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Thread: Making friends

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    Senior Member kris-one's Avatar
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    Making friends

    How easy have you expats found it to make real long term friendships with others in LOS. Not acquaintances but real friends.
    No offence but Thailand and Asia in general does seem to attract lots of undesirables - those on the run, scammers, bullshitters and the odd undercover secret service agent I would imagine it's quite hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.
    I ask because just found out a guy i met in Phuket a few years back who seemed completely legit just did a runner owing another expat a few k GBP. Totally didn't see that coming and got me thinking it got to be difficult and something that should be considered before moving there perhaps...




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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Agree, it's a lot of scams around. I got burned for 30K from an Aussie expat in Patong. Lesson learnt, and after 10 years living here it's just a handful people I would trust with money. (talking real money, not 5K-ish Baht).
    At the same time I feel I have enough friends, even some of them are more considered as drinking buddies.
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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    Much more buddies than real friends. To me, real friends are built over the course of years. Agreed, SE Asia does attract a colorful crowd at times. Last time in PP I met a 70+ American who had helped out a young guy (early 20's) who had been staying in his hotel that supposedly was having passport issues and couldnt get money sent to him. Old guy paid off the kids room debt ($500+) and gave him $100 to eat on. Kid disappeared the next morning and only then did the mgr tell the old guy that the kid had been around PP for 6 months, being forced out of one hotel after another, he had long overstayed his visa and his passport had been confiscated by a motorbike shop nearby when he couldnt return the bike he rented... he'd sold it, supposedly.

    Anyway, my thought is trust very slowly. I've been talking now for a few years with a few of the guys on this forum. I pretty much trust them. But one does need to be very careful in this neck of the woods.

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    I met a few nice guys here but nothing more than acquaintances..

    I would never lend money to anyone, did it once at home for a very close friend and it turned into a struggle to get the money back (around 1000$) so I learned my lesson. By the way I've never been hit with a loan request since I moved here so I guess the secret is to select people you hang out with well 555

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    Senior Member Dodger's Avatar
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    Depends how we define friend?? under my own definition, yes I have a lot of friends here, made exactly the same way you do at home.
    Custard should be a colour...cos I could then paint over the mess I've just made!!!

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    Senior Member WarProfiteer's Avatar
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    One of my yardsticks for measuring friends Vs acquaintances is that friends help you, acquaintances arent willing to and often make excuses.

    I will never forget the one and only "real" accident I had here... washed out the nose of my PCX in Phuket when I came over the hill to find a line of traffic at a stand still. Still my fault, going to fast and panic-brake occurred... point is, Nels was at the beach and Bernie/Dodger was probably busy with business, but both droipped what they were doing to come get my mangled bike and bloody self off the hill. I am deeply indebted to both for that. In my book, these are the acts that separate friends from drinking buddies.
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    Senior Member kris-one's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodger View Post
    Depends how we define friend?? under my own definition, yes I have a lot of friends here, made exactly the same way you do at home.
    Sure, it's hard to define. But for me it's just that feeling you have, when you know you would drop what you were doing to go and help out a buddy in need and you know they would do that exact same thing. Probably that extends to the lending of money, too. But I would never and have never asked my close friends for money as I wouldn't want to put them in that awkward situation - it's that mutual respect and understanding thing with real friendship.

    What's yours??




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    Senior Member sundancekid's Avatar
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    Defining friendship would be a bit like defining love I guess. There’s just something “there”. Trust? Sure that has to be part of it, and also coming to your aid when there’s nothing to gain personally. But that can be attributed to a general sense of empathy as well.

    After years in Thailand, I would say I have only two real friends here, both falangs. Interestingly, they are completely different from me in terms interests, ideology, social competency etc. etc. But for me, someone you can easily open up to and reveal your weaknesses, argue fiercely with and even cursing at without it putting so much as a dent in the friendship. As well as a common sense of humor to bind it all together.

    One of them paid my very first barfine in Thailand in 1998, so I guess I’m indebted as well.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundancekid View Post
    Defining friendship would be a bit like defining love I guess. There’s just something “there”. Trust? Sure that has to be part of it, and also coming to your aid when there’s nothing to gain personally. But that can be attributed to a general sense of empathy as well.

    After years in Thailand, I would say I have only two real friends here, both falangs. Interestingly, they are completely different from me in terms interests, ideology, social competency etc. etc. But for me, someone you can easily open up to and reveal your weaknesses, argue fiercely with and even cursing at without it putting so much as a dent in the friendship. As well as a common sense of humor to bind it all together.

    One of them paid my very first barfine in Thailand in 1998, so I guess I’m indebted as well.
    from what i have seen, the local expat crew look out for each
    people like Dodger and Dean will help even people they just met
    so even if they aren't close friends they still go out of their way to help

    i think the appeal of moving to somewhere like Thailand is you sort of start that new process of making new friends
    now they may not be as close as your "real friends" back home but it is nice to have the social aspect

    one thing i am finding in Vancouver is it is hard to make new friends at my age outside of work
    i think a set up like Thai expats make that easier

    one mark of a friend, i measure it by, is you can just hang out without doing anything
    i miss that with my friends from back home
    the one expat i found that with was Nelson
    very easy guy to just hang at the beach, pool or take a movie in with
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris-one View Post
    Sure, it's hard to define. But for me it's just that feeling you have, when you know you would drop what you were doing to go and help out a buddy in need and you know they would do that exact same thing. Probably that extends to the lending of money, too. But I would never and have never asked my close friends for money as I wouldn't want to put them in that awkward situation - it's that mutual respect and understanding thing with real friendship.

