Sunday, April 13, 2008

Americans in Paradise

That was the suggested name for a proposed social club of expats who know each other in Wellington. It was suggested by Leslie, the wife of an American ex-pat I work with. You may remember Jim, he's the one who loaned us his library card and has been essential in getting us properly oriented down here.

We swung by on Saturday afternoon and ended up staying into the night---possibly outstaying our welcome several times over along the lines of The Thing That Would Not Leave from first-season SNL (I think it was Jane Curtin and John Belushi?) We were having so much fun though, we kind of didn't care. The free and easy conversation and fascinating parallels in our lives kept us riveted to their various furnishings through several bottles of wine, some snacky foods and a big Indian Curry Dinner. In fact, at one point I said, "Look at us now, six Americans sitting in New Zealand eating food from India" and our host added, "Life is good."

When it came to settling the bill for delivered curry, we turned our pockets out empty. How embarassing. What mooches! Well, we believe that what comes around goes around and we all four had so much fun that we're hoping we can reciprocate really soon.

I was so proud of our daughters, too. They were genuinely having a good time, and felt very comfortable around our new friends. At dinner they were confident, articulate and poised and shared stories and observations about their experiences with clarity and humor. I feel like it could have gone the other way very easily and they'd be running off of only their lizard brains, tugging on each other and laughing uncontrollably and saying things like "No, you're a poopy POOP!" and falling on the floor in a heap. Really, I had no idea which side we'd see.


Cathy said...

What a great time you guys had. Thanks for sharing it. I hope it is the first of many to come. It is not surprising our girls were so articulate and great -- they have their wonderful folks to thank for that -- but of course, they are still kids and hooray for that, too. Love you all.

leslie said...

Speaking from the hosts end of things, we were very impressed...I remember saying to Jim "well, i guess we are going to watch those girls grow up"...we're even contemplating baby-sitting!

You'll find the honeymoon doesn't wear off...I think we'll officially launch that club at our upcoming "Welliversary" on 15 June (day of our arrival in NZ)..this year is a milestone...we'll be able to apply for citizenship.