All Comments
  China issues
  International issues
  Edu & Learning
  London Olympics
  Body and Sports
  Xiamen in General
  Wine and Dine
You're now in commentary . . .
Topic: Author:  
Fr. Afghanistan
Topic: Unfriendly foreigners? Why?
I'm rather curious as to why there are seemingly a LOT of unfriendly foreigners here in Xiamen.

I've been here a while and it seems it's getting worse. Friends agree.

Walk down a street, see a foreigner - watch foreigner cross road, look everywhere but at you. Smile at foreigner - get blank, cold response.

I would say Xiada teachers are the WORST, with Xiada foreign students a close second. The businessmen are pretty laid back.

Is it something to do with being on your high horse, and not wanting your bubble burst by the sight of other foreigners?

This cliquish behaviour is a reminder of elementary schools days. Pathetic.

Are you one of those miserable looking indiviuals? Are you one of those cold, unresponsive, head-up-ass foreigners?

Do you think you're just that little bit better than the next cuz you've been here longer/speak better Chinese/have more connections/come from the Republic of Asshats?

Pray tell..
03 Dec 2009
Fr. United States
I agree with you and have heard others say the same thing. You would
think with such a small community it would be the opposite. Maybe, you
need a lot like in Beijing where they seem much more friendly. I don't

There is a friendly poker game in Xaimen though.
03 Dec 2009

Fr. United States
I agree too. I always try to make
eye-contact and at least smile, but get
a cold reception too often. It almost
makes me want to give up trying (but
then I would become one of "them!").
Then today, in front of the train
station, two laowai men caught my eye
and said hello to me first...just have
to keep trying, I guess. It takes very
little effort to be friendly and
possibly brighten someone's day...I know
I can use some brightening some days!
03 Dec 2009

Fr. Germany
I think it changed a lot over the years.
When I first came here you barely saw
any foreigner, so everytime you ran into
one, it resulted in a conversation about
what you do in Xiamen.

03 Dec 2009

Fr. United States
When do you guys do poker nights ^_^
as for strange responses from foreigners, I don't get
many different responses because they all just think i'm
a local... hell even the locals think i'm a local :
03 Dec 2009

Fr. Afghanistan
Well then, let's have a National Smile To Another

Bet it would go miles.

I'm all for meeting and greeting, even if it's brief
and on the street.

I would really like to see some more 'luv', less

Often when a smile is witheld, it's lurking behind
the scowl..
04 Dec 2009

Fr. United States
Coyote cafe Sunday 7:30. ALL welcome.
04 Dec 2009

Fr. Germany
^^^Y'all should change that or play a
second night! Never have time on sunday.
Friday was good, why was it changed?
04 Dec 2009

Fr. New Zealand
I find this post a bit bizarre. Do you
expect people to smile and say hello to
every stranger on the street? Or do you
expect one just because you are another
If I don't smile at you it is not
because I don't like you, it's because I
don't know you...
04 Dec 2009

Fr. Sweden
I?m a foreigner and have been here quite
a while. I?m probably one of the ones
who don?t smile and "give a cold response".
It?s because when you are being stared
at all the time, when you eating,
walking down the street or what ever you
do, or people start talking to you
because you?re a foreigner, even while
you?re talking to someone right then,
just because someone Chinese think it?s
amusing to them or they want to try
their English speaking, it certainly can
get a bit annoying.
(And it?s not like it?s ones or twice a
day, but 5 - 10 times a day if you?re
out and about!)

In most of the countries in the west
it?s considered plain rude. We?re taught
not to "disturb" other people.

As for childish behavior, isn?t it
childish to just act without a second
thought of the other person just because
you want to be acknowledged?
(What I really find childish is when
grown up people point and shout Laowai....)

All you want to do is go about your
business and get from A - B, and do C -
E, not having the least desire to talk,
acknowledge or in any other way interact
with ANYONE.

Shouldn?t one be able to do that? Also,
just because you see me, does?t mean I
see you or your smile. I?m probably busy
in my own mind.

A smile is always nice, but as
foreigners we always get comments (big
nose, being tall, being overweight, etc
etc( even get pointed at therefore we
don?t always know if it?s a smile to
you, or a "smile" at you.

