Tips for new expats

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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A friend who has written a handbook for expat partners (aka trailing spouses) writes about ways of making friends when you are new to a country.
Moving somewhere new is a daunting prospect, whatever your age and situation. But what is really hard is when you move somewhere new and you don?t have a role. When you?re not going to school, or university. Or when you don?t have a sparkly new job to turn up to the day after you arrive.

As an expat partner, I have accompanied my husband on two different postings. Before that, I moved as a single, childless woman several times ? but all of those times I had a role. I wasn?t the spare part. I had a way to meet people.

So where exactly do you make friends when you?re not going to work? Of course this is difficult whether you are moving to a new city within your own country or to the other side of the world. But relocating overseas does give you a particular sense of vulnerability that having a few buddies around you can at least partially alleviate.

I polled a number of friends ? some had been expats, some hadn?t ? and they came up with a list of great ideas. So here, in order of the number of times they were mentioned, are my top tips for finding new friends in your new location:
So you’re a fresh expat in town -where do you meet new friends? |

If you read on, you'll notice that DR1 gets a mention, so no prizes for guessing who she is referring to there.
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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i will try to put it nicely. i think english native speakers are eternally confused about word "friend" and use it in regards to acquaintances, colleagues, workmates and variety of other people we know but they entirely meaningless to us. to suggest that one could go and search for a real friend in the same way some look for a casual fcuk piece is offensive to me and suggest this person has no grasp o what friendship really is.

it's easier to find husband/wife than it is to find a friend. after all marriage may be a thing of business or convenience and love itself can be sad, unrequited affair. friendship.... it's a relation that requires response, it is always mutual, always reciprocated. it is a bond as strong, if not more than one has with family. because again, we are born into a family but we choose our friends.

i find this advise utter repulsive nonsense. i don't need to go out and actively look for more vapid, trivial and shallow relationships. i am surrounded by folks i know and do not care about: i meet them at work, shops and gatherings. i barely remember their names and faces. why seek more?

to suggest friends can be found by browsing a catalogue of riffraff you meet accidentally... it's like starting a cake recipe from words "take a box of yellow betty crocker cake mix". just no. no.
 

Chirimoya

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Dec 9, 2002
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:D

Could I just point out that dv8 is one of the friends I met through DR1?

"Friends" of course being a broad definition of the people one feels an affinity towards, communicates and socialises with, ranging from occasional acquaintances and useful contacts to my very closest friends.
 

bronzeallspice

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Mar 26, 2012
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There are many types of friends or friendships. I'm sure we've encountered them along the way. This article describes in details:

There are many definitions of friendships and even though each one is easily defined they intertwined a bit along the way. I 'd like to start out by defining some of the different types of friends I have encountered and some of you may have as well.

Fair Weather Friends: you know the type that love on you, flatter you, hang out with you as long as you are up and full of life. The fair weather friend likes to enjoy you when your up but run like the wind when you are down. They don't want to hear your troubles they have enough of their own. They are a surface friend. Love on the outside, indifference on the inside. They are okay to have around but I wouldn't count on them they won't be there.

Fly by Night Friends: These friends hang out with you enjoying your company and what you have to offer and take advantage of the money you might have or the things you might have and all day long they tell you how they can't believe they found a friend like you. Once you part though, don't count on ever seeing them again as they are out of here. They aren't capable of being friends, they want to be just can't handle the feelings and commitment.

Hob Nob Friends: These cute little fellers are the life of the party when they think there's something in it for them. They go around rubbing elbows with everyone you know with money or fame in hope of getting noticed. They secretly want fame and fortune but don't want to earn it on their own. They mistakenly think they can steal their way to the top.

Drama Seeker Friends: These are the ones that hang out at the first sight of trouble leaning on every last tear. They tell you how sorry they are for you and give you an ear full of their own troubles. They are drama fiends. They really don't help you out or offer any kind of solace. They just want to be around when all your real friends surround you in hopes they might get a pat on the back or two for being such a great friend. When the going gets tough they up and run.

Work Friends: These guys are great. They share their hopes and dreams with you sometimes. They complain about the boss to you or how their co worker dumps all the work on them. They talk about what a great life they have sharing with you all their parties and fun. These friends many times will tell you to call them anytime. They never seem to answer the phone. They can't be bothered. They really only want you while you're at work to waste away their time when they really should be working.

Soul Friends: These are the friends that seem real wonderful. They are just like you. Everything you like they like. When you change your hair they want to change theirs. It's kind of fun to hang out with them for a while but there's no real depth to this friendship and the next thing you know another someone comes along that is cooler than you and there they go. You are the one that is forgotten, they have no need for you anymore.
Dirty Scoop Friends: These are the friends that aren't friends at all. These you should make a mental note to stay as far away from them as you possibly can. They call you and stop by to talk and tell you every little bit of drama going on around in everybody else's lives. No one is sacred. You are always the only one that knows and you better not tell anyone else the deep dark secret or something bad will happen. Make sure you don't share anything with this friend you don't want the world to know.

Shallow or Selfish Friends: These are the ones who extract everything they can from you. They take take take but the minute you ask anything of them they lay the big guilt trip on you. No one has life as bad as them. The constantly one up you every time you have a problem. There is no friendship in this one and my advice is to run as fast as you can from this blood sucking person.

