What does that word actually mean for most people? Someone who will listen to your troubles and complaints, someone who will help you if you ask him or her, someone who is somewhere near to you when you need. But I think that to find a really good friend can take a year, a decade and even a half of life. Maybe it might sound strange to you but stop for a little while and think how many real friends you have. I am persuaded that they can be counted on your fingers.


Where to meet a real friend?

 People are everywhere around us - at schools, at work, in shops, in the restaurants, in the village or city you live in ... But have you ever stopped at the corner of your street and started just talking to someone who you meet every day but you do not know even his or her name and address? I doubt that. If you have, I think you are one of tens or even hundreds. We usually need a reason why to speak to strangers and even that does not mean that you are to become friends. We can think of a post woman, for example. Each of us has a post woman who goes around our house every day and we never speak to her more than three words (like greeting) and sometimes we even try hard to avoid it and we pretend to be invisible and not to  have a reason to greet her. It sounds really childish... or does it, in fact? Writing these lines I remembered my post woman in the village. She is very kind and very friendly and when I started to study hard for my exams and being almost all the mornings at home, she started to speak to me, wanted to know me better. I did not think about it much till the day when my father received a letter from her and she was surprised seeing my new surname on it - it was so pleasant to see that she is really interested in you, she wanted to know everything about wedding, school, moving and so on. Of course, she started to speak also about her family and friends and a new marriage couple in their family... and I must admit it was very pleasant! So nice and friendly talks. But I cannot even imagine going through something similar here in Prague. I saw my new post woman yesterday and she was just interested in my surname (because she was evidently looking for a post-box with that name) and that was all. Sad, truly sad. People would think that moving to the prefab house, living nearer to people than in the village (smaller place, flats one next to another) will help people to make friends easier but the opposite is true.

So where to go to find a good friend? Maybe you think that I exaggerate much  the situation but for some people it does not have to be so easy - especially for those who were left or betrayed by their friends.


 How to recognise a real friend from 'a friend'?

 That is one of the hardest questions to be answered and there exists no one in the world who would know the answer for sure. Sometimes it is good to test your relationship by meeting him or her outside the work/school/gym and so on. But nobody can be one hundred percent sure the person is really behaving and talking as he/she thinks or just pretending. Some people can have other intentions - still studying in school can mean that the person needs help with homework/tests or just need your help, at work it may mean something very similar ... So how do you get to know the truth? I really do not know. However waiting for the answer can be long, long and longer and may even take years, it is worth it. The most loyal friends will stay.


 How can people get excited when some friend from old times contacts them!

 It is always so nice, to get together, to speak about your live, to talk about your work ... But sometimes the calling of the friend can have a hidden reason. For instance, to get you to some obviously good, lucrative and a-lot-money-earning 'business'.  Everything seems so perfect, maybe you will even start a new life, do things which you had yearned to do all your life ... like in a dream. Unluckily, magic happens only in fairy tales and each of us will sooner or later discover the truth. Then it is even harder and more painful to remember "a friend" again and open your heart to him. Can I trust him again? Will he ever try the same thing? And what is left after such meeting? Deep disappointment about him or her, yourself, the unfair world ...


 I know that this article sounds sad and maybe you are determined that it can never happen to you and it has never happened and you have rather different experience with friends, friendships and relationships. I believe it :) and I hope that at least some of you have never really gone through anything like that and will never. I keep my fingers crossed ...