Friendship

Looking to AtraniEvery time I left the house for whatever reason and whichever direction I took, it was inevitable that I would meet someone who would want to stop and chat. That gave me a feeling of security and of belonging. It was clear that everyone knew everyone, having always shared the same schools, outdoor actitivies and families. Nevertheless, I spent a couple of years in Amalfi with no-one telling me that there were a few other English women also living there. The fact that I might be interested to know about them was totally ignored. It was someone from one of my tourist groups who first told me he’d met a local man who had an English daughter-in-law. For a while I couldn’t find out who she might be and then we bumped into one another quite by chance. Still today, we are the best of friends. However, it wasn’t easy; within a short time there were three of us and it was such a treat be able to speak English together, have afternoon teas, share a sense of humour, have our children play together and also share their knowledge of English. Unfortunately, for our husbands that was not pleasing and they each did their best to stop our frequent meetings.  It apparently didn’t occur to them that they had never lived abroad and had always been close to everyone they’d known since birth. So that was one of the negative sides of local attitudes towards we foreign women, not at all what any of us would have expected.

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