I realized that my previous post on loneliness and the difficulty I’ve faced making friends was a bit morose. It is difficult, when you know you are transient, to have high expectations that you will make a lot of “best” friends. However, this is the perfect opportunity to make a lot of acquaintances, and greatly diverse ones at that. And who knows how those acquaintanceships may grow over the years. I need to accept that making lighter companions is not a trivial ambition. That it is okay to have surface friendships; that much like falling in love, making a best friend will happen without planning for it, when I least expect it.
In that vein, I have made “quelques amis,” and two of them threw an international food feast recently. It played out like a cheesy joke: a Quebecer, an American, an Afghan, and a Belgian walk into an apartment. A British friend and her boyfriend, who was born in Switzerland to Palestinian parents, invited over several of their friends for dinner. They asked everyone to bring a dish representative of his or her home country.
The guests came through in fine style. Almost every invitee brought a personal, native specialty. We all spoke English or French together and drank imported wines and beer. I brought a California chardonnay, certainly an insult to the wines of this region, but a fitting contribution for the theme. My husband brought “La Fin du Monde” beer from Quebec. We watched silly videos and spoke of love and meeting strangers who become our friends, as the first snow fell across Geneva.
3 Swiss-French men, 1 of Palestinian descent
2 American women, 1 of Indian descent
1 Filipino woman, adopted into a Swiss family
1 Québécois man
1 Belgian man
1 British woman
1 Afghan man
Beef Borëk– Middle Eastern triangular,spiced, beef-filled pastry
Chicken & Leek Pie– English pot pie made with mushrooms, chicken, and leeks
Gratin Dauphinois– French potato gratin with crème fraiche
Corn Casserole– Southern, slightly sweet, and addictive (my contribution)
Beef Tikka Masala– Indian curry dish
Naan– Indian flatbread similar to pita
Maple Cheesecake– made with real maple syrup from Quebec (Mathieu’s contribution)
Belgian Chocolate Mousse– rich, dark, and crazy good
*Please excuse the not-so-great pictures. I didn’t want the flash to disturb people.