Last week I made 5 new friends.

I can’t remember the last time I made that many new friends in a week.  As I have got older, meeting new people that I click with has become harder, and to be honest it has never worried me,  I much prefer quality over quantity anyway.

But when you move to a new country, and try to settle in a new city, I have really found meeting people a challenge.  I have had to approach it in a very different way than what I have been used to.  I lived in Melbourne my whole life, and I guess I had taken for granted how you just seem to know a lot of people when you have been in the one place forever. When I moved to Mumbai I only knew one person here, an old family friend, and they have not really been interested in showing me around or helping me meet people.

Many people meet others through work, but I have been consulting and working part-time in a small office.  My opportunities to meet people has been quite limited.

Also I am no spring chicken, so I am not interested in hitting the bars, drinking copious amounts and meeting hundreds of random, inebriated people.  Perhaps if I was younger this would be more appealing, but in my late 30’s, it is certainly not my scene. I like good conversation and great food over a glass of wine, and then crawl into bed before midnight.  This is my idea of a great night out.

I have tried a few new ways to meet people, one of the most unexpected and actually easiest ways I have found to meet people is through online social networking, in particular Twitter. I never imagined I could forge relationships over 140 characters, but have actually found it to be the best way to meet people that I share an interest with.  Through Twitter I have met other people who enjoy good food as much as me, fellow Australians who have moved to India, fellow travellers and people who share my love of the movies.  I have even dated a couple of people I met through Twitter (and anyone who has read other parts of my blog knows that that has been less than successful), but they have still been people of similar ilk.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t meet everyone I have met online, I actually am quite selective and tend to use my judgement. But so far, I have to say my judgement has been really good.

Last week in particular I met three lovely women that I had met online.  We shared a love of good food and cooking, so we had dinner together where each bought a dish they had cooked (I moved house this week so I cheated and just took along wine). Over some fabulous home made dips, focaccia, pesto and lemon curd cake, four women bonded. It was a great night, and we are already planning our next catch up.

On Friday night I caught up with another woman whom I had met at a blogging meet a few weeks earlier. I have been learning about all sorts of different meet-ups that happen across Mumbai, which are good opportunities to meet new people.  In the past couple of months I have been to several blogging meets (where bloggers get together to learn about a new product in the hope that we might write about it… for the record I will only talk about the specific product if it is relevant to what I am writing about in my blog and if I actually liked it). I have also been to travel meets (where people interested in and/or working in the industry meet up).

I met this particular lady at a blogging meet about wine, she was actually the host.  So over a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday evening we had a great chat, enjoyed a laughed and planned to give each other cooking classes (clearly my love of food features highly in my relationships). I look forward to seeing her again.

The next day I caught up with another woman I had met briefly at an expat meet.  I have only been to one expat meet in Mumbai but I found it to be very strange.  The intention is that its a place for expats to meet other expats.  I personally don’t feel any particular need to meet only expats, and actually really enjoy that almost all the friends I have made here are locals. I haven’t settled in Mumbai to live in a Western bubble (and yes there are many expats like me, but there are also many who are not).

What was strange about the expat meet I went to was that about 90% of the crowd was local.  When I talked to a few people (men and women) it became clear many had never left Mumbai, let alone travelled overseas. So what were they doing at an expat function? After some chats, and some observation it became obvious that the men were there to try and pick up “easy” foreign women, and the women were there to find themselves a “wealthy” foreign man. This was definitely not my crowd!

I didn’t stay too long, but I did meet a couple of lovely German women who had recently moved to Mumbai.  I have caught up with both of them again and its been lovely.  I am off to a gallery opening with one later this week, and am planning to attend the Mumbai Film Festival with the other in a couple of weeks.

Its been a good week.  After all, a girl needs her girlfriends, and I think I may just have met some.

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19 thoughts on “Sometimes A Girl Just Need Some Girlfriends

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  • October 23, 2012 at 11:21 pm
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    Oh boy, the expat meets & sites.

    I am currently on the internations site and had some “hits” by some Indian men who wanted to befriend me. The moment I mentioned that I am engaged 90% of these conversations died instantly.

    I yet have to attend one of their meets. We´ll see, since I also don´t feel compelled to meet only Expats.

    In the past I was active on Couchsurfing. And while I had great experiences in several countries staying with people and going to CS meets…my CS experiences in India were more than annoying. Starting with the fact that the site sent out automated alerts to people what CS user just landed in your country and city (tracked down via IP address when locking into the site) which led to uncountable spam E-Mails by “young, available men”…Ouch!

    Reply
    • October 24, 2012 at 9:12 am
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      Yes i hav also experienced the “befriending” on Internations. It was an Internations event that I went to, and whilst it wasn’t my cup of tea, I did make a friend there and I enjoy her company very much.

      I haven’t tried couchsurfing, and now I am not sure I will!

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      • October 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm
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        Understood. Today I would also think twice about joining CS. I love the idea and it served me well for the time being but I have major issues not only with the “gadget” mentioned but also with it´s commercialization and changes (relaxation) made to the privacy policies.

        If one doesn´t mind these things CS is somewhat useful: just not for countries in which single travelling women are often seen as “loose”.

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  • October 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm
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    i would like to be friends for sharing our ideas and chatting evryday

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  • October 13, 2012 at 7:04 am
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    As always, Im so grateful you share your experiences. I had the same issues when I lived in DUbai and I have to say, I wound up laughing in the end. I look back fondly at my responses! lol

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  • October 9, 2012 at 12:39 am
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    Glad that you’ve made good friends here. And oh that expat party! Have fun there but be careful.

    And we are yet to meet. 🙂 I am still running around.

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  • October 8, 2012 at 2:02 pm
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    How to find expat meetings in brisbane?

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    • October 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm
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      I am not sure but try doing an internet search and see what you find. You can also check out InterNations and see if they have a Brisbane branch.

      Reply
    • October 9, 2012 at 2:34 am
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      Check out the Internations website, they have regular get togethers planned in most cities across the world.

      Reply
  • October 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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    Oh the expat party! I had one (Indian) guy come up and tell me how much he loved to have sex. I replied that I thought it was fabulous that he was getting some because there are way too many frustrated men out there who are not, but unfortunately he wouldn’t be getting it from me! (And all this was despite the fake moustache. Sheesh).

    So glad that you’re finding like minded girlfriends to hang out with though. I think you’ve done well. It really hasn’t taken you long at all to settle in. 🙂

    Reply
    • October 8, 2012 at 12:21 pm
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      Maybe I should go to more expat parties, it makes for funny stories if nothing else 🙂

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  • October 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm
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    Social networks have created new avenues to meet people with the same interests.
    Iy is great being able to correspond with people all over the world and maybe meet one day.

    Some people believe it is not right forging friendships online but I see no problem with it at all.

    Well done and keep up the good work on the blog !

    Reply
    • October 8, 2012 at 12:18 pm
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      Thanks.

      I do agree with you. I have made many friends through online mediums, both here in India and in Australia. Some are now some of my closest friends.

      Reply

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