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I can't seem to make any friends living here in Thailand.


DrDoLittle
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I'm a middle aged married guy with a child living the dream in Thailand but I cannot seem to make any friends. We have a successful business here and I sometimes meet westerners but none of them seem interested in friendship. 

I dont live in a touristy city as such. Most of the other farang here are 10 to 20 yrs older than me and have wives and their own lives. 

In a way I feel a bit isolated and my main socializing method is skype calls with friends back home. 

Any suggestions for me?

thanks

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its tough right now with the threat of covid, but depending on where you are, there's often expat pool leagues and such. But of course you need to be half decent at pool and a good drinker!

when this place opens up to the public, you should start a thread in the thailand local category where you are and just see whos local and start a convo or 5 going.

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Hey DoLittle

 

i think its okay to give it a time.. especially as we get older and have families 

how long have you been here and especially at current location? 

for me for the first three or four years was like you described but on the other hand am totally cool to spend alot of time on me own. 

one or two farangs over years with whom could sit and talk and be ok but more Im moving  aroundmy area more people i meet and some have become good friends, locals. thats pretty cool, and i barely speak thai bu we get by and learn because both sides show continuous effort. 

effort takes time and time shows who stick around and whos not. 

am still most of me days alone but its great to call up or when others call for a beer or whatnot. 

 

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As per my profile, we are currently in Australia - we live 50/50 Australia and Thailand (stuck here at moment).  During our first 4 years of being together we lived full-time in Thailand (Chiang Mai).  Like most 'reasonable' Expats (not a bogan, drunk, or sexpat etc.) I found other Expats to be mainly 'troublesome' if I got to know them - they had 'issues'.  What I found out over time is that those Expats that did not want to immediately get to know me, where either OK or just wanted to be left alone. Those that immediately wanted to talk and be friends were all trouble - I learned the hard way not to be too friendly to every Expat.  Right now I am in close regular contact with 4 Expats in Thailand (and several others now and then), and we will catch up with most of them next time we visit - and of course visit the Thai family members and wife's friends.   It takes time and what I found was that through initial emails/chats you can get to know someone, and then when you meet them you both already know each other a bit - and of course if you do get on and are not a jerk (nor them) they will introduce you to their other Expat friends after a while.  Avoid all single Expats - and those that 'party' a lot - look for blokes like yourself - and there are many of us - but we are all trying to avoid the 'troublesome ones'.

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  • 2 months later...

Learn the ways by observation

 Learn the local language 

 after Covid ... attend community events

and don't hang around foreigners drinking

study their Buddhist ways and participate

 

 

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On 5/12/2021 at 9:15 AM, DrDoLittle said:

I'm a middle aged married guy with a child living the dream in Thailand but I cannot seem to make any friends. We have a successful business here and I sometimes meet westerners but none of them seem interested in friendship. 

I dont live in a touristy city as such. Most of the other farang here are 10 to 20 yrs older than me and have wives and their own lives. 

In a way I feel a bit isolated and my main socializing method is skype calls with friends back home. 

Any suggestions for me?

thanks

Are you using the right deodorant or any deodorant?

When I first moved here to Phnom Penh 13 months ago I thought I had a friend, then his guest house was closed.

He was homeless because he had lost his passport and could not book in anywhere without it.

I used my passport to book him into a place. Ten days later they called me because he was behind in his rent. He told me a friend from back home was sending him money by Western Union and he had applied for a new passport.

I would not pay the guest house  the money he owed and advised the guest house to wait.

He received his monthly pension and all was well No more was said about any Western Union money arriving, or passport. I had always bought him more drinks than he bought me, but did not mind. Beer is fifty cents a glass here, and there is a place that now charges 25 cents.

I stopped buying him beer and didn't see much of him after that. He now ignores me. That's alright a friend in need is a pain. I have other friends now.

He has no passport, and consequently no visa. One day they will catch him.

So the point of this story is: find yourself a drunk, buy him beer and he will be your friend for life. lol

 

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On 5/12/2021 at 3:15 PM, DrDoLittle said:

I'm a middle aged married guy with a child living the dream in Thailand but I cannot seem to make any friends. We have a successful business here and I sometimes meet westerners but none of them seem interested in friendship. 

I dont live in a touristy city as such. Most of the other farang here are 10 to 20 yrs older than me and have wives and their own lives. 

