By: Drew Fidler
The hardest part about moving to a new country besides the different language, converting from metric to imperial, and generally navigating in a city where all of the streets crisscross in a completely unidentifiable pattern is establishing a routine and finding friends. As I am currently spending my days looking for a job, I have to find ways to fill the time that is not spent writing emails, making phone calls or going on meetings and interviews. Its genetic: if I do not go out of the house get away from the computer I tend to go a little crazy.
It was in one such crazy moment that I decided it was acceptable to post an ad on JANGLO. (JANGLO is an online website designed to help connect Jerusalem’s English speaking community. They post apartment listings, job listings – hence why I spend the majority of my time here - events, and have message boards covering just about every topic one could imagine.) You see, I have joined a gym and started Ulpan (Hebrew language classes, the stories from which could each fill a blog post of their own), but I was still looking for a way to make friends and find things outside to do outside of my hobbit home.
Immediately after posting the message I felt ridiculous. It sounded like a dating ad – “fun and athletic individual new to the Jerusalem area looking for fun things to do.” I immediately wanted to take it down and hide under the covers from the embarrassment. However, I left the post up, after all what was the worst that can happen? Two days later I got my answer…
I was speaking with a potential new friend that I had made in my Ulpan and she looked at me and smiled. “I found your ad,” she said to me. I was completely mortified; my head was spinning with possible answers and excuses. However, just as I was about to give a self-deprecating response which I hoped could keep this person I barely knew from judging me, she said, “I have wanted to do that forever.” We then spent the rest of the break talking, commiserating and bonding over the chaos and hilarity of living and looking for work in a foreign country (and of course other peoples responses to my original post).
Not bad for my first foray into the online friend finding world (but I think from now on I will rely on my in-person people skills).