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  • Writer's pictureEloise Leeson

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Sometimes, as a new person in a new city, you relish the aloneness. The precious anonymity, the endless possibilities and the reinvention of self.

Other times, the weight of it feels like it might crush you, spreading thick blankets of solitude over your body.

Today marks the fourth week we've been in Canada (see here for details), and I have discovered that making grown up buddiess in a foreign city is actually quite hard, posing the eternal question: 'how do you make friends as an adult?'.

When you're a kid, it's easy. You go up to the nearest person your age, ask if they want to share a box of apple juice, and then you go and choose a pet rock to play with.

Or, as I did at University, you go round halls with assorted biscuits, luring people back to your room for endless cups of tea and toast, and then don't let them leave until they agree to be your pal.

Here, in the vast metropolis of Toronto, I can't go around with a packet of hobnobs asking people if they want to be chums. I could, of course, but squirrels and pigeons are terrible dinner party hosts, on account of the rabies and whatnot.

Chatting to people in lifts gets you awkward small talk, or odd looks. Everyone else is already so busy, whirling through the streets like dervishes, that there seems to be little time to pause for conversation. Packs of girls laugh together, bros tank beers together, and everyone goes out for Sunday brunch.

I have my partner, of course, but I am keen for female company. Somehow, I think that despite the loving sacrifices me makes for me (patiently waiting as I pet ALL the dogs), I think asking him to paint my nails might be A Step Too Far.

So I need to find a better way of increasing my social circle, otherwise I will wind up weird and alone - like someone's Aunty Maureen who had a spiritual experience in Peckham after a wild night on 'shrooms, and now channels The Universe through her Sudocrem body art.

I'll let you know how I get on.

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