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  1. #1
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Essex boys's Avatar
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    Default Foreigners in Thailand

    Hi all, just a conversation starter really.
    on my trips to Thailand I go to shopping malls or Tesco lotus etc, occasionally I will see other 'westerners' I don't know whether they are English or German or American or swedes, but I always say 'hi' or 'hello' or maybe just a nod of the head to acknowledge them, but I never get a response! Some of them just look right through you....anybody else find that? Or is it just me? And why do you think it happens, are they shy of being a westerner and don't want to acknowledge others.....
    looking forward to your replys and experiences.
    many thanks
    essex boys

  2. #2
    Premium Member caller's Avatar
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    Any particular areas you had in mind?

    This reminds me of a members post on the original and now defunct Korat Farang forum. Must be about 2005/6 that a member posted this exact query and the thing was, that at that time, there weren't many other farangs around in Korat, unlike now. So after he made a post about this, the next time I went to the Mall (the only store at that time), I made a point of acknowledging any other farang I saw and got blanked every time!

    In my 18 months living in Korat, I got into conversation with just three other farangs, where we did meet by acknowledging each other, whilst out and about, as opposed to in a bar or something similar.

    One was a Brit who used as I did, fitness first at The Mall, and we regularly chatted when we saw each other, but he worked off-shore so came and went. There were others there but they studiously ignored everyone else, which was the starting point of our conversation.

    The 2nd was a Canadian, who like me, was holding the trolley whilst the other half whizzed around Makro. He was not settled in Korat, but was rather, seeing if it would suit, and he asked me lots of 'where is' and 'how' questions.

    The 3rd was a German Aussie who I bumped into in Tesco in Hua Talay, where I stayed in Korat. I didn't see him approaching me, but he actually came up and said hello and that he hadn't seen me before! We chatted for some time and he was a really interesting guy, German born, but hated Germany and emigrated to Australia, which he loved and it was really the cost of living there, that had seen him move to Thailand with his Thai wife on a permanent basis.

    But generally, I find that there are so many farangs in the area and many of the main centres in Thailand, that there is no surprise in seeing them anywhere now and I doubt many of us acknowledge others in our home Countries.
    'Tis me

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Essex boys's Avatar
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    Hi caller, I'm normally around in khon kaen, nam phong and occasionally granuan.....when I was living and working in California it was much different I found the 'outsiders' would always acknowledge each other, not always stopping for a chat but there was always some sort of acknowledgement. I just find it strange in Thailand, my gf finds it amusing that I say hello to these westerners that then completely ignore me...

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Lonerider's Avatar
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    I have had this in BKK and I have had it in Chum Phae too, a lot of them don't even want to have eye contact either. I had this discussion with owner of a bar in Chun Phae and we put it down to just being plain rude

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    Can't say I've noticed it. However, I don't go out of my way to talk to any other westerners that I see around Pak Chong/Khao Yai any more than I would with a Thai but a nod or hello is often given or received. There's not an awful lot of westerners around but neither are they scarce.

    What I do find strange is that I see far more that I don't know than those that I do. Providing I'm busy and have something to entertain me, I'm fine most of the time but there are occasions and I'm sure I'm not alone here, when I just need to speak English - to understand and be understood without having to repeat things.

    To that end I'm a frequent visitor to my local (15 minutes away) 'farang bar'. It would seem however, that most of the westerners in my area don't have the same need for an occasional chat in English because very few of those I see at Tesco, Makro stores etc. frequent the same bar. As far as I know, and I've been there almost 5 years, there aren't any other farang bars around.

    On the whole though, I don't recall anyone ignoring me - maybe we're a friendlier bunch in Khao Yai .

  6. #6
    Premium Member sisaket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Essex boys View Post
    Hi all, just a conversation starter really.
    on my trips to Thailand I go to shopping malls or Tesco lotus etc, occasionally I will see other 'westerners' I don't know whether they are English or German or American or swedes, but I always say 'hi' or 'hello' or maybe just a nod of the head to acknowledge them, but I never get a response! Some of them just look right through you....anybody else find that? Or is it just me? And why do you think it happens, are they shy of being a westerner and don't want to acknowledge others.....
    looking forward to your replys and experiences.
    many thanks
    essex boys
    Dont wear a WHU shirt
    bangkok mags

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by caller View Post
    In my 18 months living in Korat, I got into conversation with just three other farangs, where we did meet by acknowledging each other, whilst out and about, as opposed to in a bar or something similar.

    One was a Brit who used as I did, fitness first at The Mall, and we regularly chatted when we saw each other, but he worked off-shore so came and went. There were others there but they studiously ignored everyone else, which was the starting point of our conversation.

    The 2nd was a Canadian, who like me, was holding the trolley whilst the other half whizzed around Makro. He was not settled in Korat, but was rather, seeing if it would suit, and he asked me lots of 'where is' and 'how' questions.

