London has surprised me with the most unique friendships and I am so grateful for this.
For some reason that I cannot pinpoint relationships happen differently here. Maybe it is the fact that you can find people from so many different backgrounds in London. From all over the World really.
It takes time to adjust when you come from Portugal. Where the way people think and act is way more uniform than here in London.
Some relationships are short-lived but others do last longer. Everything is fast paced here. And some will become long distance as not everyone stays in London forever. Actually not many people stay long at all.
Friendships didn’t happen until I started my first job in telecoms here. Back in September 2008. That job gave me three long-lasting friends.
One of them actually got me that job. And I only met him because of my blog (back when I wrote in Portuguese). Crazy to think how my life would have been so different if I hadn’t started a blog. Even though we don’t keep in touch that regularly we know we are available for each other anytime regardless of how long it has been since we last spoke. We have visited him in Madeira and more recently in Amsterdam and he has also come to visit us in London more than once. He has always been so honest with me and so supportive of everything I do and I love him for that. We had the craziest and funniest conversations ever back in the London days. I miss having him around.
Another one is a Sri Lankan born in Germany and raised in London. Super smart guy. We did a few Sunday cinema sessions at work. Had some crazy nights out. And even learned Portuguese history with him. He went to live in Australia for a while and we lost contact then. Last year we met to catch up on the last 3 years or so. And maybe it will be another 2 or 3 years until we meet again. But I am sure it will feel just right.
The last one is this so special and so stubborn Polish girl. She is like my external conscience. She is the best at listening and I think that is why she knows me so well. We had our fights back when we were working together. It was hard at times. Maybe because we were so close and because she is so stubborn too. We now have a less stormy relationship as we no longer work together. As she is living in Southampton we don’t get to see each other that often anymore. I miss having her around but I know she is only a train journey away from me and I can always count on her. She was also the first person I took back to Portugal.
I didn’t build any significant relationships on the following couple of jobs. Just got a few extra Facebook contacts and met some cool people in Sri Lanka. Guess the jobs were too stressful and I didn’t get the chance (or the time) to make new friends.
Now that I have been in the same company for a while I made new friends. Still, it took me about two years. I pretty much kept myself to myself at work until I met one of my best friends in 2014.
We bonded pretty quickly and I don’t even know exactly how it happened. We had some crazy nights out (mostly at the pub). Shared everything about ourselves with each other. Had great times together. Had our fights. Our relationship has been a bit like a roller-coaster. More drama in it than what I would like (she knows this) and we might not be as close these days but we still know we have each other anytime we need.
It was mid 2014 when a newbie decided to start talking to me out of the blue. He asked if I spoke Portuguese. I said no. He got confused and then I said I was joking. He knew a few words in Portuguese and has a holiday home in Portugal (in the middle of nowhere). We bonded over that I guess. Must have been as we haven’t got much else in common. We worked together for less than 6 months and even though he is not great at keeping in touch we do see each other every now and then. It is good to have a male friend as it gives me a good insight on how guys think. It is quite entertaining sometimes. Also it is refreshing to spend time with someone who I can just be myself with. No filters. He can always handle my honesty and I love that.
More recently I became really close to another girl. She is also a Gemini and pretty much like me she hates drama. Even though I was not always nice to her she was always nice to me and was there for me when I really needed a friend. She is one of those people anyone would be lucky to have in their lives. As soon as I realised that, I didn’t let her go! She was the first friend I went on holidays with (without my boyfriend) and we had the best time together.
There are more people who I value in my life since I moved to London but these ones I mentioned are the most relevant ones.