Thursday, 12 April 2007

I feel like a good whinge!!

I love it here but nothing is ever simple and I want to have a good moan about it!!

I met with the woman that owns Pandora, Wellie (No I'm not kidding......that's her name), she looked at my art work and offered to host an exhibition of my stuff over the entire month of September. She wants me to produce about 30 pieces which she will put on display - she will also organise and host a launch party and will do the marketing for it. All she's asking for in return is 20% of any sales made (Chris and I thought that, considering the work that would go into organising it all, 20% was pretty good). I'm scunnered because I don't think I'm going to be able to do it. I don't have a bloody work permit!! (And I am not prepared to do anything that might jeopardise Chris's job). The Thai's do not make it easy to do business here!! To set up a company I would need to have my own premises, employ six Thai staff and guarantee that the business would generate a certain income each month (Oh....and did I mention that I would also need an existing Thai company to act as a guarantor). Ok so are there any other options - well, I personally could be sponsored by a company but there are very specific rules about what kind of company can sponsor you depending on what type of work you want to do so that is not looking very likely (For Wellie to do it she would have to employ another six Thai staff (six Thai staff = 1 Farang Work Permit)). I have also discovered that I could get a work visa on the back of Chris's but it doesn't look like EY offer that service. Apparently it's very unusual for an organisation to do this (I don't think it's an easy thing to set up) - Chris is going to speak to the Managing Partner but told me not to get my hopes up. So the last option open to me is to get the contact details of a good lawyer and get some advice - I don't think there is going to be an easy solution but will keep you all posted!!

There is another thing that is driving me bananas at the moment!! Moon is teaching me Thai and I am teaching her English - I have been trying to increase my vocabulary using a programme called Survival Linkword which is a great idea for learning a language. It uses images which make you link the English word to another word which sounds like the word you want to remember. For example - The Thai word for Duck is Peh (t). So you picture, as vividly as you can, that you love to chase your Pet Duck. I know that this method works (my Dad has used it on many an occasion) but it doesn't work for Thai. Thai is a tonal language so Pet can mean Duck or Diamond depending on how you say it. Now, you would think that if you are standing at a food stall and you say Pet that the person serving you would know that you wanted duck but if you don't say it using the right tone then they just stand there looking at you blankly. I'll give you another example (and this one is a killer) - The Thai for Rice is Kao so you have to imagine a cow eating rice. Sounds simple - I tried this on Moon and have now learned that it can also mean Knee, To enter, He/She or Animal horn and to make matters worse there is another word Kaao (which sounds scarily similar) that can mean Fishy, News or White depending on how it is said so she had no idea what the hell I was on about when I proudly said 'Kao'. I then pointed at rice and said 'Kao' she apparently corrected me but I have to say that it sounded exactly the same as what I had just said. I am now trying to learn the different tones and am providing Moon with a great source of amusement (aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggggggg!!)

Actually......I feel better now I have got that off my chest!!!


JJ said...

And how many times have you been given a plate of diamonds and knees?

Have you tried shouting really loud and slow?

Janice said...

Here's a tip...

When I was learning Chinese - same tonal problem - I foolishly got into the habit of waving my hand in the direction of the tone with each new word I learned... rising up, falling down, curving high to low and up again, flat high...

Yeah, so you guessed it, it turns out I couldn't speak the word without the hand involuntarily coming into action.

Just saying the numbers one to ten has me flailing and sawing the air like a manic music conductor.

Well it's a tip. Not a tip I would recommend if you want to retain the last remnants of that facade of sanity you cling to... but hey, it's the best I can offer.

Carol and Chris said...

JJ - I really wouldn't be surprised if I was served up a plate of knees!! Not tried the speaking very slowly and shouting - maybe that's what I'm doing wrong!!

Janice - Nope haven't done the hand thing....I do the same thing with my head!! I end up bobbing about as I try to get my voice to follow the direction of my head!! (Much to Moon's amusement)

Having just read your comment.....perhaps I'll try to knock that on the head!! (sorry couldn't resist)

peter_may said...

You might well find that writers and artists, whose work is done and sold in an international context, are exempt from Thai work-permit restrictions. That's certainly true of most other countries. I can, for example, sell the rights to my books to an American publisher without having to have a US work permit. If you can demonstrate that you still have a UK address (nod's as good as a wink etc), then you should be able to by-pass the rules. After all, it's not as if you would be doing a Thai national out of a job!

Carol and Chris said...

I hadn't thought of that!! I will double check with the lawyer but I think you may have just solved my problem :-))

Now all I need to worry about is producing 30 pictures (Yikes!!)