Germany is a country where it’s hard to make friends just like that.
Please don’t tell me you know a bunch of Germans where you live, and that they are SO easy to get to know and get along with. Or that you met a group of German backpackers on your travels and they are still your good buddies.
Many ex-pats leave Germany and go back to say, California, and report to having more German friends in Cali than the whole time they were in Germany.
I met Martin in Toronto, and let’s just say he was WAAAYYYY different in Toronto than he is here in Germany. This is also a common theme amongst people who met their German partners outside of Germany, and who later moved to Germany.
I even refer to Martin’s Toronto days as my “Blonde Boyfriend”. Cuz even Martin’s hair colour changed when he came back to Germany (now he has light brown hair!).
So back to the friends thing. I’m not used to making friends.
Not because I only hung out with the same people from childhood (I didn’t), but because there are more natural opportunities to make friends in Toronto if you are someone who likes people. It was more automatic.
The difference could be in the definition of ‘friend’. This definition is much looser in North America than it is in Germany.
In Germany, they take their friendships VERY seriously. They don’t just accept anyone as their friend. A relationship has to develop over a long period of time, and even then it’s not guaranteed. You can work with someone for years and years and they will say something like how they like you a lot, and that they even consider you in between a coworker and a friend. I’m not exactly sure what that means but in English reads as “you are not my friend“.
For me, I don’t need all my friends to be my BEST FRIEND FOR LIFE AND BLOOD-SIBLING. I’m comfortable calling anyone I have a friendly rapport with – my friend.
Because why not?!
Why do I have to classify people as 100% friend, 90%-friend, 35%-friend, etc… I don’t even know how it would be different treating a ‘real’ friend versus an in between friend-coworker, asides from treating everyone as I want to be treated myself (including non-human animals!).
So why do I care to make friends in Germany now that I’m planning to leave?
For Luna, our foster dog.
I’ve been so worried about finding her a GOOD home, and wracking my brain on how to do it. Re-homing her is the only thing that’s holding us back from first going, but also from getting excited to go.
Her shelter has stopped advertising her on their website, because they are quite active in animal rescue and have a new influx of animals needing urgent foster care, adoption, or sponsorship.
So we need to take a more active approach with finding Luna a home. We’ve become very attached to the little stinker, and also dread giving her up. But know that it is in her best interest to find a good forever home in Germany. We could take her with us, but it’s not going to be as ideal for her.
We need to make local friends!!!!!!!!!! FAST! Which in Germany doesn’t happen, but we need to try anyway.
I considered taking VEGAN cooking classes at the Volkshochschule, even though we could teach the class ourselves (just kidding!), so that we could meet people interested in the vegan lifestyle who may fall in love with our little cutie. But those classes are done. 🙁
We’re also signing up for dog school soon, to train ourselves to teach Luna, but also to meet other dog lovers. Maybe they want Luna, or know someone who may want Luna. She needs to go to a dog loving home!!!
I don’t know how else to make friends. Dog-walking here is also not an automatic friend-maker as it is in Toronto. Any suggestions?