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Two Smiling Women Sitting on Wooden Bench Drinking a Beer
Photo by ELEVATE from Pexels

An Immigrant’s Guide to Making Friends in the US

  1. The woman who takes the bus to work at the same time I do. We’ve now moved on from that half-smile of recognition (you know the one, with the tightly pursed lips) to a “Hi, how are you?” Maybe I should invite her for a coffee sometime.
  2. The Greenpeace campaigner on the street is also one of my new friends. We had a full 10-minute conversation before they realized I don’t have a bank account yet. For some reason, they moved on to another person after that.
  3. The shopkeeper at the clothing store said I looked fab in absolutely everything I put on, even that weird yellow jumper that was clearly two sizes too small! Do you think they’d want to start a sisterhood with me? Like sisterhood of the traveling yellow jumpers?
  4. My new colleague at work, who always takes the time to take to me at the water cooler. They’ve invited me over for a barbeque three times already, though I’m not sure when it’s planned…
  5. The cashier at Trader Joe’s, with whom I had a whole conversation about not only the weather (that’s a rookie friend-making conversation) but also about what I was planning to make with all the food I bought! They seemed so interested in my dinner that maybe next time I should invite them over?
  6. The waitress at the bar last night was super friendly, always checking in whether I needed anything else, even though I’d just taken a bite and could do nothing more but smile with a mouth full, and refilling my glass of ice water (brain freeze!) when I’d only taken two sips! Unfortunately, she looked kind of angry when I said goodbye, even after I rounded up the bill to the nearest dollar…
  7. My next-door neighbor with the dog, whose whole life story I now know. The dog’s, not the neighbor’s.



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Valerie Bentivegna

Science communicator and science writer — sharing my thoughts on efficiently communication complicated stuff in a clear, compelling and engaging manner.