It is an unfortunate fact of life that when you relocate to somewhere far from ‘home’ – it isn’t possible to take a circle of friends with you. You have to start from scratch – and forge friendships wherever and whenever you can, or face the very real prospect of becoming a neurotic billy-no-mates.
Strasbourg is a particularly hard place to make and keep friends. Mainly because, for one reason or another very few people remain here for very long.
The city’s students come and go with the seasons, while many of the wider ‘anglophone’ community appear to only choose Strasbourg as a temporary home. So I’ve lost friends to Scotland, New Zealand, Poland and England in the past 12 months alone, which has been hard to take.
One remedy of course is to make French friends rather than foreign ones, but that’s a hard ask, particularly when your linguistic abilities are as dire as mine. An easier solution is to embrace the expratriate lifestyle and hang out in one of the Irish pubs every night. My fear with that though is it’s a slippery slope from being regarded as ‘a sociable local’ to being ‘that weirdo in the corner who mumbles to himself’.
But then again … beer has always been my friend …