In a way I feel a bit isolated and my main socializing method is skype calls with friends back home. 

Any suggestions for me?

thanks

What about your wife does she make friends with anybody  ?

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On 5/12/2021 at 9:15 AM, DrDoLittle said:

Any suggestions for me?

You didn't mention what your business is, but does it make you an expert in some skill that other people would be interested in?

A good way to meet other focused people is to hold a monthly or fortnightly meetup teaching aspects of that skill to others. Sharing knowledge is both satisfying and a way to hone your own understanding of what you do. It can also drive more business to you.

Alternatively, you could hold a more generally-themed meetup, such as an entrepreneurs meetup.

Organizing a meetup is easy in Thailand. You can generally hire an upstairs room in a cafe for a small amount, or sometimes they will waive the fee entirely if your group spends a certain minimum amount on coffees. It is important that it be a central, easy-to-find location. Don't schedule it on the same evening as any other big expat events in your city, or on a Friday or Saturday night.

Then you post an event notice to the various Facebook groups covering your city. Make it clear that each attendee must contribute a small amount towards the cost or buy a drink (depending on your deal with the cafe).

Each meetup should have a specific theme that you highlight in the event notice. Either you or someone else should give a short talk or demonstration on that subject. The rest of the meeting will wind up being a discussion that you should guide. Ask everyone present to talk a little about who they are and what they are doing in Thailand.

Most of the those attending will be there because they want to meet others, but it does a good job of filtering out the wasters, loonies, and hustlers that are the curse of expat life. The meeting should last around two hours but the majority will probably adjourn to a pub afterwards.

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Hi drDoLittle, thanks to InterNations, I met many nice people, some of them are now my friends. So my suggestion is to join InterNations.

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Just now, Ena said:

Hi drDoLittle, thanks to InterNations, I met many nice people, some of them are now my friends. So my suggestion is to join InterNations.

Or "Tinder"!!!!

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I feel like most expats in Thailand make poor friends, most of them have issues.  Count your blessings that you aren't being approached by these people, as they usually have an angle or side hustle going on.  There is a reason so many expats avoid each other like the plague.

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DrDoLittle - there has been a good few responses from your post regarding making friends yet you have not responded to any of them or for that matter posted anything else since. So what conclusion should we draw from that do you think ? Could it be just a "throw-away" post by you to generate some cross debate or could it be an illustration that you have no friends, nor deserve any, as you never reply to anybody when they talk or help you ?

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1 hour ago, gummy said:

DrDoLittle - there has been a good few responses from your post regarding making friends yet you have not responded to any of them or for that matter posted anything else since. So what conclusion should we draw from that do you think ? Could it be just a "throw-away" post by you to generate some cross debate or could it be an illustration that you have no friends, nor deserve any, as you never reply to anybody when they talk or help you ?

Thanks @gummy for that 'in your face' response to @DrDoLittle

I am sure you did not mean it negative or to belittle him, but a brutal calling-out is often the only way to make people reflect on the conditions they find themselves in and which make them unhappy (the Law of Attraction at work here).

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6 minutes ago, BlueSphinx said:

Thanks @gummy for that 'in your face' response to @DrDoLittle

I am sure you did not mean it negative or to belittle him, but a brutal calling-out is often the only way to make people reflect on the conditions they find themselves in and which make them unhappy (the Law of Attraction at work here).

Actually I was not trying to belittle him. It is just that I was brought up to consider that it is rude not to respond to a question or help that may be directed towards you, and he asked for help and received that plus some questions, that's all.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, TiT said:

I feel like most expats in Thailand make poor friends, most of them have issues.  Count your blessings that you aren't being approached by these people, as they usually have an angle or side hustle going on.  There is a reason so many expats avoid each other like the plague.

I have found this to be true, as well.  And many Thais don't understand, "Why aren't you friend with John.  You are both farang."

I politely point out that I wouldn't be friends with John in my home country, so why should do so  just because I am in another country?

Where I live there aren't a lot of farang.  I see them, one at a time, very infrequently at stores and the like.  In the last 3 years, I think I've seen three.

Edited by MrStretch
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9 hours ago, TiT said:

I feel like most expats in Thailand make poor friends, most of them have issues.  Count your blessings that you aren't being approached by these people, as they usually have an angle or side hustle going on.  There is a reason so many expats avoid each other like the plague.

Disagree with you, i have a few friends some of them i have been friends with now for over 14 years.

