Blog de beton

Monday, November 01, 2004

Surviving Bangkok - A leaving in general

Hello world,

My thai is going very well. I have a few thai friends now. The problem is that they all speak English fluently. And they tend to go English instead of thai with me. But they give me some very usefull hints. For instance : Nom yay : Big breast ! I’m sure I’m going to use it in Thailand veeeeery often…

Leaving funny stuff apart I had a very interesting conversation with nut, a guy. And you know if they are older then you call them ‘pii’, right, so nut becomes ‘pii nut’. I finally called him ‘peanut’. I was saying I had a good conversation on thai politic and economy, with a thai. Having a thai view on their economy and how they accept foreigners is very interesting indeed.

We talked about corruption as well and I can tell that it is such a common practice that it is not going to end in a few decades. In fact, if a foreigner want to do business and try to do it without corrupting he will sink his company because the game is tricked at the beginning. If he don’t do the same as everyone it’s pointless to try. So where do we go from here against corruption. I think nowhere. The answer is : As long as there will be no strong political will to stop corruption, corruption will not slow. And... The biggest corrupted people are the politicians themselves...

We also talk about The prime minister Taksin who bought Liverpool. And I ask him :”Do you think it’s Taksin’s money or tax payers money ?”. The answer was a dodging answer like :”Okay, it’s tax payers money but Taksin want to promote football in Thailand”. The only problem is that the Liverpool team is not under the Thailand realm’s name it is under Taksin’s name. It gets me mad ! Because I pay my tax in Thailand now so I would prefer to see OUR politicians - Yes, they are my politicians as well since I pay tax - expend money into traffic policy, mass transit systems and a very effective trash policy in Bangkok. So that’s what we were talking about.

The other thing I really realized here in Bangkok is that it is not personal quality which prevails, it is how much contact you have ? One of my friend has just open a new business. It is incredible to see how much energy they spend to create close relationship with the people they work. For instance that person leave on dinner with suppliers he intend to work with. And it works. If you are nice, if things goes well between you and your customer or supplier, doing business will be a lot easier. And price a lot lower as well. So a business dinner will go approximately this way :"Listen, I learn to know you the past few months where we had dinner and I like you. I own a shopping mall. There's a shop, the guy who rents it, I hate him ! So, I find a way to eject him and the place will be yours. Is it okay ?" Pointless to say that in such an economy based on relationship, cute businesswomen do very well.

Happy business life in Bangkok everyone !

Nicolas de Fontenay