Since graduating, I found that I only have a handful of friends that I am in touch with. Maybe life has changed when friends got jobs, got married, have kids. Can't expect to see your friends everyday. But then you have friends that you can always count on, are more quality, than quantity.
For me, I am very fortunate Ms Fantaghiro loves coming over. We now diversify our activities...not just hanging out and eat and b***h but we do other stuff together like cooking, exercising, etc. She is one of the longest surviving friend that I have since Matrix days way back in 1996. Oh, and La Signora, too. Though now we have a more cyber friendship since she has moved to Tanah Kangaroo.
But I also have friends at work. Its normal for everybody to have friends at work. But real friends for me transcends the working time. When you work together on projects, have a better understanding of each other, not having to tread carefully with the colleague, then you start being more than just work colleagues. But its taken a step higher when you start spending time after work, to do stuff other than work. You start to be friends, confidante, etc. Maybe berangan together looking for new businesses ideas with Aza De Kaza or holidaying together - which was my first experience going overseas with friends from work.
But I do have suppliers and past clients as friends. We are more like activities buddies - we go to spa, salsa classes, new dining experience. A conflict of interest? Maybe...if the other party does have a vested interest by befriending me, like hoping to be awarded a contract or a job just because of the friendship. But to me work is work, eventhough we are friends. Must follow the criteria just like other suppliers does, and the rest is based on merit -if the company is good enough to be appointed. Thank God that I do not yet experienced my arms twisted to appoint a certain company because pressures of friendship. God help me I become objective when that happens.
Oh, and I do pay for my own spa treatments, thank you very much.