Thursday, November 6, 2008

Small World

A long, long time ago I said I was going to tell you about the small number of degrees that seem to separate the people I meet here. Now, that's not too many people really, but it is clear to see that while a large percentage of Zürich are expats (I've heard anywhere from 20 to 30%), the overlap in social circles is huge. CF let me know a while back about the spouses group made up of people (I won't lie, it's all women) from around the world. I've met great ladies from England, Scotland, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Australia, and yes, even a few from the US. Sitting at my first coffee with them I realized that one of them knows some of the bloggers I had been following since learning we'd be coming here. Bloggers often reference other blogs with links, and clicking away from one I'm subscribed to I quickly came to a reference to one of the spouses I had met via email before moving here, but unfortunately for me she was moving back to California right around the same time. This spouse is also a blogger (are you confused yet?), and she told me I should meet up with yet another blogger who was moving back to Zürich, having lived her for a number of years not too long ago. She and I had coffee one day, she showed me where to get the best cappuccinos in town, and then it turns out that someone who works for the company from which I quit to come here was her college roommate. It almost seems silly sometimes how everyone knows everyone.

The catch is that the expat community is also likely to move on. People are more than courteous but real relationships are hard to establish when you know that chances are high that your new friend will move on. I've pretty much have come to see myself as a lousy candidate for "friend." I disappear almost every weekend and I know already that I'm only here a year. I have no expectations of anyone really reaching out to me. That being said, everyone is so nice. It's a great support system!

Even our friends from the great night out with Italian food and beer have moved back to California, they were here for two and a half years and were ready to go home. Luckily, another part of this small world theme is visits from friends from California. The internet seems to be keeping me connected with my friends and family via instant message chatting, Facebook status updates, and video conferencing (I can already see how my little niece has changed since I last saw her in person). Every so often I start to feel out of touch and somehow that ends up being the day I Skype with my mom or exchange snarky comments on Flickr with Mr. Bertha (FYI, he told me to call him this, long story involving a Lady) and then I feel okay with the world again.

And while we're on the topic of the world and whatever size it is. Here's a gorgeous sunset as seen from our balcony. The weather has gone colder and I miss eating dinner out there already! Wait until you compare the view we saw just a few weeks later!

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