It was the year 2004, we had just moved to Madrid. A mum turned to me in the school playground and said: "I love the colour tone of your lipstick." These are the kind of little sentences that stick in your mind years after you have relocated to a new place. Comments by people who are practically strangers and with eight little (superficial if you will) words make you feel so much better and turn into friends for life. That's all it took.
Today - ten years down the lane - around a birthday table of what my daughter would define as BFFs, my friend turned to me and said the same thing, and nearly had me in tears. Looking around I found myself having lunch with ten ladies I had met ten years ago and each had a special place in my heart.
During the past decade, we had seen each other through good times and bad, some had moved only to come back, some had stayed put and some of us were visiting but here we were reunited as if we'd just seen each other yesterday at school drop-off and the volume of the lunch conversation could have topped a Ricky Martin concert!
So, when I came home to read an article about the Expat cycle by a fellow blogger, I only smiled and thought she is right about how your friends become your expat family. “It’s the one family you actually get to choose. That’s what makes it so good”.
It was as if we had never left each other. The only real change is that my shade of lipstick has evolved from bright pink to dark purple!