A little over two weeks in a new place. It might be close to three weeks now. I'm not quite sure. Somewhere in that range.
CS Lewis writes in one of his essays that any friendship requires some kind of bond. He paints a picture of two friends standing side by side, both engaged in the same thing. Either the same activity, same interest, same passion, same job, same hobby . . . you get the idea. Here's a quote from his essay, Friendship:
"That is why those pathetic people who simply 'want friends' can never make any. The very condition of having Friends is that we should want something else besides Friends. Where the truthful answer to the question Do you see the same truth? would be 'I see nothing and I don't care about the truth; I only want a Friend,' no Friendship can arise - though Affection of course may. There would be nothing for the Friendship to be about; and Friendship must be about something, even if it were only an enthusiasm for dominoes or white mice. Those who have nothing can share nothing; those who are going nowhere can have no fellow-travellers."
That's been a challenging thought lately. I came to this town a few weeks ago, and am trying to meet people right now. Honestly, it's been a bit lonely here. Meeting folks in Cairo was so easy. Here, not so easy. Not sure what the difference is. In Cairo people were happy to hang out and talk. But here, it seems like everyone that I talk to wants something from me. It's been a frustrating experience. I'll hang out with someone for an hour and feel like we're getting to know each other. But then they'll ask me to buy them a computer or get them a visa to the USA or something like that. I feel like I'm always waiting for the bomb to drop. But yesterday a thought occurred to me. If I'm just "looking for friends," I'm doing the same thing to them that they're doing to me. I'm trying to use them to fill my loneliness in the same way that they're trying to get something from me.
Yikes! Not a particularly pleasant realization. Looks like I've got some soul-searching to do in the near future.
On a positive note . . . some friends from Cairo are going to be in town this weekend. They're coming down to go diving, and I should get to hang out with them while they're in town. It'll be nice to see some familiar faces!
Okay, that's it for now . . .