Tag Archives: Bangkok

Guide de survis en mer de chemises rouges

Depuis vendredi 2 avril, les chemises rouges ont decides de se deplacer au centre ville, bloquant ainsi l’acces a une majorite de centres commerciaux.

Lundi, il nous fallait quand meme aller au travail, passer a travers les chemises rouges, les trottoirs depottoirs, l’odeur de pisse, de nourritures avariees. Ce n’est pas un joli tableau et c’est devenu le quotidien d’un grand nombre d’employes aux alentours des endroits affectes.

Deja, nous, les habitants de Bangkok, avec un toit sur la tete avons un peu de mal. Comment font les t-shirts rouges? Comme le disait un ami a moi, “Etre pauvre, c’est pas pour les fiottes”. Donc deja il faut etre habitue a vivre a la dur.

Ils dorment sur les trottoirs, ou au milieu de la route. Ils  Cherchent de l’ombre la ou ils peuvent. Sous un pont pieton, sous le skytrain qui passe au dessus, sous les vehicules qui les a emmenes la.

Ils ont convertis les bouches d’incendies en douche grace a un mecanisme simple permettant de convertir un gros tuyaux de pompier en 3 tuyaux de taille normale a moindre pression. Ils font pipi dans des petits bols perces qui se deverse dans un tuyaux PVC qui se termine dans les egouts. Je ne sais pas comment font les femmes. Pour les grosses commissions, c’est plus difficile. Il y a aussi des endroits pour ca mais ils ont ete largement utilises.

En un mot comme en cent, l’hygiene manque.

Pour les passants, il faut zig zaguer d’un trottoir a l’autre, eviter les douches en toiles qu’on peut apercevoir de loin. Eviter les tongues et autres chaussures de vacances. Le trottoir est recouvert d’une couche de crasse. Evitez aussi les pantalons trop long donc.

Depuis aujourd’hui, mercredi 7 avril, Central Chidlom est ouvert de 11am a 6pm. Il me semble que siam square et MBK sont aussi ouverts. Il n’est pas dit que cela restera ainsi. Il semble que les centres commerciaux perdant beaucoup d’argents essayent d’ouvrir leurs boutiques lorsque le mauvais temps se montre clement.

Voila, sans parti pris, un guide pratique si vous devez ou si vous voulez aller voir ce qui se passe. Apres tous, nous sommes en train d’observer un moment historique en Thailande.

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La marche des t-shirts rouges – La saga continue

Ces 2 derniers jours, quelque chose de curieux est survenu. Les rouge (non pas parce qu’ils sont communistes) se sont assis autour d’une table avec le gouvernment.

Ce que le gouvernment propose: Des elections dans 9 mois, des amendements a la constitution pour renforcer le gouvernment elu afin d’eviter les problemes actuels dans le futur.
Ce que les rouges veulent: Des elections dans 15 jours…

Bien evidement, il y a eu des refus categorique de chaque cote de la table.

Maintenant, j’ai vu de la police en arme devant notre bureau car le siege de la police se trouve juste en face.
Certains predisent que si la situation continue ainsi, la manifestation va devenir violente.

En attendant, la vie suit son cours, hormis les policiers en attirail complet, on ne voit pas beaucoup de manifestants car ils sont tous dans la vieille ville.

Autre nouvelle amusante: Le gouvernement fait une ceremonie religieuse aujourd’hui pour essayer d’ameliorer son sort ainsi que celui du pays. Il ne faut jamais sous estimer les effets d’une bonne priere.

Ils doivent commencer a craindre le sort jete sur eux avec le sang des tshirt rouge il y a 15 jours ><

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A pu de manifestation

Mais a priori a pu de touriste non plus…

On va pas se laisser embeter par tous ces empecheurs de prendre l’avion en rond. Nous entretemps comme on ne va nulle part, on va continuer de faire du yoga dans le parc, dejeuner a la Boulange et faire un peu de badminton si on a encore la force.

En plus vendredi c’est jour de conge! C’est chouette ca 🙂

Et avec les manifestations terminee, le monde recommence a regarder ailleurs.
Les news internationales parlaient a peine de la Thailande. C’est tres bien ainsi.

Bon en tout cas maintenant que les aeroports sont la, venez faire un tour et n’oubliez pas les boites de petits ecoliers!

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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.

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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…

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