Playing The Game

img_5973Bam. Dot. Crak.

One of the things I miss the most about living overseas is having global friends from many countries. I’ve searched to find international connections in Dallas but it has been difficult. Although Dallas is a large city with a multinational population, many live in the suburban areas surrounding the metroplex and I live near downtown. I’ve found that these populations segregate themselves together in neighborhoods of people like themselves. This is so different from Istanbul. Every kind of person lived together, in close proximity, inside the crowded city. It was common to walk everywhere, so you saw, and heard, foreign people constantly on the sidewalk beside you. Here in Dallas, there are many miles between us – in more ways than one. I’ve participated in several Meetup groups hoping to find friends who have lived overseas but for one reason or another, I haven’t made the connections I’ve hoped for.

When I moved back to Dallas earlier this year, I moved to an area of town I was unfamiliar with. Hoping to find new friends close to home, an out-of-state friend mentioned that I might like to learn how to play American MahJong. This popular game has a Chinese history and is played worldwide. I searched in my area but had no luck in finding an established group. I posted a humble notification on the Next Door app to members of my new local community, and to my surprise I had 30 responses from strangers who also wanted to learn how to play. I set up a meeting place at a local restaurant and the rest is history.

In the months that followed, others jumped in to help organize and smaller groups formed based on weekday, weeknight or weekend play date availability. New friendships formed between the members and this week we celebrated our new friendships by having a holiday progressive dinner party, between three homes, right here in my neighborhood. As I looked around and observed the laughter and enjoyed the delicious food and drink, I felt so proud to have started this group and brought so many people together.

I also attended my first Internations Meetup this past week and it was so enjoyable. I sat with four women from Ukraine, Jamaica, Ireland and India. They all encouraged me to attend the upcoming holiday party. Sometimes I get discouraged because it is more difficult to find global friends here but I’ll press onward. A person can never have too many friends.

Do you live in a new place and are you lonely? What might you do to bring people together? You will be delighted at the results.

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10 thoughts on “Playing The Game

  1. brendarobson says:

    If you’d ever like to meet up let me know! If you ever like to meet for a coffee, etc.,

    • Hello, Brenda! I see you’ve changed position since I last talked with you. Congrats! Sure, I’d like to meet for coffee, etc. I am able to meet after 3:30 most days. Do you still have my email?

  2. boysen.boysen@t-online.de says:

    Dear Anita Wow, great and very encouraging! Good to hear, that you are finding more friends and are having fun. An old one sends you lots of love from overseas. Claudia

    P.S. Are you still coming to London in the beginning of the year?

    • Claudia!!!! So great to hear from you. Girl, we gotta a lot of catching up to do! I would love to see you! Yes, I’m still going to be visiting London in January. Why don’t you come to London and stay with me in my hotel? 🙂

  3. I love reading about your success organizing a group of for playing mahjong. What a fabulous way to meet people with similar interests. I always enjoy your posts. I wish you the best! 🙂

  4. Editor Texas Escapes says:

    Hello, Anita.

    I hope you remember us from when you wrote some years ago.

    We’re now in out 18th year.

    First of all, congratulations with the success of your American Mahjong club.

    We’re happy to know your efforts bore fruit.

    I am returning (me, personally) to teaching ESL and my wife and I are discussing how to go about including International content in Texas Escapes.

    The recent election has motivated me to reach out – despite our name which is somewhat confining.

    We would like to add your blog entry – and link to your blog if that would interest you.

    We moved to Florida five years ago but continue to publish Texas Escapes at least six days a week.

    And our policies remain as they always have been. Full credit and as many links as you need.

    Bringing people together has become a priority – especially in these divisive times.

    Let us know what you think and again, our congratulations and thanks for forming your club.

    May it continue to snowball.

    Sincerely,

    John and Kate Wong Troesser

    editor@texasescapes.com

    • Dear John and Kate! Yes, I remember you! Thank you so much for writing! Congratulations on your publication’s 18th birthday! Amazing! Where in Florida do you now live? Have you started teaching ESL again-yet? You know there are amazing opportunities all over the world for a person with your talents. 🙂 (wink). I think it is wonderful that you are wanting to branch out in international content and I would love to know how you would add my blog/link to blog. Would you write an article? Would I? What are you thinking? 🙂

  5. Suzanne says:

    Hola’ from Mexico! If you haven’t already, I suggest joining the FB group “I Am A Triangle.” It’s full of people like us– expats, repatriates, third-culture folks, trailing spouses, etc. I think you will find it comforting.

    • Hello, Suzanne! Thanks for writing. Yes, I’m already a member of the FB group “I Am A Triangle”. In fact, I am the Dallas group leader! I asked to become the Dallas ambassador leader to find/meet other expats, but there are not many who have reached out. Again, it hasn’t proven to be fruitful. I hope all is well in Mexico!

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