When two expats meet for the first time, there are a series of questions they ask each other:
Where are you from? What country, state, etc?
How long have you been here (living in your new country)?
How long do you expect to live here?
What part of town do you live in? (Or building, etc.)
Do you have children? If yes, are they here also? If yes, how old are they? If young, what school do they attend?
What company does your spouse work for?
Did you give up a job to move here? If so, what type of work did you do?
You get the idea….
But if your memory isn’t great, you might go through the script more than once with someone.
As a shy and introverted person, I really like the script. If me and my new acquaintance get through the script, but haven’t found something in common or some spark, then it isn’t likely we will develop a long-term friendship. Sometimes it feels like speed dating.
I thought it would be easier to make friends after moving to Shanghai, but the tide has turned and I am making good progress towards finding people to spend time with.