After 4 months of living in Moscow, I still had no friends outside of co-workers. My co-workers are not my people. They are of the I-don't-like-to-go-out-past-8pm-maybe-I'll-turn-into-a-pumpkin people. My people, my Tampa people, are the I'll-sleep-when-I'm-dead-fist- pumps -all- night-shots-shots-shots people. I came direct to Moscow from a job in radio (which I am not grass greening, because it was also a very stressful job) directly to working at a school with very few 20 somethings, whose idea of a filled social calendar is an occasional happy-hour (that ends at proper happy hour time) and a weekend spent re-organizing their classroom. I like these people, but with me not being a teacher and therefore not having a classroom to reorganize, that left my own social calendar with a lot to be desired.
I made a plan, a mission if you will, to meet some English speakers living in Moscow whose idea of a good time expanded further than a wine cooler and some peanut m&m's. My husband and I made a date to go to Happy Hour (requires capitalization here because Happy Hour is a sacred event in my book, and therefore a proper noun at least) at a restaurant owned by Americans, where we had heard English being spoken at the bar. When we walked in, along with my coat, I also checked everything my mother ever taught me about not talking to strangers. (well, MY mother never taught me about that, but certainly I had heard SOMEONE'S mother warning them about that, right?)
As soon as I heard a girl speaking English, I pounced on her like a cat in heat. Turns out we had more than language in common, she was also from Florida, bored out of her mind in Russia, and was willing to make my friend making mission a joint one.
I got a little excited about making a friend and began celebrating with martinis. My liver, a little out of practice, was not as thrilled about the martini celebration. I spent the second half of the night making friends with the toilet in the ladies' room.
My new English-speaking friend still speaks to me. Now that is my kind of people.