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Pole dancers, knitters and the eternal expat search for friends

I once put an ad in a local newspaper looking for friends. I’d moved from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast with a guy. We broke up. I was alone in a new town and desperate for company. So I put an ad in the paper: “Did you leave your best friend behind in the big smoke? Looking for new friends? I have recently moved to the Coast and would like to start up a friendship group”.
I can’t say the girls who replied to the ad were the kind of girls I’d usually spend time with (one was a little bit, well, how should I say, single-white-female)… but one of them helped me find a place to live after I moved out of my ex’s (I made her promise not to tell single-white-female where I lived) and another shared her own relationship troubles with me over cups of tea once a week which helped us both. 
When I moved to Canada and needed to find something to do to pass the time I joined a knitting group. I walked into the small meeting room at the local community centre to see five white-haired ladies in homema…

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