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Ok, this may sound a little silly, but...

As a complete stranger moving to a foreign land, could anyone recommend a good way to meet people (french or english speaking) and socialize with locals?

I was thinking, the time I'm moving over (early July) is around the time of the World Cup quarter finals, so being a football fan it might be a good ice-breaker to head down to a local bar during the games? (depending upon whether England draw France I suppose)

But otherwise, does anyone have any experiences to share or advice regarding social activities? (specifically in Montpellier)

Alex

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Have a baby or buy a dog. I made 'contact' by walking my dog round the village (if you have a baby you can push that round instead) every day and saying 'Bonjour' to everyone, people always like a baby or a dog. I also joined the local rugby club (and I sponsor it by 100 euro per year) which is like joining the country golf club round here. If you live in a small village go to the fete's.
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With the football mtch you could cause problems - cheer on England and you could be completely ostracised by the French. However, say this is now my adopted country and cheer on France and you could have a lot of French friends.

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Ok,

Well I have no immediate plans on having a baby, nor turning my back on my mother country, but I will support France as long as they dont play England, and I will do my best to go to local events.

I am looking at bar work, so hopefully that would bring opportunities to make friends...

Thanks for the advice guys.

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The'd think you were mad if you cheered on France if they were playing England! [:)]

Learn about the French team and players and compliment them, their style etc.

Support France against every team except England, and watch that/those match/es at home if neccessary-

Edit: we were posting at the same time!

 

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Yeah,

Im a fan of European football, so I know about various players already. (plus, half of them seem to have played in England anyway!)

It'd be nice to get a bit of banter going, but at the same time, I dont want to cause any trouble, so I think I'll play it safe and keep my patriotism under wraps.

It seems like a great opportunity to meet a few people though...

Should be a great tournament- I hope France do better than last time!

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Alex, my general impression is that patriotism goes down fairly well.

I don't mean jingoistic behaviour or talk, just that it's fine to say you like the country you came from. Well, I do so I have no problem with those questions. I may not like every single thing that happens in GB, but I like GB.

You will get asked all the time why you have come to live in France, and people will ask you questions about that, about what you think of Tony Blair, George Bush, Globalisation, Immigration, etc, about whatever family you have 'left behind', whether you intend to stay in France.

I've had very mixed reactions to my answers to all these things, from 'But how could you leave your mother/son/family?', through to 'You are all very stupid, you English'.

Friendships and relationships nearly always start with a chat, and a bar is often a very good place for that, but in the end you have to be yourself, don't pretend to be someone you aren't just because you are in a different country. What's the point?.

I have found it very hard here, to make friends, but I understand working makes it more likely to happen (or dogs, or children, sometimes), but don't expect people to invite you round to their house etc.

. I hope your french is good - that will be a key factor.

By the way, I am a very horrible person so don't listen to me  [:)] 

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[quote user="Tresco"]

I have found it very hard here, to make friends, but I understand working makes it more likely to happen (or dogs, or children, sometimes), but don't expect people to invite you round to their house etc.

. I hope your french is good - that will be a key factor.

By the way, I am a very horrible person so don't listen to me  [:)] 

[/quote]

First, I don't think you're a horrible person, Tresco!! I quite like you!

Second, don't you think the making friends thing depends on where you are, and specifically the village you're in?  We seem to have lucked out and wound up in a particularly friendly village.  We've got more friends and more of a social life here than we had in the last ten years back in the States.  People actually have TIME to be friendly.  In L.A., there was a lot of surface friendliness, but people were too busy with their own lives to actually do anything about it.

Here, because we see people all the time, it's so much easier to eventually have it turn into more meaningful contact.

At least, that's been my experience.

PG

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[quote user="PossumGirl"]
...don't you think the making friends thing depends on where you are, and specifically the village you're in?  [/quote]

We were lucky too, as the village on the hill as a reputation for being 'friendly'.

People are friendly with us, it's just that there aren't many opportunities for spontaneous social interaction. It's mostly organised 'do's'. 

I get pathetically over excited on the rare occasions when a little gaggle of people gather in our kitchen; someone passing by spots so and so's car here and thought he'd join in, neighbours seeing the extra cars come round to see what's going on...[:D]

It's  mostly down to adapting to the difference between rural and urban living, as well as French culture generally.

 

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[quote user="Tresco"]

People are friendly with us, it's just that there aren't many opportunities for spontaneous social interaction. It's mostly organised 'do's'. 

[/quote]

Here, there's lots of that "spontaneous" stuff, especially now that the weather is nice. Most people sit outside their houses and chat in the late afternoon, evening.  We have several neighbors with whom we tend to pop in and have an impromptu coffee or even dinner and cards.  Heck, I can't even go out to buy bread or walk the dog without getting into a half-hour conversation. If I have a deadline, I absolutely CANNOT go outside my front door; if I do, I'm lost.  Mr. Possum insists that I take my mobile with me even when I walk up to the post office, because I have a terrible habit of simply disappearing and he has no idea where I am!

PG

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This all sounds great.

Hopefully I will get the opportunities to make similar friends and lucky enough to live in a friendly area also.

 

I would never consider pretending to be something Im not just to fit in, but it might be wise to hold back on the England chants etc... lol

 

Im quite a sociable guy, whether my language will prove to be a hindrance or not I guess I'll have to wait and see... Im not too bad at French, Ive studied it for 10 years, although Im a bit rusty now- I think its a confidence thing really!

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As a complete stranger moving to a foreign land, could anyone recommend a good way to meet people (french or english speaking) and socialize with locals?

 

Do you play tennis?

 

If so join your local tennis club, many towns and even quite small villages will have a club. Often this is where the social life takes place, take part in their tournaments and social evenings and I am sure you will make lots of friends.

 

Bon Courage

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[quote user="AlexD"]

But otherwise, does anyone have any experiences to share or advice regarding social activities? (specifically in Montpellier)

Alex

[/quote]

Alex, you don't say what age you are.  But if you're younger than, say, 40, stay IN Montpellier.  There are plenty of us you can come and visit when you want a taste of village life.

Don't bother with the dog.  You'll only spend your evenings picking ticks off it! 

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Thanks SB, I'm 25.

I have no interest in getting a pet, unlike my girlfriend who keeps trying to convince me that we should get one...

Frustratingly most appartments we look at seem to allow animals, unlike England, which helps her side of the arguement!

Im not a big tennis fan, but I love playing football, and also Im a keen guitarist/songwriter so if I could find a casual team to play with, or indeed a new band, that would be great!

Alex

 

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