I finally had a chance to do a little blog reading and came across a nice piece written by Cherrye in Calabria about girlfriends. It made me smile that she has been able to find friendship and company amongst other expat gals down in the south. But it also made me think about the fact that after 5+ years here, I can count the number of Italian girlfriends I have on less than one hand, and have very few expat girlfriends close by. Without sounding too "whoa is me", sometimes it really stinks.
Truth is, I did choose a place to live where the locals are notorious for being "chiuso". There isn't the warmth and open arms policy of many other areas in Italy. I spent the first 2 years up here on our hill over Lerici, just trying to be accepted. The stares have waned but the concept of me being an outsider remains (minus a few old men who seem to get a kick out calling the California blond their friend!). I've have met some very nice expat girls but they're not exactly close by and have lots going on in their lives, so get-togethers are few and far between.
My solution has been to drown myself in work. Be so busy that I can't find the time to worry or think about cultivating friendships. Che scema sono! (What an idiot I am!) The "season" is coming to an end and there is a lot of satisfaction in what I have been able to accomplish work-wise. But I give myself about a "D" in the making friends department. Despite the challenge it is to make or find them, I am not making it any better by cocooning myself behind a computer or constantly taking off to meet clients in another Italian destination.
It's time to make girlfriends. It's time to make the effort. It's time to get off the hill and be social!