Not one of my genuine friends in your words have issues, the ones with issues were dumped many years ago.

Now me being confined at home, i have two good friends who visit me regularly, never have an angle.

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I think if a person has an issue only attracting sketchos as mates, they may be the issue in the equation. ?

I've a handful of fellow foreigners that I chat with regularly and all based on identical hobbies/careers, granted I haven't seen any of them in many weeks due to the constant ongoing "situation" in LOS. I guess if it weren't for those hobbies, then yeah I'd probably not associate with anyone outside of the Thai people in my immediate family.  Same as anywhere else I've lived, if they're not into the same hobbies/field that I am, then I've no reason to be well associated with them. 

 

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I, like a lot of foreigners here, do not make friends easily with other foreigners either. For a couple reasons.

One is, too many broke moochers and scammers. Despite what people type in the Immigration forums (all the time) there are a whole lot of foreigners here that are skint and would love nothing better than to see your money in their pocket. Or paying their bill at least.

I found a lot of them to be racist pricks as well who seem to think the locals should be grovelling before them in gratitude for the crumbs on the table and the miserly tip left (if any is left at all).

Many have no interest in doing anything besides sitting in their favourite bar, drinking beer and watching footballs matches on the TV. (And griping about any and everything.)

To find some friends, you need to figure out what you like doing and then do it and meet others who like the same thing.
For example, maybe you like remote control (RC) cars and such. Find a store that sells those things and look online for any "RC clubs". Even if they are Thai, there will probably be some foreigners, or some Thais that speak English.

Most of my friends (Thai and foreign) are the result of riding Harley's over here. Meet someone at an event (like the Burapa Bike Week), meet some of their friends, go for a ride here and there, meet some other people from other clubs and pretty soon you've got all kinds of friends. 
And usually of the kind that isn't looking at you like a potential lottery win.

Not long ago on that "other" forum, someone was looking for backgammon players. I suggested he create an "event" post to arrange a casual get together of people that play. (No idea how that worked out.)
The idea being, you set something up, maybe some people show up, maybe it takes a couple months or more for the word to get around and who knows, maybe in a year you find you've got all sorts of friends (and friends of friends and so on). 

All of the people I hang out with know are actually "friends of friends" and "friends of the friends of friends" type. Some are married, some are single. Some drink, some like to work out (gym), some are single, some are married with children.
But we all like to ride Harleys (and other bikes now and then) and ride around the country and go camping and visit various places (temples, natural attractions, bike events, etc.)

Oh, and eat ! A lot of eating. Like only sitting 4 people at a table meant for 6 because you need the extra room for all the plates and bowls of food and then sit there until it's all gone.

Oh, and of course there's the usual "go to the Expat Club meetings" bit. There are a couple of different Expat clubs in Pattaya. 
Go to a meeting or two and you're sure to meet some people.

Just watch out for the moochers, gripers and racist pricks.

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14 minutes ago, kerryd said:

I, like a lot of foreigners here, do not make friends easily with other foreigners either. For a couple reasons.

One is, too many broke moochers and scammers. Despite what people type in the Immigration forums (all the time) there are a whole lot of foreigners here that are skint and would love nothing better than to see your money in their pocket. Or paying their bill at least.

I found a lot of them to be racist pricks as well who seem to think the locals should be grovelling before them in gratitude for the crumbs on the table and the miserly tip left (if any is left at all).

Many have no interest in doing anything besides sitting in their favourite bar, drinking beer and watching footballs matches on the TV. (And griping about any and everything.)

To find some friends, you need to figure out what you like doing and then do it and meet others who like the same thing.
For example, maybe you like remote control (RC) cars and such. Find a store that sells those things and look online for any "RC clubs". Even if they are Thai, there will probably be some foreigners, or some Thais that speak English.

Most of my friends (Thai and foreign) are the result of riding Harley's over here. Meet someone at an event (like the Burapa Bike Week), meet some of their friends, go for a ride here and there, meet some other people from other clubs and pretty soon you've got all kinds of friends. 
And usually of the kind that isn't looking at you like a potential lottery win.

Not long ago on that "other" forum, someone was looking for backgammon players. I suggested he create an "event" post to arrange a casual get together of people that play. (No idea how that worked out.)
The idea being, you set something up, maybe some people show up, maybe it takes a couple months or more for the word to get around and who knows, maybe in a year you find you've got all sorts of friends (and friends of friends and so on). 

