Help! I've become an embittered, anti-social foreigner

I’ve had whities come up to me and ask me if I speak English.

I usually just say “Nyet” and shoot them in the back of their knees.

I’m afraid to talk to people. :blush:

It took a lot of courage for me to make that move at McDonald’s. :neutral:

Guess I’ll just keep to myself from now on. :cry:

Should be dead in three or four decades anyway. :frowning:

If anyone tries to talk to me, I’ll be right friendly, you can bet on that. :neutral:

I’ll be their best friend for life and never leave them alone.

wait…you really walked up to a stranger and squashed their food and expected friendship?



Sure: It helps break the ice. :smiley:

Actually, with more than 180 members, about half of which are local, I’d say a lot of good friendships have been made.


[quote=“rocky raccoon”]I feel for ya. Friendships in Taiwan…sometimes I feel like we all hold back a little bit because we know that for the most part things will be temporary. On one hand I envy my high school friends who have stuck together and have a close bond that has formed over the years, on the other hand perhaps the depth of experience we have over here is greater.
The idea of new friends is always exciting. It’s hard in Taiwan though because we work so late on the weeknights and follow a routine on the weekends.[/quote]

yeah - it is totally difficult to compare ‘would/could have beens’ - I wonder if I have matured differently because of the situation. To be honest I’ve often not found much in common with people. At school I pretty much left people to their devices until I got older and we started to make proper friendships. If I compare myself now to the people I knew back in my hometown, or other places - ones social circle was confined to the people you worked or studied with family or friends of family. Now I guess I have fewer than one quarter of those potential ‘friendship pools.’ I suppose I necessarily have fewer friends, especially ones to hang out with. It is frustrating because I can’t become interested in football. I am interested in things like certain kinds of music and such, other stuff, but I can not find others who are the same. Actually that is not true. I like x kind of music. There is a group of people who I have met here who also like x kind of music. There - we have something in common. Do I want to hang out with them? Not really because I think I am growing out of that culture… growing up anyway???

I heard this is what Toy Story 3 is about…

[quote=“divea”] People are busy and are mostly afraid of making friendships and bonding one on one. Nobody minds a little small talk and chit chat, but you try and develop any kind of relationship and WHAM, they pull back.

That’s life today, that’s why am looking forward to going back home, reconnecting with my friends who really still meet regularly despite the fact they have families now, and go to each other’s homes and an invitation to tea doesn’t mean ‘let’s hook up and screw the brains off each other’. Invites are exchanged and well polite social rules are observed. With being a waiguoren, you really are free of all social responsibilities and the flip side is, no socialising.[/quote]

Yeah - the more I travel around (or is it the more I grow up?) I start to appreciate how long it takes to build a life. Friendships take ages to build. And with people I can even chat with being so hard to come across, it’s gutting when you are not in the right frame of mind to let new things just be in your life (let alone welcoming them in). I had to cut it off. I found myself acting mechanically.

Regarding the ‘life back home’ thing. People are settled into their lives there, too. Their homes and their homies are their life. They are like what I found myself being - locked into a routine. Even when there are new people - it is weird breaking into new circles. And circles are usually tight at a price - the price of a clique is usually too high IMHO. I always find it uncomfortable to be part of a clique but usually not quite sure of myself to operate without feeling estranged. A meeting of minds and natures is something special though. Rare anywhere but here, now?

I suppose friends who are not as self critical carry on in their own way and have and lose friends. They are also locked into their routines. I guess one can have security in ones self and still be open enough for new things. I guess one just need to make a routine something to be ‘proud’ of - something good, healthy…

Will do. :bow:

That’s a legitimate question. You’re from England, aren’t you? It’s well know that the English can’t speak a word of English.

That’s a legitimate question. You’re from England, aren’t you? It’s well know that the English can’t speak a word of English.[/quote]

I have days where I blank other foreigners and days where other foreigners blank me - I do it without thinking sometimes, and realize they must think I’m a poes for doing it. I think that of other foreigners if they blank me, but whatever.

I’m certainly more jaded than when I arrived in Asia eight years ago - I was an innocent young camper then, even though I’d already cut my teeth in the UK and Israel.

I was off to Kenting a week after arriving in early '03, pulling into a blonde Australian bint on my second day… anyways, back to point - being happy and on form is a conscious choice, it don’t just fall into your lap, innit?


I was walking home from the 7/11 last night when (surprise!) a couple of young and optimistic but friendly and unpretentious - in short, 2 decent people - stopped their bikes to have a chat. They were not mormons. [/quote]

Mormons. Don’t knock them. There was a time in Taiwan when I was so desperate for any kind of human interaction that mormons were quite a welcome sight ! The few I did meet never tried to convert me, which is just as well because I’m an atheist. And I did get a friendly conversation which actually made my day. Maybe they were as desperate as me for a decent chat.

Anyway, don’t give yourself a hard time about it. As long as you didn’t give these folks a derisive scowl or cross the street to avoid them then you’re still doing better than most of your fellow foreigners in TW. Try to be positive even when those around you are negative- it’s not easy but you might just make someone else’s day.

I guess it’s fashionable these days to hate on hippies, but yall know in yer bones that they’re right.

Love’s the answer, my friend. If yer dodgin’ could be friends, it’s probably because you don’t have enough love in your life.

Make sure you have somebody to love - and that you get enough of the love you need - and even age’ll fall by the wayside, bro. Age and happiness ain’t related that way.


Those are the most beautiful two cents I’ve ever heard. :cry:

Let’s all dance together in the meadow and sing our sweet little hearts out.

:discodance: :discodance: :discodance: :discodance: :discodance: :discodance:

Now, who wants to be my friend? :stuck_out_tongue:

Flike= Forumosa’s foremost feelgood philosopher

[quote=“citizen k”]One of the things a lot of guys like about our hockey league is that as soon as they arrive, they have a group of people with whom they share something in common instantly. I’ve had a lot of guys thank me to say that the league has made their lives in Taiwan better and that they probably would not have stayed as long as they have had it not been, at least partly, for that. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration I’m sure, but for a lot of them, they arrive f.o.b., join the league and instantly have 20 or 30 friends.

Exactly! :thumbsup: Plus, after you guys, every other friend they make in Taiwan is a step up!

[quote=“trubadour”]I am not ‘lonely’ but I could do with some new friends, especially ones outside of work… Why did I just walk away? Why has it happened to me, too. I used to get it when I was younger/newer from the older/older crowd. I used to think it was so sad - If you approached one, they often seemed to uptight and bitter, so isolated and beaten down (espcially in S. Korea). But now it’s happened to me! :doh:
If I were a doctor or a physician seeking to heal myself, I’d perscribe a social activity and some chill pills - no more drinking… The cause, I think, is that pretty much all my social interation is with colleauges to whom the right attitude is one of sarcasm and a sallow face. Does this mean I have to enroll in another expensive language course?! Damn!

What are your diagnoses/remedies?[/quote]
Yeah, start to have some hobbies that involve other people. Especially those that are sports.
Taiwan is a tough place to make friends for various reasons but it is possible.
Besides real friends are always hard to find and imho one should concentrate to get the things that money can’t buy you.
Suppose you aren’t married and with kids yet.

Sports and hobbies are good. Whatever they are. Increasing social interaction helps a lot. Just finding a joint (not a pub necessarily) near your house and becoming a local goes a long way. Become a face in the 'hood. Soon people will be shouting out your name and you’ll be enjoying it.

The reason I say this is because I hang out at this new little ice cream shop near my house, and I get to meet the whole 'hood, plus all the tourists visiting.