You may have heard before you made the leap to Lu-Lu land that it was not ‘a young person’s city’ I was warned of the dreaded Sunday boredom the lack of opportunities to meet people and generally expecting the worst.
I lived in a hotel for my first month here, I ‘knew of’ some people in Lux who I had met through others, but I wasn’t really on the level of knowing anyone well enough to ask them to be my only friend and to help me through the painful awkwardness by letting me join in on ALL their plans. No one likes that ‘let me steal your life and entire friendship circle’ act.
You have to put the effort in and ‘create’ your own life and your own group of people.
There are a few bits of advice I would have liked to know before I arrived regarding this most delicate matter of friendship, integrating as a 20 something and trying to build some kind of a social life is not as easy as one might think – it takes more than a bottle of wine and some small talk. Like most things I firmly believe what you put out there you will get back in bucket loads.
- There ARE young people here – in fact loads of them and guess what?! They are in the exact same boat as you wondering where all those other likeminded people are to hang out with.
- Don’t complain non-stop about Luxembourg! There may be a few Lux-haters amongst us, be it the weather or the shops closing early – they have a million different things they can wax lyrical on. If this is you – please stop, it will not win you any friends. To quote Kendrick Lamar ‘B***h, don’t kill my vibe’.
- BlaBlaCar – Do not underestimate the power of the BLA. Some people who frequently use the car sharing site have built up a rapport with their ‘regulars’ and I know of at least one person who has even arranged some drinks / meet ups with some of their fellow BlaBla-ers.
- House sharing – Perhaps the most obvious choice – skip the friendship part and just go straight to cohabitation, the friendship will come after (you hope).
- The Pub Quiz circuit – This is a very recent discovery for me, I attended the music and movie quiz at Cafe Rocas on a Tuesday night. By the end of the night everyone was dancing around (it’s a tiny bar) people were mingling and it all just felt very natural – it also felt like the attendees were regulars to various quizzes around Lux.
- Afterworks – There is a pretty big ‘Afterwork’ scene in Lux. From the Russian themes, to moustaches, to Après-ski … there’s something for everyone. Check out Aperinetwork which hosts events in different venues all over the city, suggest it to a few of your colleagues and get ready to mingle.
- Not leaving town every single weekend – this also seems like an obvious one, but if you travel elsewhere every single weekend the chances are you won’t build up much of a friendship circle.
- Facebook – Join the Luxembourg Expats Group, if not to make new friends for the endlessly entertaining posts at least. One notable post I came across was from a recent newbie to Lux who asked for recommendations on dining alone, as she wanted to celebrate her birthday but didn’t know anyone. A flurry of comments soon popped up beneath offering to join her, before she knew it there was a table of 5/ 6 people also new to Lux who would join her for this birthday celebration. These are the kind of things that make me glad of our village sized city.
- Be that person ‘who would go to the opening of an envelope’. In the beginning accept all invitations and go everywhere, it will pay off later.
Disclaimer: This article is written from a Millennial, living alone in Luxembourg perspective – I fully acknowledge that the advice here may indeed not be relevant for those who are living in Lux with their families.