All of the people I hang out with know are actually "friends of friends" and "friends of the friends of friends" type. Some are married, some are single. Some drink, some like to work out (gym), some are single, some are married with children.
But we all like to ride Harleys (and other bikes now and then) and ride around the country and go camping and visit various places (temples, natural attractions, bike events, etc.)

Oh, and eat ! A lot of eating. Like only sitting 4 people at a table meant for 6 because you need the extra room for all the plates and bowls of food and then sit there until it's all gone.

Oh, and of course there's the usual "go to the Expat Club meetings" bit. There are a couple of different Expat clubs in Pattaya. 
Go to a meeting or two and you're sure to meet some people.

Just watch out for the moochers, gripers and racist pricks.

Don't forget the self entitled plonkers who consider themselves holier than though yet would never spend 1 day in a poor Thai village trying to understand what life is really like. I found over the years here that those that spout off about helping Thais are the worst in self publicity, comfortable in their ivory towers, insulated against realty , and it is their own interests they are trying to promote, not help the genuine, kind, Thai people in this country whose people need help.

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20 hours ago, colinneil said:

Now me being confined at home, i have two good friends who visit me regularly, never have an angle.

Key word here being two.  I didn't say good people don't exist, but they certainly aren't in the majority.

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4 minutes ago, TiT said:

Key word here being two.  I didn't say good people don't exist, but they certainly aren't in the majority.

Sorry you completely misread my post, i said i have friends who dont have angles, and two friends who visit me regularly.

Does not mean what you are trying to imply, other friends live too far away to visit regularly.

One friend helped me when i had problems here with the police, also travelled over 240 ks to visit me in hospital after my accident.

He travelled from Buriram to Naklua Naklua to Banphai to bring me my mobility scooter, what was his angle?

No angle just doing a good deed to help a friend.

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Posted (edited)

I am the only expat in my small village outside of nakhon ratchasima been here over 4 yrs just with my Thai family father,mother,stepson,aunts,uncles,their family members and my Thai partner Nina, they are my friends now.I lived in Pattaya before that, and in my condo expats were just drinkers,smokers  [ nothing against drinkers or smokers]  and sex crazed idiots who you did not want to introduce to your wife or girlfriend coz they had one thing on their minds,so i stayed clear of them.I am lucky,before i was working in Guernsey u.k and lived on my boat for 12yrs alone,so i am used to taking care of myself.I am also very lucky to have a big Thai family around me who accept me as family.I have one German friend who drops in now and again for a beer and i never go to bars or clubs not even when i lived in Pattaya, i did my own thing.I do drink but only indoors,i find drinking outside a bit on the iffy side more so if your on your own.I am easy going,i like conversation,football,snooker,traveling,pink floyd,motorcycles,kayaking,d.i.y,home brewing, i think my age now has slowed me down from the party animal i was in my early years of motorcycles,booze,women and sex ? I really have no problems with how people live their lives or how they live it but i agree you have to be careful who you mix with, don't fall into bad company, it's everyone's choice but i am happy enough where i am.?

Edited by stuhan
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2 hours ago, stuhan said:

I am the only expat in my small village outside of nakhon ratchasima been here over 4 yrs just with my Thai family father,mother,stepson,aunts,uncles,their family members and my Thai partner Nina, they are my friends now.

I was in similar circumstances in my village. I am still a novice when it comes to the Thai Language despite learning some of the Bangkok version when on Phuket and was steadily improving apart from getting the tonal use! I still can't seem to hear the difference sometimes. However the village uses a strong Issan influence with different words. Even my Thai wife struggled at times to understand as she had used the Bangkok version in Phuket. Luckily, a retired Thai teacher living next door kindly helped with my skills. 

It was him who helped me recall the old lessons about communication. How the words and how you say them are only part of how a message is translated. I started to include walks around the village as part of my daily exercise routine. I helped with village tasks, kept my opinions to myself, smiled and laughed. I learnt how to respect the strong Buddhist beliefs in the village even attending Temple, though my understanding overall of the religion is still poor. 

I started noticing the villagers acknowledging me more rather than just ignoring me. Some even started to use their basic English to try and speak and we would have a laugh at our attempts at language exchange. Have I made Thai friends? Not as yet. We are still travelling down the road to true friendship. 

 

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