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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did you speak the language when you moved abroad? If not how to cope? If so, still difficult to make friend? I don’t think it is a good idea to look for the same people who speak the same language in a different country if you have landed the country to broaden your horizon . but it is hard not to..

It is totally understandable. They herd, share information, help each other because they feel more comfortable with things that are familiar. It would be even more so if you are sent there by your company for six months or a year when you did not wish. But what if you cross the border with burning passions for adventure of walking into the unknown and sucking the marrow, but find yourself struggling to communicate your way in.

I think it’s so easy to compromise and spend more and more time with your people. A funny thing is that those people are not even the type of people you normally hang out with back home but you still do. It is better than feeling isolated.

The more you are on your own the more you learn but tougher and the more at stake to emotionally burn out. The more you huddle the less you learn and miss out one of the most fantastically rewarding experiences, worse and this is more likely you learn little and worst you become ethnocentric.

What do you think about huddling with whom you share the same culture in a different country when you know you are there to learn and broaden your mind? I think one needs to somehow find the balance in between making the best of living overseas and still socialising with the same nationality. After a while you will learn more and gain more skills, eventually you drift away from them, or you might be with them if you will.
 

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Hello!
I am Brian from denmark,and I live in Chiang Rai in Thailand now.I did not know the lanques when I arrive here-but I think it is difficult not to try to learn it bacourse you need to comunicate whit the people you are around-and the woman,if you have this.
I think every day is new experience and new things to learn about this country-and I love it.
I dont think you may be afraid to go to another country becourse,you will learn and if you live whit a woman,you have to learn and you will-realy fast,I think.
So dont worry-go for it!
Brian
 

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Hello Koji,

Where I live there are only four English residents, one whom I have never seen, one whom I am married to and another that lives with a French lady on the other side of the island. Therefore there is not a group of fellow countrymen to mix with.

English is not widely spoken so we have to speak Spanish, we socialise with the people who are natives and the Spanish from mainland Spain. Last night we were with a policeman of Guardia Civil an Air-traffic controller, a ships Pilot and a Schoolteacher.

I must say that I like it this way, I would not now wish to live with a bunch of Ex Pats,

H
 

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I have moved to a country with the same language as the one I left so there are no issues there. I havent met any people from my country here unless in passing. It is a huge country and we have less in common than people think. I see no point in herding with other australians.
 

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Hello!
I am in Thailand and I am from Denmark-and I feel the same way-I dont need the expaxct-fore me they only are a bunc of....I dont know.?
They complain about every thing-the country,the food,the people.the tv.and I dont know why they realy are here in Thailand-when they dont like it-go home and get a life.!!!
Brian
PS.
In my opinion yoy are phatethic and feel sorry fore your selvf-you dont live whit the real thai people and dont wont to-so you spend your time in here complaining about everything-you are so ignorant and only think about your selvf,that it hearts me-I think--why are this people in Thailand, and what are they doing here,when they feel like this.???
Brian
 

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Hello!
I am in Thailand and I am from Denmark-and I feel the same way-I dont need the expaxct-fore me they only are a bunc of....I dont know.?
They complain about every thing-the country,the food,the people.the tv.and I dont know why they realy are here in Thailand-when they dont like it-go home and get a life.!!!
Brian
PS.
In my opinion yoy are phatethic and feel sorry fore your selvf-you dont live whit the real thai people and dont wont to-so you spend your time in here complaining about everything-you are so ignorant and only think about your selvf,that it hearts me-I think--why are this people in Thailand, and what are they doing here,when they feel like this.???
Brian
I dont know who you are referring to, but I dont like the tone of your "PS" We'll put it down to a language difficulty that hasnt come across very nicely

Jo
 

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hello! ok,maby you dont like my tone and so-but it is still rigth that alot of farlangs here dont like the country,the people and the food and so on....And I am still wondering about what they do here when it is so???
And I think that I have the rigth to think so-diddent you.???
Brian
 
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'Some' embittered farangs are like that for sure. And a good many of these expats end up going home if they just can't fit in. Others - especially in the likes of Thailand - couldn't go back even if they wanted to. They can't afford it. They hang around the bars, moaning to like-minded expats... and occasionally on forums such as these.

