vendredi 25 avril 2014

How to make friends in Bangkok thanks to Twitter ! - Expat life

I told you I would make an english version of it. Well at least GoogleTranslate did it. 
So here it is, feast your eyes or close them to avoid seeing all the mistakes  ! 

When moving at the other end of the world, there are a lot of little things that can be missed.
Food, little habits, landscapes, language, culture, sidewalks (really, this is actually very serious ...)
But what I miss the most is friends and sidewalks.

Although I can't complain. Since I arrived here, I saw more friends than when we were on the French Riviera.
In December, my great girlfriend Muriel, with her brother and a friend + my father and daughter  spent the Christmas holiday with us.
Early January, one of Chéri best friend was here with his wife.
February, there was Sev and Marjo & Family who came visiting us.
In March, we had dinner with Claire and Arnaud who came for their first time in Thailand ...
And there was also Caroline and Margrett.

Not to mention Facebook, email and Skype that helps keeping in touch.
I hear some that might be cursing because I do not give enough news. I've never been very good at keeping in touch with people.
First of all because I have nothing between my ears but mainly because I consider that it's not because I do write/call people every single day that I do not think of them. My bad, I know.

But what is missing is the daily contact:  having a drink, dinner with friends, plans for the weekend ...
And contact was made thanks to social networks, and more particularly through Twitter and the english speaking community of  BKK.

Before arriving in Bangkok, I did my homework. I searched the news sites, forums, blogs and Twitter accounts of expat in order to benefit from their experience and avoid as many problems as possible.

The first Twitter account that I followed was that of  @RichardBarrow a goldmine in terms of information and news about Thailand and that allowed me to face the demonstration in a serene and realistic way, far from the panic attack that french media were having.

I quickly discovered @Bangkoker that has now become @Thailander. It's @kribBKK that was the first to welcome me on Twitter and in Bangkok, and encouraging me to use @Thailander if I needed help. This account is managed by a different person each week,  expressing their own experience and providing a real help between expatriates in Bangkok and Thailand.
I often make use of it for the most trivial things, like the best restaurant / brunch / mojito in the city, to more serious things like getting informations about dangerous places to avoid during the demonstrations. 

It is also thanks to @ Thailander that I got to meet great expats !
By dint of talking via 140 characters, we finally met. I was a bit like going to a first date, wondering how to dress, if they would like me IRL. 

Champagne helped me.
In fact, the first meeting was a girls night in W. The amazing thing is that every Friday evening from 7 to 10 pm champagne is free flow for us girls. Suffice to say that I have not let my glass go empty ! 

During this evening, I was finally able to put real names and faces to the people I knew only by their Twitter handles. And I found great women far from the cliché of the expat wife who remains quietly at home. 

@BangkokgirlBlog : Anna, an adorable english expat, working for a law firm, has been providing me with tons of good places to discover. She also has a great blog :

@niannelynn : Nianne, an indian with a crazy sense of humor and infectious laugh.She is also one of the owners of  Seven Spoons a restaurant highly recommended by BK-Asia City . I promise I'll talk about it soon.

@CBentleyFit : I alrealdy told you (actually not in english but in french) about the cute and nice Courtney that comes from LA and who is a personal trainer and nutrition expert. Post in French is  ICI

@n_jc_ : Nicola alias Nikky, very cute young australian, but at the head of the Bangkok branch of Business in Heels, a social network for business woman that can be found round the world....

@BeirutiBrit : globe trotter in her soul, Nicky is a british girl working in a field I know too well : hotels and F&B. She's passionate about gastronomy and travels and talks about them in her great blog : A British Girl in Bangkok

@MarissaTree : Marissa, works in marketing and lives a fantastic love story thanks to Internet, She tells her story on her blog  : Adventures of an accidental expat.

I saw most of them on different occasions, essentially by a glass or a coffee. We exchange daily through 140 caracters. 
I'm always amazed on how easy it is to get to know people, of how positive and nice minded they are. I think it partly comes from the anglo saxon culture (as opposed to the french one) where contact is easier but also by the fact that we are all expats and want to get along.

I was already fond of the net, but since I'm in Bangkok, I've become a real addict sometimes at the limit of FOMO

I'm not complaining. After all it's thank to this, that I get to meet new people !
So,  thanks Twitter ! I can't wait to meet great persons ! 

PS : please please please forgive the crappy english ! not easy translating the words and the tone of my blog. I hope you still liked it ! Feel free to share it (with a warning ...for the horrible english)

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