me ! .... my that sounds very fancy)
It sounds fancy, but really isn't. My friends when they know I will be there do go out of my way to be free to fit my crazy agenda, as much as I go out of my way and accommodate them when they come and visit ad spoil them rotten. Both sides make sacrifices, and knowing the other party will, as much as you do, without keeping a tab, actually makes it really natural..Isn't not logistically complicated, you become a pro at it, 2nd year you have to do this. It's just sharing..How people do it here, booking eachother in their agenda weeks ahead for ceremonial little meet ups looks a lot more complicated than that.

When is our next soiree?
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:56
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

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This little hypothetical situation wraps up my feeling in a nutshell:

Me: My son has been arrested.

A friend: Really? For what?

A true friend: I am in the car with a lawyer and a wad of money. Where are we going?
Hmmm all sounds very hollywood to me. My friends would ask what, where, who, how, why - then ASK ME if they could do anything to help, not jump in guns a blazing and taking over
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Old 22.03.2011, 21:02
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Re: Losing contact with 'back home'?

Gosh, y'all are so disappointing. Au revoir.
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Old 22.03.2011, 21:04
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Gosh, y'all are so disappointing. Au revoir.
Eh? I'm genuinely confused about your interpretation of my opening post.

Any chance of an explanation?
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