True Friends: These are the friends that are with you when you are down. You can sit together for ho
hours and not say a word d and yet you feel like you had a complete conversation. You may not see them for years but the minute you see each other its like the day they left. You never have to ask this friend for help, they just show up. They are always there and I mean always there. If they can't be there they make sure someone is. They cry with you and some will die with you or for you. These are the friends I like to collect. The ones that share their cares with you, these are True Friends. They laugh when you laugh and rejoice when you rejoice. They are a treasure and you better care for them like a treasure for they are few and far between.

Friends, There are Many Different Kinds of Friends

May I say true friends are very rare? If you have at least one, consider yourself very fortunate.:)

They are like gems. (precious)
 
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dv8

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i think, bronzie, that your list consists of what i would call colleague and only the last item would be what i can call a friend. true friend is pleonasm.
 

bronzeallspice

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@ dv8, Yes, it is. We sometimes call people we meet a "friend." :D But in reality they are acquaintances
or like you said colleagues.
 
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bob saunders

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Jan 1, 2002
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dr1.com
i will try to put it nicely. i think english native speakers are eternally confused about word "friend" and use it in regards to acquaintances, colleagues, workmates and variety of other people we know but they entirely meaningless to us. to suggest that one could go and search for a real friend in the same way some look for a casual fcuk piece is offensive to me and suggest this person has no grasp o what friendship really is.

it's easier to find husband/wife than it is to find a friend. after all marriage may be a thing of business or convenience and love itself can be sad, unrequited affair. friendship.... it's a relation that requires response, it is always mutual, always reciprocated. it is a bond as strong, if not more than one has with family. because again, we are born into a family but we choose our friends.

i find this advise utter repulsive nonsense. i don't need to go out and actively look for more vapid, trivial and shallow relationships. i am surrounded by folks i know and do not care about: i meet them at work, shops and gatherings. i barely remember their names and faces. why seek more?

to suggest friends can be found by browsing a catalogue of riffraff you meet accidentally... it's like starting a cake recipe from words "take a box of yellow betty crocker cake mix". just no. no.
Acquaintances are easy to have and most people have many. True friends are hard to find and thus most people have few truly good friends. I am friendly with many people that are what I call casual friends, but they aren't the friends that I can turn to in a time of need nor are they the people I'd crawl a mile over broken glass to help- but I do have friends that would do that for.
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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When you move to a new place it is unrealistic to expect you will make lifelong, bail-you-out-of-jail friends, but if it does happen, it's a bonus.
What most will hope for is to find people to hang out with, compare experiences, share frustrations, botar el golpe, as it were.
The book's target readership includes people who do not have the ready-made circles that people who move to a new job or have kids rely on for developing a social life. The author's tips are based on a compilation of actual expat experiences.
 

william webster

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Jan 16, 2009
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When you move to a new place it is unrealistic to expect you will make lifelong, bail-you-out-of-jail friends, but if it does happen, it's a bonus.
What most will hope for is to find people to hang out with, compare experiences, share frustrations, botar el golpe, as it were.
The book's target readership includes people who do not have the ready-made circles that people who move to a new job or have kids rely on for developing a social life. The author's tips are based on a compilation of actual expat experiences.
In an attempt at imaging --

the world's garden is full of flowers --
some blooms last longer than others
but that garden often needs weeding.....
 

dv8

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Sep 27, 2006
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The book's target readership includes people who do not have the ready-made circles that people who move to a new job or have kids rely on for developing a social life. The author's tips are based on a compilation of actual expat experiences.
then let's not call it "making friends" but simply "meeting people". and that's not rocket science, really.
 

chic

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Nov 20, 2013
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ha, friends are two people who enjoy each others company....and both bring the same to the friendship...
 

Astucia

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Oct 19, 2013
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When you move to a new place it is unrealistic to expect you will make lifelong, bail-you-out-of-jail friends, but if it does happen, it's a bonus.
What most will hope for is to find people to hang out with, compare experiences, share frustrations, botar el golpe, as it were.
The book's target readership includes people who do not have the ready-made circles that people who move to a new job or have kids rely on for developing a social life. The author's tips are based on a compilation of actual expat experiences.
One of the things we have seen in this country is that the expat community is very transient. Here today, gone tomorrow. You can make good friends - but they may not be here forever. Not like back home, where you lived with friends and neighbours for years.
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
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I agree with dv8. English lacks the word for a " true friend ". In french we use copains, potes for all bronzies categories, except for the last. For tge "true friend" , we use ami.
I am 34 years old and probably only have 3 real amis, but loads of copain. Sadly none were met in the dr......
 

malko

Campesino !! :)
Jan 12, 2013
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Oh and an example of an ami is a guy who quits his job in europe and flies over to the dr to see u get married......
Special dedicace to Olivier:)
 

chic

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Nov 20, 2013
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One of the things we have seen in this country is that the expat community is very transient. Here today, gone tomorrow. You can make good friends - but they may not be here forever. Not like back home, where you lived with friends and neighbours for years.
thats right....you be friends/buds and one day they are gone....no nothing...you always wonder where they went and exactly what was the project they were on...
or you meet new peeps and think well this is nice,,, but do you really know them???
 

Chirimoya

Moderator - East Coast & Headline News
Dec 9, 2002
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One of the things we have seen in this country is that the expat community is very transient. Here today, gone tomorrow. You can make good friends - but they may not be here forever. Not like back home, where you lived with friends and neighbours for years.
I've never lived in one place for more than a few years at a time, so this was par for the course for me. I am in the DR for the foreseeable future and I learned early on that it was important to cultivate friendships with people who are here permanently, both foreigners who have settled here and locals, as well as with the shorter-term expats.