When moving to a new place, my philosophy on finding my way and making friends is to "say yes". You never know when you will meet a person that you click with and even if you don't click with them, you might learn something from them. It is natural to gravitate towards people who are like you. I look for people about my age who look like my friends from college. However, I've had some great experiences with people I might never hang out with, if not for the kids. In Erie, I had two playgroups: one hosted by a mom in her early twenties and one hosted by a mom who was about 40. They were very different from each other and very different from me, but it worked for both Ian and I.
In the spirit of saying yes, a woman on the Yongsan Playgroups list that I had never met invited us for a playdate because we live fairly close to one another. (Turns out we had seen each other before when her daughter did a makeup gymnastics class in Ian's class but we didn't get to talk because wrangling Ian in gymnastics class is a feat. I do remember complimenting her daughter on how well she went through the obstacle course, but Ian was particularly wild that day). She lives near the Hyochang Park metro stop, two stops from mine so we decided to meet there. We hopped a bus to avoid walking the hill and then we had a great playdate at her place. Her daughter just turned two and is completely adorable. She (the daughter) was a very enthusiastic little hostess and Ian was a bit overwhelmed at first, but he soon joined in and they played very well together. The mom reminds me of my college friends. She wants to get her yoga certification. She is a laid back, yet involved parent and she likes to go and do. She has been here for two years and is leaving in the fall, but we can do a lot over the summer. We've even got our first adventure planned to go to the Coex Mall (for the aquarium) next week.
Her daughter skipped her nap today and was starting to get cranky, so after a good play, we took our leave. Jen told me which bus to take to get back down to the metro and we headed out. Just as we got down the hill from her apartment, the bus pulled away. I started looking around and saw this overhead walkway with purple poles.
"That looks like the one by our house," I said to Ian.
Then I gave the building it was attached to a closer look. The CLS kindergarten and started laughing out load! I had made a giant circle by public transportation to get to her! Then, I made the 5 minute walk home!
Sometimes, it is good to miss the bus.