Monthly Archives: December 2007

The marionettes at Le printemps

This place is near my office. I was going out of the subway and start walking when I heard a music. It was funny and magic. In the windows of the shop, it was no fashion design but a tribe of polar bears taking over a fridge. It was funny and nice.

I could stay in front of it for age but duty called and I had to open my bank account.

Look out for the bear freezing in an ice cube and another one trying to get rid of crabs!


Filed under Thailande

A little thoughts for the tsunami victims

Just a little thoughts for the victims of the tsunami 3 years ago which changed the lives of so many people in so many countries in just a morning.

It was in 2004.

The song is from Carabao. It’s called sap nam ta andaman and talks about the tsunami.

It has to be reminded.


Filed under Thailand

Making sure it’s understood is sometime not enough

2 Days ago we went for Lunch at Central Chitlom. Then after lunch, a traditional starbuck.

Here’s what happened:

ME: “A coffee of the day, tall size, take away”
Waiter: “Small?”
Me: “Tall.”
Waiter: *typing on the machine* “Small?”
Me: “Tall.”
Waiter: *Fetching a coffee cup and showing me a small cup* “Small?”
Me: *Killer look that says: Are you kidding me?*
Waiter: “Tall!”

His intervention with a small coffee cup was genuine, not even a joke.

Still at a Starbuck, I managed to get a tall coffee and a chocolate bread free. Someone at the counter asked me what I wanted, it made its way to the guy doing the coffees and the original guy served a bread but I never paid the cashier. I waited for a while until I decided they should know that a customer standing in front of the cashier is not here to play toys.

Tip:  If you got to survive in Bangkok, you got to get yourself a killer look. Open anger and rage is not well perceived in Thai society. It’s viewed as a sign of weakness. Not only will you not make your point, you will also alienate every Thai around against you completely, bringing you a lot further away from your goal.

Instead, prepare a few killer look for different situation, one that says “Are you kidding me?”, another one that says “I’m really mad about this” and an extreme one with popping eyes and veins display on the throat that says “I’m thinking of radical solutions to get rid of you”. Every Thai understand this.


Filed under Je survis a Bangkok

A cool movie showing Mauritius

France in English but also Mauritius in English.

I had this idea of showing something really nice about mauritius.

I’ve found a really nice movie on Mauritian Sega, our traditional dancing with porn of colorful dresses and shaking bellies.
I’ve also found this movie. I like it because it shows the bright and shiny part of Mauritius. It’s easy to guess that the average mauritian doesn’t spend his lifetime riding huge turtles and going at sea on sail boats. Yet it is accessible to us mauritians.

When I will return to Mauritius, I will do my own documentary of my island.



Filed under Mauritius

More paperwork to go to Paris

This is a great news.

I’ve got my papers sorted out. The lawyer office in Paris did a great job and I have it ready well before the announced deadline.
Now, I need to go to the french consulate with a convocation letter and more paper work and get my long stay VISA.

I also need to open a bank account from Thailand… I have to admit I was a bit suspicious here. Wait a minute… Open a bank account? From Thailand?! It IS possible!

It is indeed possible but I’m hitting a wall of Thai administration.

Here’s what I need to open that bank account:

Payslip of 3 last months
A valid passport
A residence certificate
Tax paper

The first 2 documents are easy to get.
Difficulties starts with residence certificate. The person at the bank stated that I could have it from my local authority. I dismissed the idea right away. Imagine that! Wrestling with the Thai administration, explaining them what I need and probably how they must do it too! Yes… HOW they should do it is part of the process.

After a quick and deep thinking, I asked if there’s another way to get it. Apparentlty my condo’s office can issue that document. It will be enough.
This morning I went to my condo office:
Me: “Is your boss here?”
Him:”Aray na krap?” (He is polite)
Me: I’m looking for your manager.
*walks in a room behind and someone else comes in*

I explain the whole thing again. I can read on his face that he has no idea what I want.
He asks me to write my name and phone number on a piece of paper. I take the luxury to include what I want.
My girlfriend tells me: “I got the feeling you won’t have it tomorrow”.

In the afternoon I get a phone call: “This is Condo office. I understand you want a residence certificate”.
I have to admit I started hoping a bit here…
“What is a residence certificate?” ARGH!
I went into explaining what it is, why I needed it and I dictated him by phone what should get into it:
“To whom it may concern, this is to certify that Mr Nicolas de Fontenay lives at Condo soi Ruamrudee since XX/XX/XXXX.
Also print it on header paper, sign and stamp your company’s stamp on it”
Me:”Can I have it tomorrow?”
Him:”Tomorrow not possible!”
Me:”Anytime this week then. I need it badly!”
Him:”I tell you when it’s ready.”
I got the feeling it won’t be this week either…

Funny things about that:
I got to tell what I want. I could as well do it myself. It’s almost like doing a fake…

When I explained why I must have this paper the guy told me: “This is so complicated”.
I agreed with him just to make my paper work easier. Rule1: Do not piss off the person supposed to give you an important paper.
In fact, he kinds of forget that I’m opening a bank account in Paris from Thailand!
This is not going to happen in Thailand before the next 50 years (with some luck).

Now. That’s just one paper.

I talked to the company’s HR this morning about my tax paper:

“I need my tax paper very soon”.
“You can’t. We start the procedure on your last day at the office
You will have it when you will be in France. I’ve already done that for a colleague of yours”.

Blast it. Thailand 1, me 0.

To summarize: If you want to survive in Paris, you got to survive in Bangkok first!
Also, opening a Bank account from Thailand is technically possible but practically impossible…


Filed under I survive in Paris