Meeting people, socialise, friends... where to start?

Hi, I’m new in the forum and just arrived to Taiwan several weeks ago. I still have no friends here so I’d like to have recommendations on the right places to start searching for opportunities for meeting people and socializing.

I’m Spanish in my early 30s (hopefully not too old to make friends easily). Easygoing and friendly person, came to Taipei to work on Science & Technology. I’m learning a little bit of Chinese but still very beginner level. Things I enjoy include eating out, going hiking and anything nature related, cultural places and sightseeing, and of course travel around! Not a big fan of drinking but having a beer or two in a nice and quiet setting is okay; not a nightlife and nightclub person at all, I prefer more relaxed plans :slight_smile:
Happy to meet both locals and foreigners alike.
Thanks.

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Forgot to add I also enjoy video games, board games and similar. Haven’t tried karaoke yet but I wouldn’t mind!

You here to make friends or find a girlfriend?

My response depends on which one you are prioritizing.

Just to make sure, you are a male, right?

Im talking about making friends, nothing about couple/intimate relationships. Is this the wrong channel?

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Have a look at Meetup. There are also some hiking groups there

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I know some people who play dnd and board games. I also know girls who are actively on the hunt. I didn’t know where to point you to, since those two groups most definitely do not overlap.

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Start right here in Forumosa! We are the only friends you will ever need. Download the app and start hangin’ with the Forumosatons.

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Wow is there an app? I searched in the App Store (apple) and couldn’t find it

That’s a tough one. Do you want to make friends with locals or lock yourself into the foreigner bubble forever, never learn Chinese beyond the basics, eventually marry a Taiwanese woman and rely on her for almost everything? Or maybe something in between?

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Let’s say both, but slightly more interested in befriending locals as I’d like to practice and keep learning some Chinese and also embrace the local culture which I already like (I came to Taiwan for a trip in 2015 and loved it)

You like the culture as observed from the role of a tourist. Just wait until you’ve been here for more than a year and you’ll see why people in this forum are so jaded.

Most Taiwanese people don’t seem very open to allowing “foreigners” to speak Chinese or get too close. We are and always will be foreigners. You can’t mingle with locals on their forums (Dcard, PTT), you can’t register for certain things because the ARC format is different from the citizen id format (which I heard is changing but I don’t know). And no matter how long you live here and how fluent your Chinese gets, there will always be Taiwanese people who will speak English to your foreign face because it’s foreign.

The majority seem to prefer that you speak your own language (which is English even if English isn’t your native language) and fit the foreigner stereotype. You’ll more than likely run into people who want to be your friend so they can improve their English. They’ll speak English with you 100% of the time, if you try to speak Chinese they’ll just shift the conversation back to English “because it’s easier” or if it’s chatting online “because typing English is faster”.

If you work, you’re basically on an eternal
business trip.

Anyway, good luck. Lol.

Well, that’s a slightly daring assumption as you do not know my own circumstances. Let me tell you I visited Taiwan for several months in a university exchange visit, and have also been quite a few months in several parts of HK and mainland China. I can confidently say I like the culture beyond the mere vantage point of a tourist :slight_smile:

Anyway, I see a slightly pessimistic view, which I absolutely respect but I cannot agree with at least in general terms. Surely, many Taiwanese specially older ones will refuse to engage in Chinese communications with a foreigner as you correctly pointed out, but I’m also optimistic there will be some others willing to inmenrse into a whole bidirectional cultural exchange along with the chance to make friends.

My original question was about suggestions for likely channels like Meetup or other groups to easily find the latter kind of people, rather than asking for a rather not-so-optimistic jaded description of the state of affairs :wink:

Anyway, thank you and good luck too!

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I find my closest friends prefer me speak Chinese and sometimes other locals do not know I speak Chinese but once they know will speak Chinese. Yes, some people will speak to me in English or Japanese but the people you know will speak to me in Chinese unless I do not understand (and tell me my Chinese should be better. One note on the fun side, when it’s like my birthday, the office will speak Taiwanese to hide the surprise (the younger staff in 20’s and older 50+ use Taiwanese more, the middle age ones less I found in my office).

As a side note on language, I find many people are really not used non local accents as far Chinese-Mandarin. Example a Hong Kong Chinese may speak Mandarin and many have trouble to understand or tell me it’s hard to understand. I think it’s result less exposure to non locals, vs. English where there are so many differnent sounds from India to the States to the Aussie versions.

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that is different from my experiences. They, local strangers, seem more happy when I use Mandarin.

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I’m about 90% mandarin in the workplace and it’s been that way since the beginning. Outside almost 100% mandarin. And I’m fine speaking English if that’s what any person prefers. No big battle like the way I was years ago in Korea.

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I felt this way when I was younger and first moved here. In the beginning you get frustrated because you’re trying to learn and the locals insist on speaking English. Eventually though once your Chinese is somewhat fluent you’ll be better at Chinese than 90% of the locals’ English. Once they realize that they give up quickly, and you’ll stop caring about it so much or at least I did.

This is in stark contrast to my experiences in Latin America in places like Brazil where I immediately felt part of the group. The locals were more than patient with a foreigner speaking their language and speaking English wasn’t a status thing used to show off in front of friends.

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ain’t that the truth

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Find an activity that you like doing, and consistently do it. Meet people through that. Then meet their friends, and their friends, etc. etc. The activity doesn’t matter so much as going to it consistently - you can find meetup groups for sports, hiking, board games, video games; or you can do something like go to a local gym every week. I met (almost) my entire current friend group through one friend that I made at a sports meetup when I first arrived. :2cents:

All the stuff about being a foreigner, learning Mandarin, etc. comes with time. Reading through this thread, just remember this:

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Someone mentioned meetup.com and I agree. You can search by area and interest. I see hiking and gaming groups all the time and language exchange activities as well (that are actually language exchange meetups).

I’ve found locals and foreigners who share my interest in geocaching and mahjong through my job, but meetup is a good alternative if you don’t have any contacts.

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