Last week, I just went to my first meetup and I enjoyed it so much that I came back home and wrote this post.
What is meetup? Let’s see the definition from Wikipedia.
Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings in various localities around the world. Meetup allows members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, such as politics, books, games, movies, health, pets, careers or hobbies. Users enter their postal code or their city and the topic they want to meet about, and the website helps them arrange a place and time to meet.
Hmm… To me it is the online platform that lets people who are interested in the same thing get together. The common categories I have found in my area, Bangkok, are Languages (English, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, etc.), Health (Running, Badminton, Yoga, Dance etc.), Business (Entrepreneur, Tech, etc.), and Lifestyle (Photography, Volunteering, Movie, Food, Music etc.).
To Thai people, I believe it is quite uncommon to randomly go to any events like this. So most of people I have found including at the event and as shown-up members of any groups are mostly foreigners. My friends also asked me whether is a dating event, well, it really depends on each person!
I have found Meetup.com on an offline news article then I went look around on its site. It took me the second visit to register here. Then it took me almost a year to go to the first meetup of mine! wow. I just checked that on my profile. I have registered since December 2013 and now it is November 2014.
Why did I register on meetup.com?
- To practice languages – at that time, I just came back from Beijing, China. So I wanted to use Mandarin to prevent me from forgetting it which I did now…
- To meet new foreign friends – of course I do have Thai friends and I don’t have any problems about them but I would like to know more about other cultures as well.
- To try new thing – as far as none of my friends know about it, I would like to try checking it out.
Hey and it’s free for attendees! The organizer of each group has to pay some monthly fee to the website.
Why did it take me so long for my first meetup?
- I just started my job back then. I wasn’t sure when would I really be available for the events. I didn’t want to RSVP Yes then changed to No for my first meetup.
- At that time there were not as many groups as this time! The one that has really a large number of members is Bangkok Language Exchange meetup which including many languages you want to learn or teach. Then the Mandarin group I was looking forward to was founded in late July 2014.
- I forgot about this. You know, things are going on in your life since none of my friends are talking about this, so I forgot it until late October 2014.
Then, I went to my first meetup which was a Korean club….. as funny as it sounds, Korean was not on the first list of languages I want to study which are English, Chinese, Japanese, German. I wanted the Chinese meetup to be my first event but they don’t held it quite often then recently the organizer of the event sent me a personal message noticing me on the next event which was really kind of him and that reminded me of meetup.com!
Unfortunately, the date for that upcoming Chinese dinner I will not be around here 🙁 So I took my time to check the website out and found many more interesting groups. I wanted to have Korean for dinner and I accidentally found the upcoming Korean club’s first meetup… so I decided to join.
I know some basic Korean from my friends I have met in Beijing. I can listen and understand some basic things, I can also read its alphabet slowly (not as fast as what is shown in karaoke songs) BUT I can’t speak that well.
The funny but most fortunate thing that day was Korean and Chinese meetups share some of the same members. So I was able to communicate with English and (my broken) Chinese there 😀
We started of the night with Korean dinner at the Bangkok’s Korean town. I enjoyed the meal there (of course). After that some of us (six of us to be specific) moved on to the Japanese place for karaoke!
The nationalities of people who joined the first meetup were various including Thai, Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Malaysian. Another funny thing was that we actually spoke in 4 languages: English, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese! Hahaha. I was so confused at the time.
I really had fun there regardless of language barriers we had make it through. Those people were nice and helpful to me (in any languages). It was a great first impression on meetup.com to me. Moreover, now it made me more interested in the Korean languages even more. Thanks everyone!
Who should come to meetup?
- Who wants to extend his or her circle of friends.
- Who wants to practice languages – I speak in terms of meetup based in Bangkok for Thai people who would come because at least you will practice your English.
- Who wants to find business networks – each group has specific interests so you know where will be your potential clients are, and where for your potential partners.
In conclusion, let’s just go out and meet some new people! to extend your thoughts or else have fun 🙂
Thanks for reading.