Hope this answers you question and
explains some things about being a
foreigner here, curiouspete.

Consideration, to be considerate, word
of the day! :-)
04 Dec 2009

Fr. United States
"In most of the countries in the west
it?s considered plain rude. We?re taught
not to "disturb" other people."

This AIN'T the west! Don't like it? LEAVE! It's part
of the the culture here.

"What I really find childish is when
grown up people point and shout Laowai"

What I find childish is expats who come to China and
expect the culture to be like their's and when it
isn't, *****.

There are plenty of things I myself don't like
seeing Chinese do. But guess what? It's THEIR
country. We should not bring our value's here and
expect them to follow us. How utterly full of
yourself to do that!!

I rather enjoy most of the friendly Chinese wanting
to talk as apposed to most Eastern Europeans who
walk up to you to try and scam you or Japanese who
ignore you or American's who want to rob you.

As for wanting a smile from someone who looks more
like where you come from? I think that's just
natural human behavior to want to connect with the

BTW, Carlito, not enough people came on Friday to
05 Dec 2009

Fr. Australia
sounds to me that curious pete had a bad day and
needs to vent, if u r that unhappy here then I
suggest a trip to a place without cliques, where
everybody looks at each other, smiles and says hi.
its called, oh wait... this place doesnt exist...yet
05 Dec 2009

Fr. Isle of Man
Unfriendly Foreigners:

Instead of stating the obvious, i.e. Every Country,
Culture, Race, Nationality can't have everyone happy
100% of the time 100% of the day I think we can just
come down to one simple saying. **** Happens.

If you are Chinese or Foreigner it doesn't matter,
people get depressed or have bad days, that's life.

However, I would like to say that "Unfriendly
Foreigners" is a what you could maybe call a
phenomena if you consider Pete's observation but
probably more probably charachterized as phases in
people's intercultural development. For a good model
of intercultural development Milton Bennett's is a
good one for reference. Follow the link for a PDF
06 Dec 2009

Fr. Sweden
We are how we are brought up, we?re
certainly not expecting this to be like
the west, we?re not that stupid.
It?s more that we just want to be left
alone, not this big hullabaloo about how
we look or just that we are foreigners
as soon as we?re out somewhere.

If you GIVE something (a smile ) to
someone then you can?t EXPECT something
back (a smile ), then it isn?t giving,
is it? That?s trading and you involve
the person in it without out their
consent, right?
So why don?t you go about and smile all
you want, and I?ll go about my business
the same, haobuhao ?

Good point robertmorrison, que sera sera
07 Dec 2009

Fr. Afghanistan
Quote: "So why don't you go about and smile all
you want, and I'll go about my business
the same, haobuhao?"

Sounds rather isolative to me. Have it your way.
I'll put you in the group of 'non-smilers'.

I know there are cliques. And I know there are
lonely, isolated people here. I don't concentrate my
energy on one group of people, but rather move
between groups, as it suits me.

I actually try to balance my friends out in a 50-50
split between locals and foreigners. Works well for
me. Eggs in one basket and all that..

And yes, I maintain that the foreigners here,
generally are less friendly than people back home
(and I come from a tough city). They're also less
friendly than other expat communities I've lived in
around the world. Straight up - not having a bad
hair day, ben-boy.
07 Dec 2009

Fr. United Kingdom
Let me say first of all that I love
living in China - an amazing experience
to be sure.

Mind you, Maju1 does have a point.
We've all had people stare and point at
us and say 'laowai'. And we've probably
all had someone come up to us to
practice their English when we'd rather
be left alone.

The way, I see it is it's a small price
to pay for living in such a fascinating
08 Dec 2009

Fr. Afghanistan
It's a tough city, Carlito. As tough as Mexico City,
or tougher.

We work hard, we fight hard, we die hard.

But we smile doing it.

No worries fellow foreigners, I find the good in
you, always.
11 Dec 2009

All 38   First  Prev Page     Last  To  Page  All 3 Pages

Quick Reply


Before replying, click the LOGIN bar on the bottom

Wox ID : Password: