An introvert’s great night out with friends

I am an introvert.  I like (most) people, and I love spending time with my friends, but, as an introvert, I typically find that spending time with people, no matter how much I like them, wears me out.  If a social occasion goes on a long time, I can get twitchy, uncomfortable and grouchy, regardless of how much I like the people I’m with.  So, when I find myself in a situation where I am hanging out with friends, and I am able to feel relaxed and happy throughout, it feels like magic to me.

It happens very rarely for me, but as I get older I do spend more time with people who are more likely to put me in this state.  That being said, it’s in no way the fault or a failing of my company when it gets to be too much for me.  It’s just how I am.  I have a good friend here who is also an introvert.  Though we’re both very fond of each other, if we see each other every few weeks to a month, it’s “a lot” to us.  As a natural introvert, the frequency or duration of my social interaction with someone is not a reflection of how much I like them.  If I make an effort to see you at all, it means you must be someone I REALLY like, because my natural state is at home by myself (immediate family counts as “by myself” — kind of).

I was lucky enough to spend a lovely evening with some friends this past spring.  We went out for pizza at my favorite spot in Vienna.  It wasn’t a “perfect” evening — the restaurant either lost or messed up our reservation, and we ended up having to switch tables partway through our meal (further evidence that “perfect” and “happy” do not actually share a causal relationship).  We enjoyed a tasty meal, and then decided to walk a bit to get gelato (this is the moment where I usually decide I need to go home to recuperate).  But I was still enjoying myself.  And, as an extra bonus, because it was an unseasonably warm evening for March, it was our first outdoor gelato of the year.  We sat, ate our gelato, chatted and enjoyed the evening.  Eventually, it really was time to say goodnight, and even then, I was sorry the evening had to end.  It was a great evening, and I feel so lucky to have had such a nice time out with my friends!

Hallo, Gelato!

Our adventure today took us to the Viennese equivalent of Tysons Corner mall.  It’s just outside the city, about the same number and style of shops, and even had many of the same shops.  Ironic, of course, that we’d move to Europe to go to a mall nearly identical to one that was blocks away from where were living, but we were in search of new phones, and that is where the search took us.  (It was to no avail on that front, but that is not the purpose of this story.)

Upon discovering that we were not, in fact, going to get our iPhones today (bummer!) we decided to treat ourselves (and our very patient eldest child) to some gelato.  I’ve had gelato before in the states — it’s basically like strong tasting, less creamy ice cream that everyone gets very excited about and I have no idea why.  I had not, however, ever had real, European Gelato before.  Wow.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  Pretty much like ice cream, but with a great texture — kind of like a combination of really decadent ice cream and marshmallow fluff.  Kind of like frozen custard, but creamier.  So good.  Can’t wait to get more.

We also found another Starbucks today (that makes two so far).  Dan popped inside and did some reconnaissance — apparently, it’s exactly the same as home.  Same stuff, same prices (which means really expensive for that kind of food here).  But good to know it’s there, just in case I find myself in dire need of a grand soy chai.

Generally, we’re finding it’s harder to get stuff done than we had expected.  We want to make appointments to do some house hunting, but to make those calls, we need phones.  We’ve been trying for two days to get phones, but it’s proving trickier than we expected:  the stores are not open American business hours, and when we finally got to an open store today, Dan first had to come back to get his passport, and then when we went back, we realized that we need paperwork (proof of residency) that we don’t have yet — partly because we haven’t been able to call the people at Dan’s work who we need to get in touch with because we don’t have phones.  It’s all a little frustrating — but only a little.  That seems to be just part of life here:  the pace of things is a little slower, and we aren’t really expected to be firing on all cylinders yet.  We’ll get it sorted out.  In the meantime, we need to get on with normal life stuff:  unpacking, grocery shopping, laundry . . . things like that.  Even big adventurers have housework to do.