24. The friends I've made here.
Being an expat in Paris reminds me a little bit of being a freshman in college, only the food is better. Suddenly you're in a new environment, bottom of the heap, and all those lifelines and support systems from your past are gone.
But just like in college, when I thought I'd never find friends like those I had in high school, it didn't take much time to forge new connections. Thrown together with others who also felt a bit like fish out of water, we started trading tips on this and that. And with the passage of time, I've made some true friends. We explore different neighborhoods, go to museums, swap restaurant and travel recommendations, get advice on doctors and dentists, exercise and cook together, provide back up child care, while away the time over cups of coffee, hand down kids' clothes, and borrow books from one another. And just like those college friends who are still so dear, I've got a feeling that these folks will be with me far beyond my Paris years.