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Life with Lavendar in London town

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Kindred

Say what you like about Facebook but it does have its benefits. The other day I had lunch with an old friend from Perth whom I lost touch with in the late nineties. We had tracked each other on Facebook and discovered that we both were living in London. We decided to meet up and have lunch.

When we knew each other back home, Monica and I weren’t best buddies by any measure. We were friends by default and the only times I saw her were en masse within a group. So this was really the first time we had sat down together to lunch and talk.

And talk we did! For three and a half hours, we stopped yakking only to shovel food and drink into our mouths. As we swapped stories, we found ourselves very much in similar stages of life. We had both recently left jobs due to unpleasant work environments and colleagues. We were both (relatively) newly married. Her feelings about being an expat in London mirrored mine. We discussed the difficulties of settling in London when the longing for family and friends back home is so strong at times that it is tangible. At the end of our lunch I felt that finally, I had met someone who understood. I had met a kindred.

Even though I have lived in London for nearly three years, I have not met anyone that I would define as kindred. Husband aside, most of my new friends here are good for a laugh or a chat but we don’t have the kind of exchange that makes you feel that you have been “got”. Now that I am in my mid 30’s, I find it rare to come across people that “get” you. Age, time, stress – whatever – it’s true that making real friends gets harder as you get older.

Monica and I will stay in touch. We may not see each other regularly but that’s OK. When it comes to kindred’s, a little goes a long, long way.

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