    The 3rd was a German Aussie who I bumped into in Tesco in Hua Talay, where I stayed in Korat. I didn't see him approaching me, but he actually came up and said hello and that he hadn't seen me before! We chatted for some time and he was a really interesting guy, German born, but hated Germany and emigrated to Australia, which he loved and it was really the cost of living there, that had seen him move to Thailand with his Thai wife on a permanent basis.
    Two of those guys had a Thai(?) partner, possibly also the first, I'm wondering it this has something to do with them being friendly.
    I've over heard comments from Westerners who obviously feel elitist toward other Westerners.
    The clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight

  8. #8
    Old Hand มือเก่า
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    May be Man utd fans they aint going want to talk to anyone at the moment

  9. #9
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Just because your a foreigner and they are , there is no particular reason to assume anything in common , so why would they speak with you. I have lived overseas most of my working life and always acknowledge people but have rarely felt the need to be best buddies.

    That said I met several folks in Udon Thani in bigC and had a good chat over the years
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ toddmeister's Avatar
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    Just because your a foreigner and they are , there is no particular reason to assume anything in common , so why would they speak with you.
    I was thinking the same thing. I don't think its down to rudeness. Same applies over here. Don't think my wife would go out of her way to acknowledge every other asian she sees on the street.

    When we're in Isaan we split our time between my wifes home town in MahaSarakham and other family in Kaeng Sanam Nang. I've seen a couple of farang in Sarakham in the shopping ctr but none in Kaeng Sanam Nang unless we drive to the nearest Tesco which is about 30mins away in Bua Yai. Same thing really never been acknowledged and personally I wouldn't approach another farang just because they are, farang.
    To be honest all the foreigners I've seen in Isaan have been maybe 20-30 years older than me so can't see much we would have in common other than some initial small talk. If I was living there it would probably feel the need to reach out to other farangs as I too would feel the need to speak English with another foreigner even if it was only to talk about the weather

  11. #11
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Lonerider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash View Post
    Just because your a foreigner and they are , there is no particular reason to assume anything in common , so why would they speak with you. I have lived overseas most of my working life and always acknowledge people but have rarely felt the need to be best buddies.

    That said I met several folks in Udon Thani in bigC and had a good chat over the years
    I don't think Essex boy was talking about taking long hot showers in the wee hours of the morning with other Westerners in the local area. But some common courtesy does not cost anything whether you are a Westerner or Thai.


    So why would it not be rudeness to not answer someone who has just said hello/morning/afternoon irrespective of nationality or what country you are in.

  12. #12
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lonerider View Post
    I don't think Essex boy was talking about taking long hot showers in the wee hours of the morning with other Westerners in the local area. But some common courtesy does not cost anything whether you are a Westerner or Thai.


    So why would it not be rudeness to not answer someone who has just said hello/morning/afternoon irrespective of nationality or what country you are in.
    I have lived overseas most of my working life and always acknowledge people
    Your point being ?
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  13. #13
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Essex boys's Avatar
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    Hi Ash, lone rider etc, were correct what I mean is a hello or hi or a nod of the head just to acknowledge each other, I'm not wanting to stop and have chat just feels like a nice thing to do if you see another westerner, pretty much like some motorcyclists will acknowledge each other with a nod of the head.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Lonerider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ash View Post
    but have rarely felt the need to be best buddies.
    As I said, no one said anything about being best buddies.

    The bit at the bottom was separate...hence the big gap

  15. #15
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    I must admit Im probably one of the guys that would nod but carry on walking to avoid the top 10 conversations that normally arise when you meet another english guy. Either slagging off thai women,moaning about the exchange rate, heat, lack of a good english pie or sausages ect ect.
    Im on holiday and try to immerse myself in the culture I dont really need reminders of home or moaning sunburnt foreigners.
    All said with a rhy smile : )

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ prikphet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddmeister View Post
    To be honest all the foreigners I've seen in Isaan have been maybe 20-30 years older than me so can't see much we would have in common other than some initial small talk.
    Maybe their wifes then

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    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ toddmeister's Avatar
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    no thanks Prikphet the one I have is more than enough trouble thanks

  18. #18
    Premium Member ash's Avatar
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    like some motorcyclists will acknowledge each other with a nod of the head.
    Most don't
    Human beings are seventy percent water, and with some the rest is collagen

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Essex boys View Post
    pretty much like some motorcyclists will acknowledge each other with a nod of the head.

    I rode to Bristol soon after getting my bike licence and outside Salisbury I was surprised and chuffed when a guy riding the other way waved at me, and me being still on L plates. Since then I pretty much nod at everyone on a bike.
    That's one thing I like about motorcycling the comradery that often exists between people who love the freedom but know only too well the constant dangers we face daily.
    The clock on the wall reads a quarter past midnight

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    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ Essex boys's Avatar
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    To Ash, like I said some do, I don't care if most dont, but at least some do.

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