That favorite thing is seeing some of my fellow Americans and speaking English. Friday night I went to a bridal shower for an American woman here who recently got married (to another American she met here). Let me tell you, I walked into that shower and my heart leapt for joy seeing somewhere around 25 (TWENTY-FIVE!!!!!!!) women mingling and chatting. Mingling and chatting in English! Just going around and saying "Hi, how are you?" over and over thrilled my English-conversation-starved-self to the bones. Picture this bridal shower in your minds. First, it was a very crowded room. Second it was crowded with women. Third (and most significantly), several of these women aren't around a lot of other English speakers much of the time and so have a lot of catching up to do. Fourth, the responsibilities of taking care of kids, cooking, etc are all behind them. There is nothing left for them to do but talk. As talking seems to be one of the favorite past times of women everywhere you can only imagine the number of mouths moving at one time, and the speed they were moving (granted, much of that moving was due to all of us stuffing our faces around the snack table). I realize that the picture I'm describing may make some of you men cringe or even run screaming from your computer, but for me it was heaven... sheer heaven.
It's not that I don't normally have anyone to talk to. James is great about chatting with me. I also have Cindy and Andrea, who I love dearly and talk with regularly. But there is something to be said for variety and options. Did I talk with all 25 of those women? No. But I could have, and that's part of what made it so much fun for me.