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My Travel Story: Friends I Made Along The Way
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  1. #1
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    Friends I Made Along The Way




    Not many westerners travel on the train from Mahachai (Thai: Ҫ) to Bangkok. Two young girls sitting with their Grandma on the seat behind were fascinated by the strange Farang and his camera. As the short journey progressed their confidence grew and we quickly became friends. When we leave the train at Wong Wian Yai station (Thai: ʶҹǧ¹˭), the two girls both wai and blow kisses.
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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    Hey guava..nice photo......the Thailand experience just keeps getting better as the people you meet do.i have just returned from attending a good friends wedding in a place called Prathai, with over 300 guests we were the only westerners. I stuck around for 5 days and stayed with the family, it has to be one of the best experiences I have had in Thailand. This is the Uncle Pit, he is the sports teacher at the local school and his very cheeky nephew Tiw.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    I was made so welcome that in the end I found it very hard to leave.
    The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
    - Chinese Proverb

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    apart from family and events when people do expect to be photographed, like parades or festivals, I really don't know how to take pics of people in an appropriate and non-intrusive manner. I have always admired people who can strike up a conversation with anyone and make friends within a few minutes.
    I would love to hear a few tricks from others

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    I usually find it quite easy to begin a conversation with people if we have a common language.

    In the case of this photograph it was actually the lady that started a conversation with me. I was wandering round the town of Lahan Sai, very near the Cambodian border, on the last day of a weeks stay at my sister-in-law's home when this elderly lady who was closing the gate to her property called me over and began to chat. When she saw I had a camera she called her daughter and grandson over for a photograph but her daughter was too shy.

    She spoke quite good English, one of the best English speakers I have met it Thailand outside of the tourist areas.

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    Last year I met another elderly lady in the town of Sateuk at the other end of Buriram whom also spoke very good English. She had a shop that seemed to sell everything (I bought some silk flowers) and was a retired school teacher.

    David
    My new travel blog: https://www.weekender.blog/

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    I usually find that conversations are easily started with Thai people especially when they discover that you are able to speak some Thai. I always start with a smile and a polite sawasdee, and most of the conversation will consist of you answering their questions..... (why do you speak Thai? being a very common question and one of the hardest to answer ) Having your camera already in your hands with basic settings and focus already set is a good idea, maybe showing a few of the photographs already on your camera too.

    Quite often just a smile, showing your camera and asking in Thai if you may take their photograph will result in them striking a pose for you!




    Or an alternative is to wait for them to look the other way!


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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Betti View Post
    I have always admired people who can strike up a conversation with anyone and make friends within a few minutes.
    I would love to hear a few tricks from others
    Me too. This is the one of the area which I'm not good at...Could you please share with me? Or can anyone help us?
    Franklin D. Roosevelt - The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    I have learned a few techniques on how to establish rapport with strangers while travelling or while waiting in a doctors sitting room or even when attending a party where I don't know the other guests. Let us see if you can pick up a few useful tips.

    1) Look friendly. Establish eye contact with and smile at the other person. Smiling makes others relax and signals that you want to connect with them in a friendly way.

    2) Show interest in them, and start the conversation by asking questions that mainly aim to show some commonalities between you and the other party (" How often do you visit here? Did you have to wait for the bus for a long time like we did? Did the rough boat ride scare you? ") People are by nature relationists, and they easilly connect with those whom they share something in common.

    3) Be cautious not to appear too forward and sound like you want to invade their privacy. So avoid asking too personal questions. But as the conversation progresses you may share bits of information about yourself and some relevant experiences that will make the conversation more interesting. Just let the other person follow suit.

    4) Better to self-deprecate, especially in using humor. Humor at your own expense is usually more appreciated and can disarm others.

    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or an idiot from any direction.

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    Thanks Marie for sharing on the tips and techniques on how to establish rapport with strangers. I do have some questions on what if a quiet guy like me that doesn't know of how to strike up a conversations regardless of friend/stranger? Is it due to my personality?

    There's one case which I can use it as an example. I did travel to bangkok with 3 of my friends..later on, one of the guy did mention to me that I'm a bit quiet while traveling together with them. Which were unlike the 2 of my friends. Well what can I said is that they did chat up happily and I will sometimes occasionally join in a bit here and there. Nevertheless the guy still said that I'm quiet...Is it that there isn't enough interest? Or some other factors?
    Franklin D. Roosevelt - The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasonkoh82 View Post
    I do have some questions on what if a quiet guy like me that doesn't know of how to strike up a conversations regardless of friend/stranger? Is it due to my personality?

    There's one case which I can use it as an example. I did travel to bangkok with 3 of my friends..later on, one of the guy did mention to me that I'm a bit quiet while traveling together with them. Which were unlike the 2 of my friends. Well what can I said is that they did chat up happily and I will sometimes occasionally join in a bit here and there. Nevertheless the guy still said that I'm quiet...Is it that there isn't enough interest? Or some other factors?
    The problem with being quiet is that you will likely be perceived as not 'being approachable'-or worse, aloof. The point here is that if you want to deliberately make friends you can start by appearing friendly and interested in others.

    There is always something you can talk about with strangers. (Have you been here before? When was your last travel here? What makes you visit again and again? Which are your favorite shopping places? How do you find the food?)

    Are they with their kids? Talk about the kids. ( How old are they? Do they go to school? What do they like to eat? How are they enjoying the travel? Do they manage to wake up early when they have to?)


    Just be observant. And choose a topic which you think will interest them.

    Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or an idiot from any direction.

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    Re: Friends I Made Along The Way

    Quote Originally Posted by guava View Post
    I usually find that conversations are easily started with Thai people especially when they discover that you are able to speak some Thai. I always start with a smile and a polite sawasdee, and most of the conversation will consist of you answering their questions..... (why do you speak Thai? being a very common question and one of the hardest to answer ) Having your camera already in your hands with basic settings and focus already set is a good idea, maybe showing a few of the photographs already on your camera too.

    Quite often just a smile, showing your camera and asking in Thai if you may take their photograph will result in them striking a pose for you!




    Or an alternative is to wait for them to look the other way!


    .
    .
    Beautiful pictures!

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