Some expats naturally gravitate to those of their own culture, make no effort to fit in, and nonetheless see out their lives in complete happiness between beach, bar, English/American breakfast, and their fellows.

Some of us rarely see a fellow countryman, and are perfectly content to spend our lives discovering other cultures and mixing with the locals. We'll never fit in completely, but it's fun trying. And the harder you try, the more you realise the differences aren't that great. Even between East and West.

It really does take all sorts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Brian

I was in Thailand and I saw many couples of a Thai girl and a guy looking much much much older. Is that what you are referring to? I don’t know how much you can learn that way if anything. I also found that especially in Bangkok, tourists are pretty rude to Thai people. I know they are very accustomed to tourists and almost blasé sometimes tho, a lot of tourists act arrogantly.

There are people who have to complain all the time that make you wonder why they bothered to come at all. Some even seem to be capable of complaining about driving on the wrong side of the road from back home. I would say to waste no time hanging out with those haters.

also better to keep your mind open so you can see what you are not expecting.

An island off mainland Spain, what a great place it sounds like that you live! I agree I am not keen on hanging out with a bunch of expats. It’s easier said than done I admit. When I backpack and it is not easy to make local friends instead I make friends with other backpackers from many countries at backpackers. But whether backpacking through a country or settling in a country for a long period of time, I make a point that I don’t fall victim to spending too much time with people from the same country as me. because I miss out so much and it defeats the purpose. It is really tough and insanely frustrating not to be able to express oneself and that can cause loneliness. but still one has to go through.
 

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@Brian

An island off mainland Spain, what a great place it sounds like that you live! I agree I am not keen on hanging out with a bunch of expats. .
Koji,

The island where I live is in the Atlantic, about 300 miles off the coast of Africa and 900 miles south west of Spain. It is in the Canarian Archipelago which belongs to Spain,

H
 

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Hello!
You are so rigth-what I mean is that there is alot of farangs who seams to dislike this place and the Thai people and everything here-and I dont get it-why are they here then??
I had a freind-he is no longer my freind becourse it stop when I saw how he treated hes woman-he make a litle room fore her,where she must sit and look Thai tv. and listen Thai music,becourse he dont like it-and it is hers house-she had over 5 million when they meet-now she is totaly broke.
It is so sad,I think.
Brian
 

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Unfortunately a lot of "expats" (for want of a better word) have not left nor will leave the country from where they started. They find it absolutely necessary to live in little enclaves of their fellow countrymen. I, too, wonder why they didn't stay where they were (OK in Spain, the answer is usually the weather, the beer/bars and the beaches). We often have to go on translating jobs for them where they are mostly complaining that they didn't get what they thought they were going to get in the first place (e.g. the property, the facilities, or the locals are not what/whom they expected) and this is usually because they were too stupid/arrogant/mean to get themselves a qualified translator/interpreter when they were buying into a foreign lifestyle.

This type usually sit around in bars moaning about how hard done-by they feel yet do little to help themselves to improve their lot and expect others to do that for them. They make me sick and where ever possible, I stay well away from them!
 

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Complaining Expats

Hello!
You are so rigth-what I mean is that there is alot of farangs who seams to dislike this place and the Thai people and everything here-and I dont get it-why are they here then??
I had a freind-he is no longer my freind becourse it stop when I saw how he treated hes woman-he make a litle room fore her,where she must sit and look Thai tv. and listen Thai music,becourse he dont like it-and it is hers house-she had over 5 million when they meet-now she is totaly broke.
It is so sad,I think.
Brian
The attitude of many expats seems to be the same here in the Philippines also. The vast majority of them come here to play with the girls and for the low cost of living. Once here they spend most of their time complaining about everything from the culture to the food to items that are not available in stores from their home countries.

