Mums meet for coffee, colleagues meet for coffee, dog owners meet for coffee also.
Whilst our dogs play, swim and run around, we sit and discuss the recent rains, kids, day to day life and upcoming trips and visitors and our plans for the weekend.
We have to deal with the occasional petty squabble between the dogs, but we're not constantly distracted with requests for the toilet, something to eat or drink and endless questions.
It's taken me a long time to settle into life in Dubai. In the UK I had the kids at home, met people through playgroups, activities and in the school playground. I also worked and studied and could always find someone to have a coffee with at any opportunity. In South Africa I started to feel isolated, no more school runs, after school activities or a job in which to meet people so I focused on volunteer work and within 18 months, I'd built up a network of friends.
We've been in Dubai for 4 years now, I was teaching for a year. I joined all sorts of groups and activities but never felt I fitted in. I have a couple of friends who Peter and I meet with regularly as a couple and one friend I meet up with for coffee and shopping, but my network in Dubai is much smaller than it's ever been and when these friends are travelling, I've feel isolated. It also hasn't helped that the last two summers have been spent in the UK and I've not been around much.
How do you make new friends?