The peculiarities of TCK friendships

I’m what’s known as a Third Culture Kid. I spent my childhood in the US, Thailand, and Singapore, creating a bizarre cultural blend never seen before or since. If we’re all products of our environments, my environment was a product of my dad’s job, and my dad’s job took us all over the place. As such, I am more than a little culturally confused. When I’m really tired, it’s frighteningly common for me to mix up my languages, so I might respond to “Hablas Español?” with “Nit noy!” or to suddenly lose the word for “chicken” in English but be able to remember it in Danish (despite not speaking Danish).

But one of the oddest things about TCKs compared to our more localized counterparts is how we conduct our friendships. My friend Hannah is getting married in October and I’m a bridesmaid, despite not having seen her in about six years. Maybe seven. Actually, I think it’s seven. Her friends in Oregon think this is completely bizarre. It’s totally normal to us. We’re still close, even when we don’t talk, even when we don’t see each other. Hannah is an important part of my life.

As is my friend, Gregg. Gregg (affectionately known as either “My Gregg” or “Kilt Guy”) and I have known each other for ten years, but I could count on one finger the number of times I’ve seen him since my parents left Singapore. We happened to be in Dublin at the same time a few years ago, so we spent our days with our families and our nights drinking beer all over the city. Gregg knows his beer. We keep in touch, we chat every now and then, and when we’re near each other’s current country, we visit.

So now I find myself planning a trip to Barcelona (a city I love, but have already been to twice) to go hang out on the couch of a guy I’ve seen once in the last ten years. The nice thing is, though, there is no stress. We both have a ton of time to kill, I want to see the sun, and it’ll be good to catch up. I mean, let’s be honest – who knows when I’m going to see him again?


6 thoughts on “The peculiarities of TCK friendships

    1. Thanks! He’s still fairly new to the city – anything we shouldn’t miss? We’ve both done the super touristy stuff, but if you know a good restaurant or beach, I’d love a suggestion!

      1. If you like being active and If you haven’t been up to mt juic or park guell I recommend- best time to go is to see sunset over the whole city. But go a little earlier to see the castle and park. After 6 park guell is free. Castle at mt juic was free but I think it now charges but I don’t believe it’s more than 5euro. Head to Sitges for a really nice beach. (45 min cheap train ride from bcn)

      2. Places to go in Barcelona – this was my to do list of places reccomended by others etc. if u google them they will all come up 🙂
        Cosmo cafe -calle d’enric granados
        Federal cafe – 39 parlament barelona
        Bar lobo – fotuny
        Ra – c//carme
        Carolina blue deco shop – fortuny
        Blue -vegan cafe c/Princesa 57
        Vegan bakery bcn
        Vege Indian world gracia
        Green shots – calle Paris
        Across from never mind in raval- health food shop
        Oviso – plaza George Orwell
        Barcelona tourist
        Organic – calle de la junta de comerc 11
        Milk – brunch c/ d’en gignas 21 (Irish run)
        Polaroid c/dels codols 29 7pm till 2.30(cheap beer and free popcorn)
        Caj chai- c/ de sant domenec del call 12
        Penny banger
        Cat bar – on liatana burgers and vegetarian

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