    What's yours??
    It's not always a 2 way street. Just by your own good nature you may be more willing to help a new friend/aquaintance as opposed to them you. I've come across many people who I've sized up their reciprocative willingness to help. Let's just say as you get older you tend to weed out the phonies much faster than when you are young. I have to say I consider myself fortunate in finding Phulet Info first. I've met so many great guys that are genuine.

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    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
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    I think the PI board and MTB helped us all tremendously with this....we had a chance to meet in person in the bar when on holidays and to continue that friendship on the board....

    i will say in all honesty that I probably would have ended up in Spain rather than LoS if I hadn't have befriended so many guys via the PI/MTB axis

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kris-one View Post
    Sure, it's hard to define. But for me it's just that feeling you have, when you know you would drop what you were doing to go and help out a buddy in need and you know they would do that exact same thing. Probably that extends to the lending of money, too.
    Agreed.. I have very few people I would consider real friends.. For a real friend you hear they are in trouble, you drop everything and fly round the world to bail them out (or bribe them out).. Lots of casual acquaintances.. Few friends.

    I certainly dont consider people who do some work for me, or have a chat at the store in the category. Thats simply pleasant people. Ask them to go out of thier way, or in some way suffer to assist you, then you see how much the friendship is worth.

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    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
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    my friends here in Vancouver are great people
    but we are more appointment friends, see each other to do something

    my friends from back home, i can just stop by their house and do nothing but sit at the kitchen table

    Matt Damon said something in an interview in latest Esquire
    he is moving to LA and he said part of the reason is because he has friends with kids and their kids don't even know him and he didn't like that
    i thought that was so cool to hear a celebrity speak like that

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    Senior Member slampay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    my friends here in Vancouver are great people
    but we are more appointment friends, see each other to do something

    my friends from back home, i can just stop by their house and do nothing but sit at the kitchen table

    Matt Damon said something in an interview in latest Esquire
    he is moving to LA and he said part of the reason is because he has friends with kids and their kids don't even know him and he didn't like that
    i thought that was so cool to hear a celebrity speak like that
    You Sir, have a man crush on Matt Damon.....
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    K2
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    Can only echo what the other long termers have said .... its an issue for anyone planing on moving to LoS (or out of your back yard/friendship circles back home).

    The pool of potential real friends is somewhat limited and certainly the Forum/MTB helped a lot as has the HHH as over time you get to know who people really are.

    I wish FB had been around when I first came (even better when I live in the US) as moving away does strain friendships and its not easy staying in touch with everybody. Friendships like any relationship take effort from both sides!

    One thing I find very infuriating it that Thai's will assume that because your from (insert country of origin) ...then you will automatically be instant buddies with your fellow countryman ... FFS!! This especially prevalent when you hit the boonies.
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    Senior Member geir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2 View Post

    One thing I find very infuriating it that Thai's will assume that because your from (insert country of origin) ...then you will automatically be instant buddies with your fellow countryman ... FFS!! This especially prevalent when you hit the boonies.
    Yeah, I find that strange too. Guess that is the Thai way, if they're from Issan and meet someone else from the same area they seem to click right away. But on the other side I don't see that many life long friendships between Thais, they seem to bring their drama into their friendships as well as into their relationships.

    For me I have friends from different nationalities, why would I move half way around the world just to hang out with Noggies (or Scandies). That's the main reason why I never went to Phi Phi, Hua Hin/Sha'am and other Scandi dominated destinations.
    Nothing wrong with Scandies, but I like to meet people from all over and learn/share from our different background and experiences.
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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K2 View Post
    One thing I find very infuriating it that Thai's will assume that because your from (insert country of origin) ...then you will automatically be instant buddies with your fellow countryman ... FFS!! This especially prevalent when you hit the boonies.
    ha ha.. Yes, not even the same country often just the "well hes from europe, you must be real close" kind of dealie..

  18. #18
    Yes
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    I find it hard making real friends in LOS,I have a very close circle of friends in Oz for 30 years,people who would stand by each other no matter what.
    Who have seen the worst and the best of each other and accept each other without judgment.I hadn't even wanted or tried to make new friends for a long time.

    When I moved here I found this difficult, being older, not drinking or going to bars( except to watch football) really does not help either.I am also quite a loner.
    I spend a lot of time here with women but miss having a close male friend,just before I left OZ my best mate was murdered.I miss him.

    I meet people here for a casual chat,or go for dinner etc sometimes do things with another couple.

    Real friendships need to grow,they need to be proven by actions not words.

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    Due to the nature of my previous work I spent regular periods interstate and overseas where I met like minded guys (and gals) to whom I wasn't a direct professional competitor ( unlike the many local business acquaintances I had back home).
    I am still in regular contact with some of them - but to catch up on a trip home would be many thousands of kms and days, let alone the international ones.

    Here in Phuket I have a group of good mates and regular acquaintances within a relatively small distance and catch up frequently.

    So, on balance, I have more "friends" here than elsewhere.
    Finding them and "sussing out" the duds was no different from any other country I've lived and worked in.
    Here we have a group of common denominators and no need to "compete" with others.
    Last edited by Evilbaz; 9th August 2013 at 14:55.
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    Senior Member dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    ha ha.. Yes, not even the same country often just the "well hes from europe, you must be real close" kind of dealie..
    That works both ways from the less traveled homebirds, when I was going on my Thailand/Cambodia trip a guy in work was going to Vietnam on business and more than a few people said to me oh you can probably meet up. I tried to explain that it would be like meeting someone in France for lunch if you were in Ireland but I think it fell on deaf ears.

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