Some are probably chronic complainers that will never be happy no matter where they are. But most I fear are those that didn’t really do their homework and learn about their new country before moving.

I myself could come up with a list five miles long of things I don’t like about living in the Philippines as well. But to what end?
Its not going to change. There will always be differences from what we as expats are use to.
We all have minimum standards of what we will and will not accept naturally. But most of us moved from our home countries for a different and perhaps more exciting way of life. I myself have been living in the Philippines and married to my lovely wife for over seven years and would never dream of leaving.

As I tell many expats here, this is their country and we are guests here. If they are not happy and can not adjust to life as it is and will always be, there are flights out of here every day. Just get on one and go home…
 
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This is a good topic. I started taking Greek classes 11 years ago in preparation for moving here and only actually moved here in 2009, when I was fully fluent. However, I did take trips of various lengths (lasting from one week to 12 months) over the course of the 10 years that I was "prepping" for my move. Now that I'm here permanently (and engaged to a local), I am fluent in the language and that has made things MUCH easier (and it's less necessary for me to have connections with other Americans / English-speakers). I think the language issue is the biggest one, and that's why I spent so much time learning the language formally and informally before moving. (Greek is one of the hardest languages to learn, so it takes many years - I wasn't actually expecting it to take that long myself.)

I have American friends (who were my friends in the US before I moved here) who also spend a lot of time in Greece (I have a lot in common with my friends - most of my friends have a very strong connection with the country that I'm an expat in), and I love to spend time with them here in Greece. But I have never become involved with the "expat community" as such in Greece (beyond posting on this website) because I find the complaining to be very annoying, and I just like to live my life without constantly comparing things to how they are "in the States". (However I am guilty of doing this myself when I'm in a really bad mood.)

Yes, here too, a lot of the expats that I have met spend a lot of time and energy complaining about everything (bureaucracy, prices, the media, food, availability of certain products, public transportation, etc). I can understand complaining about things like the exchange rate, since that's very variable, but why would you complain about the food (for example) of a country that YOU chose to move to? Wouldn't you want to come here for a few months before MOVING here to make sure you actually LIKE it here? That really irks me and as a result I completely avoid those people.

I have met some "seasonal expats" (who are only in Greece in the summer), who are a lot less complain-y because they are only here for a few months and don't deal with some of the "daily life issues" that the rest of us either complain about or just deal with - and they are a lot more positive and fun to be around, I often find. On the other hand, they are only here for a few months out of the year so I don't see them as often!
 

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The attitude of many expats seems to be the same here in the Philippines also. The vast majority of them come here to play with the girls and for the low cost of living. Once here they spend most of their time complaining about everything from the culture to the food to items that are not available in stores from their home countries.

Some are probably chronic complainers that will never be happy no matter where they are. But most I fear are those that didn’t really do their homework and learn about their new country before moving.

I myself could come up with a list five miles long of things I don’t like about living in the Philippines as well. But to what end?
Its not going to change. There will always be differences from what we as expats are use to.
We all have minimum standards of what we will and will not accept naturally. But most of us moved from our home countries for a different and perhaps more exciting way of life. I myself have been living in the Philippines and married to my lovely wife for over seven years and would never dream of leaving.

As I tell many expats here, this is their country and we are guests here. If they are not happy and can not adjust to life as it is and will always be, there are flights out of here every day. Just get on one and go home…
I agree 100% it is the old story "If you don't like the heat stay out of the kitchen!"
 

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Contact with those at home

This is a good topic. I started taking Greek classes 11 years ago in preparation for moving here and only actually moved here in 2009, when I was fully fluent. However, I did take trips of various lengths (lasting from one week to 12 months) over the course of the 10 years that I was "prepping" for my move. Now that I'm here permanently (and engaged to a local), I am fluent in the language and that has made things MUCH easier (and it's less necessary for me to have connections with other Americans / English-speakers). I think the language issue is the biggest one, and that's why I spent so much time learning the language formally and informally before moving. (Greek is one of the hardest languages to learn, so it takes many years - I wasn't actually expecting it to take that long myself.)

