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30 January 2024


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I have been so fortunate with making friends in France. Even though I have never lived there, every summer my husband and I rented the same house in the same village for about 10 years and stayed for about 2 months. (until the house was sold and the search continues for "our place") The person who was responsible for the house (the owner lived in Paris) took an immediate liking to us the first year we stayed, and invited us to a BBQ at his house the first weekend we were there. We met so many people from the village, and each one would invite us to THEIR BBQ and then they would introduce us to THEIR friends and so on and so on. I've been invited to knitting circles, choir practices, hiking clubs and shopping sprees and my husband, and avid cyclist, has been invited to the local cycling club. It's been over 20 years now and some of our best friends are French. I feel SO LUCKY when I hear stories that it's hard to make friends in France because that surely has not been my experience. I hope Elena finds her way soon, it's lonely when you're in a new place and don't know anyone. xoxo


I have lived in Piemonte in Italy for 47 years and am still looked at as "straniero". I've worked here and am now retired but as for friendships there are none. I have acquaintances & ex-colleagues but friendships like the ones I had in the UK are rare if non-existant. I am sure Elena will find some friends as she seems such a "simpatica" person.

Ella Dyer

Chère Corey,

Bonjour et merci pour ces exemples intéressants; je vais utiliser la pêche et la noix de coco pour décrire les différences.

Pour les étrangers, je peux vous recommander ce livre (en anglais) The Bonjour Effect par Jean-Benoit Nadeau et Julie Barlow. Une très bonne explication.

Bonne journée à tous,
Ella (sous le soleilà Nice)


I cherish and love my friendships and would find it so hard it people were not warm and friendly
You must have found it extremely hard when you first moved to France but look at you now
Who could not know you and love you, I hope Elena finds some friends as well. It makes all the difference in our worlds.

Susan in Zurich

I agree with Jeanne, it's difficult to be without friends. My first year in Switzerland I made a few that are still special people to me, more like family, now, than friends.

The same description is used for Swiss friendships, as the one you included above. In comparison to American's approach to getting acquainted vs. the Swiss. I treasure our Swiss friends, that we've made over the years. Sweet people under the coconut shell :)

It was helpful that they were also English speakers. One from UK, and a few others that were completely conversant in English. Which was a blessing for me, it's difficult for me to speak German

I wish Elena all the best as she enjoys Paris, that she'll find friendly souls.


So happy to hear an update regarding Elena. She hasn't appeared in any posts lately so I feared she was no longer in the picture. Whew!!!! I'm sorry for the no friends issue. So glad she has Chelsea. Maybe her classmates will become friends. I assume shes fluent in French.
I was raised in Venezuela and Libya but always with other Americans. Made more friends in Venezuela as I was 6mos when moved there. My friends fuel me.


Dear Corey, belated Happy Birthday !! Our daughter Tanya aged 24 now lives in Paris and I'm certain would love to connect with Elena ( in French or in English). Let me know if you think it's a good idea to put them in touch.

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