You know speed dating: 5 minutes at a table with a stranger blurting out your deepest secrets before the bell rings and you move to the next table? At the end of the hour, you decide which guys you want to see again, right? That can be what it's like to move to a foreign country and make new friends -- if you're using the Streator Moving Method, that is. Ms. KK Streator, who has moved many times in her life and can barely touch foot in an outpost of Tanzania without running into an old friend or roommate from Brown, has very specific ideas about moving.
Thanks to this friend, I came to Madrid armed with tips about how to make friends. She knows very, very well that I can amuse myself happily for months without another human being. She doesn't think that's healthy. She warns me: you must be the one to make the effort! She chides me: people already have a life with their own friends, you have to be the one to make it happen. Apparently the days of the welcome wagon are behind us. Now, new city dwellers, it's up to us to send up a flare and let others know how lucky they are to have us darkening their doorways. KK says we can do this by collecting lists of contacts from our real friends and following through with friends of friends (FOFs) once we arrive. We can host endless dinner parties, join endless clubs, take tours, join museum groups, take Flamenco lessons, learn to make tapas, call our mother's old garden club friends and see if they're still living... God, I'm tired.
But guess what? The Streator method works! I've done my speed-friending and I'm enjoying an occasional lunch here and dinner there with some really great people and just when Chip worries that I'm becoming way too attached to my computer, I announce that I'm headed to the museum with so and so, the one who does such and such...unfortunately, I can't remember her name.