I have American friends (who were my friends in the US before I moved here) who also spend a lot of time in Greece (I have a lot in common with my friends - most of my friends have a very strong connection with the country that I'm an expat in), and I love to spend time with them here in Greece. But I have never become involved with the "expat community" as such in Greece (beyond posting on this website) because I find the complaining to be very annoying, and I just like to live my life without constantly comparing things to how they are "in the States". (However I am guilty of doing this myself when I'm in a really bad mood.)

Yes, here too, a lot of the expats that I have met spend a lot of time and energy complaining about everything (bureaucracy, prices, the media, food, availability of certain products, public transportation, etc). I can understand complaining about things like the exchange rate, since that's very variable, but why would you complain about the food (for example) of a country that YOU chose to move to? Wouldn't you want to come here for a few months before MOVING here to make sure you actually LIKE it here? That really irks me and as a result I completely avoid those people.

I have met some "seasonal expats" (who are only in Greece in the summer), who are a lot less complain-y because they are only here for a few months and don't deal with some of the "daily life issues" that the rest of us either complain about or just deal with - and they are a lot more positive and fun to be around, I often find. On the other hand, they are only here for a few months out of the year so I don't see them as often!
Wow! That’s great learning Greek before actually making the move. After the move, did you notice a difference in what you learned compared with what is actually spoken there?

I guess to complain at times about things that will not change or that we have no control over helps to blow off the steam of occasional frustration. I am guilty of it also at times---as my wife likes to remind me-Hahaha.

I enjoy time spent with expats here from any country at times. Its interesting to hear their stories of how and why they came to live here. But for the most part, I also get tired of the constant complaints from others.

One thing I have noticed also is that the longer I am here the less contact I have with friends I had in the states also. They have their own lives in “credit heaven” and could never understand what prevailed upon me to move let alone stay here.
At the same time, we get busy with life and enjoying it here too. So not much left in common with those left at home any longer.
On top of that, having a girl in 2nd grade is enough to keep me hopping much of the time anyway…
 

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Kitchen Heat

I agree 100% it is the old story "If you don't like the heat stay out of the kitchen!"
Yes, that's quite true. A lot of the problem with the foreigners here is that so many are here only for the girls and nightlife. Not for the country and the culture. They are the ones (I think) that do most of the complaining...
 

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Yes, that's quite true. A lot of the problem with the foreigners here is that so many are here only for the girls and nightlife. Not for the country and the culture. They are the ones (I think) that do most of the complaining...
We tend not to mix actively with expats. We came here for the Spanish people and the Spanish way of life and to be honest, it is great! We have no complaints whatsoever. Of course, we don't sit a bar watching football on a widescreen TV seeing a British team getting beaten so we have even less to moan about!
 

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Sounds like the Los Angeles Dodgers. I got tired of seening them loose so many games and the animals on the the American football field fail to interest me.
So I guess that leaves iced tea and the internet-smile...
 

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Although I admit that expats often have a tendency to sit around and complain about the local conditions, I think in certain cultures, complaints are a usual and completely normal topic of conversation. (Hey, even when the Brits "talk about the weather" it's normally to complain that it's too hot, too cold, too wet, or whatever!)

I developed a theory a long time ago that the human animal had no use for language until they developed something to complain about - and then invented language so they could. It's kind of a natural way to open a conversation, after all. ("Hot enough for you?") People bond over having the same set of complaints.

I often joke that the main reason I took French nationality was so that I'd now have the right to complain about how things work in France. The locals sure complain enough. But when I would criticize a politician, it was considered "complaining." When the locals criticize local politics, it's "discussion." So, I now have the right to "discuss" with the French. (Just have to remember not to compare anything here to how it works in the US - unless, of course, I want to complain about the US, which is acceptable when talking among us Frogs...)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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