Friendship In The Time of C-Word

70% alcohol — you’re my hero. Not only do you kick c-word’s butt, you kick ass in the I NEED TO FIND A FRIEND THAT IS BAT-SHIT CRAZY LIKE ME department too. 

I don’t know how, but you managed to turn an old expat friendship into a new — I’ll help you bury the body — kind. I thought I was lucky, as an expat, just to have one friend that doesn’t give me resting bitch face. But two? Shit, mind blown.

Thanks to the c-word (not c u next Tuesday, the other shitty one) I discovered the secret to leveling up expat friendships. You wanna know how? You know what you gotta do.


using a carrot cupcake instead dangling a gross carrot to make you keep reading

Using a cupcake instead of dangling a gross carrot so you keep reading


Now lockdown was straight up torture for many people, especially my expat friends with kids. But I rocked the shit out of it. Ice cream, day drinking and not speaking a language I suck at — oh my! I even got some new copywriting clients to boot.

Then Spain came out of lockdown and I had to make and laminate (it makes it official) my list of totally believable excuses for not seeing people. 

  • I’ve got a throat tickle so I’m quarantining 
  • Went to the dentist, he coughed directly in my mouth, so I’m quarantining 
  • Having hot flashes or it might be a fever so I’m quarantining  
  • I don’t want to so I’m quarantining 

The list worked a treat. I even got out of going to a wedding. The bride’s not my friend anymore but at least I didn’t have to go to a wedding. Silver lining. 

Then I started messaging with my friend Carla from our secluded — ain’t seeing nobody unabomber style — vacation spots. After sharing our mutual hysteria and list of lies, we designated each other “safe” and decided to meet up. 

I was tasked with finding a suitable place. Cut to me eyeballing a waiter, from behind a fountain, fixated on how he disinfected the table at my favorite terrace. He done good. So I reserved a table — furthest from passersby at Carla’s request.

It didn’t take long after we both sat down and removed our masks for shit to get real — fast. 

We both saw the panic in each other’s eyes when a dude, sans mask, approached our table looking to bum a cigarette. But instead of pretending we were cool with it, we embraced our inner crazy. I shot him my side look of death, and she shouted the Spanish equivalent of, “mask up or back the fuck up.”

At that moment, we both looked at each other and mentally exhaled. We knew we had finally found a friend we could fly our freak flag with. We’d been friends for a few years, but nothing says I GET YOU more than two people simultaneously wiping down a wine glass in front of each other — because ya don’t know where the fuck the waiter’s hand has been.


Carla and her trusty spray can of alcohol

I use it on everything! (That’s Carla)


Now, Carla and I meet up whenever we can — always at the same place. Gotta support local businesses after all. Especially ones that know how to disinfect the shit out of tables, chairs and plastic covered-for-your-safety menus.

We shoot the shit about: freelancing, people we wanna punch in the face for being stupid, how our families think we’re “losing it” and how grateful we are to have a friend that carries an extra mask in a ziploc bag (just in case).

2020 sucks, but I’ve learned two things that will serve me well as an expat in Spain. 

  1. Be 💯 and you’ll find friends that get you
  2. How to say “mask up or back the fuck up” in perfect Spanish 


My Expatations: show people who I really am and they’ll run for the hills

Reality: show people who I really am and they’ll run for the hills WITH ME






2021-02-01T14:18:19+01:00 October 7th, 2020|Expat Life, Expat Tips, Friends|5 Comments


  1. Julia at - Reply

    Absolutely love it!

    • Janine at - Reply

      If I get a thumbs up from you, I know I’m doing something right. 😄

  2. Mark at - Reply


  3. Lauren at - Reply

    Love this post and the hilarious take you give on being an expat in Spain. I can totally relate!

    • Janine at - Reply

      Thank you. Love from Valencia to Barcelona ❤️.

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