Founded over 10 years ago, the Bay Area Friends of Europe group now has over 6000 members. If you haven't yet made it to a BAFOE event or haven't for awhile, the following is a brief introduction to our regular events, the Friends of Europe Mingles (also known as Soirées).The Mingles are convivial social gatherings
where internationally-minded people with a European affinity can meet, talk and make interesting new friends. This includes “europhiles” who have lived in, or are fans of Europe, as well as expatriates born in Europe. Expats may have just recently relocated to the US or be long-time residents or naturalized citizens.(Foreign-born BAFOE members come from many countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.)The Mingles are relaxed, intimate, and fun
. Drop in when you can and stay for as long as you want. Come on your own or with a spouse, partner or friend. Newcomers are particularly welcome. Dress code is smart casual. Some people like to dress up a bit but it's not essential.
A wide range of people attend: singles, couples, and all ages: 20-somethings through to 60-somethings, with the majority in the 30 to 50 age range. There are usually close to equal numbers of men and women. About a quarter are “regulars”; half have been to one or more events before; and the rest are newcomers. So there are always new people to meet.
When you arrive, check in at the BAFOE welcome table to receive your Friends of Europe name badge. The badge will have the flag of your country of origin and is your passport to mingling!
There’s no admission charge, however a cash contribution of $1 to the BAFOE operating fund is requested. This is needed to run the group!The Mingles have no agenda
other than for everyone to have an interesting and enjoyable time. You'll discover many friendly people eager to talk. Just grab a drink and dive in and mingle. Everyone is there like you to talk and meet people.
All you need to do is introduce yourself. It’s enough to say for example "Hello, I'm X" and start a conversation about the flag on someone’s badge. And at any point it’s perfectly acceptable to say "It's been nice talking. I think I will mingle some more." Move around and meet as many people as you can! Clusters of people often form to chat together, but that doesn't mean you won’t be welcomed in to join the conversation.(For further tips on the art of mingling, there’s actually a book on the subject entitled "The Art of Mingling" by Jeanne Martinet.)The Mingles are truly international
. At a typical event, around 33% of the people come from France, Germany, Russia, or the UK; 40% from other European countries; 17% from the US, and 10% from other countries around the world.
Checks are handled just like any bar or restaurant on an individual basis. You pay only for what you order. Sometimes a group of people will stay after the end of an event to dine together at the venue or at a nearby restaurant, but this is entirely optional.
Looking forward to seeing you soon!
KEYWORDS: European friends · People who lived in Europe and Miss it · Expat European · Mixing and Mingling · Singles · Couples · Happy Hour · Eating, Drinking, Talking, Laughing, Etc · New In Town · Conversation · Fun Times · International Friends · International Travel · Culture Exchange