N’allez jamais chez Orange

Orange

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Résumé de l’article:

1) Appel presque chaque mois au service hotline d’Orange pour cause de problèmes

2) Activation d’un abonnement illimité alors que rien demandé 

3) Activation d’un assurance premium alors que demandé basic et reconfirmé que je ne voulais pas la premium 

4) Frais de 145 CHF alors que téléphone inutilisé pendant 3 semaines à l’étranger

5) Frais en Suisse sans avoir appelé ni reçu d’appel car activation du réseau français

6) Frais internet exorbitants pour utilisations incroyablement élevées durant mes heures de sommeil 

7) Prolongation du contrat de 12 mois alors que Swisscom fait 2 mois car ils respectent le principe de “on veut qu’un client reste chez nous parce qu’il nous apprécie, pas parce qu’il est forcé” 

8) Perte de réseau et donc de toute fonctionnalité de la carte pendant une semaine au moment de la passer en prepaid à la fin du contrat

Article entier:

Alors, voilà trois ans que je suis abonné chez Orange en Suisse et j’ai été confronté à des problèmes dus à leurs incompétences à peu près chaque mois.

J’ai commencé mon abonnement chez Orange aux alentours de septembre 2010, motivé par les bas prix adaptés aux étudiants.

Mon premier problème est arrivé durant les premiers mois quand j’ai vu sur ma facture un abonnement illimité qui m’avait été activé pour plus d’une centaine de francs alors que je n’avais jamais rien demandé. J’ai du appeler, patienter et débattre jusqu’à ce que ce problème soit résolu.

Quelques mois plus tard, le même problème est arrivé à une des mes amies (également un abonnement illimité qui lui avait été activé alors qu’elle n’avait rien demandé).

J’ai à nouveau été confronté à ce problème en juin 2011 quand j’ai appelé Orange pour demander à ce qu’on me rajoute 15 minutes d’appels gratuits par mois pour 15 francs et au lieu de cela, ils m’ont activé un abonnement illimité aux alentours de 100 francs par mois

Entre deux, j’ai du appeler Orange plus de 5-6 fois pour devoir remédier à des problèmes de ce genre, ce qui m’a mené à m’habituer à avoir un ton plus familier quand j’appelle le service clientèle et qui a fini par me faire écrire des plaintes sur leur mur Facebook (où il y avait d’ailleurs des tas d’autres plaintes de la part de clients fâchés).

*****

Plus tard, je suis parti à l’étranger pendant quelque temps et suis rentré en été 2012 et me suis réabonné à Orange car Swisscom ne proposait aucun abonnement d’une année avec les iPhones. Quand j’y repense, je me dis que j’aurais du m’abonner à Sunrise.

Au moment de m’abonner, le vendeur m’a demandé à quelle assurance je souhaitais m’inscrire entre la basic et la premium. J’ai demandé des informations et ai décidé de m’inscrire à la basic. Un collègue de l’employé est venu et m’a demandé si j’étais sûr de mon choix car… J’ai répété deux ou trois fois que j’étais sûr que je voulais le simple contrat basic.

Or, j’ai reçu un SMS de la part de Orange le 5 juin 2012 me spécifiant que mon “offre Orange Security Premium a bien été activée. Vous recevrez votre certificat et les conditions générales par la poste dans les prochaines jours. Orange”

Cela m’a rappelé de vieux souvenirs et m’a fait appelé le service clientèle Orange pour la n-ième fois pour leur signaler leur erreur. Après un débat de quelques minutes où j’ai du convaincre l’employé Orange du fait que j’avais expressément demandé un contrat basic, celui-ci a accepté de me faire passer en basic.

Le deuxième mois, je suis parti trois semaines à l’étranger et en rentrant, ai réalisé que ma facture était de 145 francs. Quand j’ai voulu regarder ce qui m’avait coûté autant à l’aide de l’application My Orange sur le iPhone, j’ai réalisé que je m’étais appelé moi-même (?!) à peu près chaque jour, en moyenne 4-5 fois par jour, et que cela m’avait coûté à chaque fois ~4 CHF de frais pour appels sortants depuis l’étranger et en même temps ~2 CHF pour appels reçus à l’étranger (!!).

En appelant Orange et en expliquant la situation pendant une dizaine de minutes (encore une fois), on m’a répondu que cela était dû à la Orange Box (répondeur) que j’avais activé. J’ai dit que je n’avais jamais activé la Orange Box. L’employé m’a répondu que ce n’était pas eux qui l’avaient fait. J’ai demandé si cela insinuait que je mentais. Il m’a répondu quelque chose. Il a fini par me dire de rappeler quand je recevrais ma facture.

Jeudi 9 août 2012, j’ai reçu ma facture et ai appelé Orange pour leur réexpliquer la situation. Pendant 15 minutes, j’ai du expliquer la situation à une dame avec un français plutôt médiocre et une compréhension faible, qui a fini par me répondre de patienter pour qu’elle explique la situation à un collègue. Après 5 autres minutes d’attente, la dame m’a expliqué que c’était dû à la Orange Box et que celle-ci était activée automatiquement et qu’à chaque fois que quelqu’un m’appelait à l’étranger et que je n’avais pas de réseau, je recevais “le double des frais”.

Cependant, il existe quelques problèmes:

1) Même en Suisse, je ne reçois pas autant d’appels par jour (si seulement !)

2) De plus, TOUTES ces personnes là m’ont appelé comme par hasard juste aux moments où je n’avais de réseau, alors que j’avais du réseau à CHAQUE FOIS que je regardais mon portable.

3) J’ai reçu trois-quatre appels quand j’étais à l’étranger, comment se fait-il que ceux-ci ont réussi à m’appeler ?

4) Ils sont incapables de me dire qui m’a appelé et je ne vois pas qui aurait pu m’appeler autant de fois à part ma mère, qui me certifie qu’elle m’a appelé 3-4 fois en tout (qui sont les 3-4 fois où j’ai vu les appels s’afficher sur mon portable).

5) Je n’ai reçu aucun SMS me disant que j’avais des messages sur ma boîte vocale ou même que j’avais manqué des appels.

6) Comment se fait-il qu’au moment de souscrire à un abonnement, on nous précise tous les détails de l’offre, y compris le fait qu’on a des SMS illimités dus à notre âge, mais on ne nous précise pas que nous avons automatiquement une “Orange Box”, qui peut nous créer autant de frais, surtout pour une entreprise qui fait autant d’offres pour l’international.

7) Pourquoi est-ce que l’on ne nous parle pas de ces frais astronomiques (qui représentent plus de frais à la minute que n’importe quelle autre action) dans les messages d’informations aux voyageurs (Travel Info) alors que l’on nous des frais concernant 6 autres actions.

Si j’étais pessimiste, je dirais que Orange facture exprès autant sur la Orange Box pour être capable de voler de l’argent à ses clients car c’est une occasion parfaite, où il n’ont ni à nous fournir d’informations sur les appelants, ni sur les pourquoi et comment.

La dame m’a répondu que je ne pouvais rien faire et j’ai dit que je les mènerai au tribunal et elle a juste acquiescé…

Le lendemain, un employé Orange bien plus sympathique nommé Ola m’a divisé les frais par deux.

***

Voilà le troisième mois que je suis retourné chez Orange et encore une erreur… j‘ai reçu 6 francs de frais parce que j’aurais soi-disant reçu des appels à l’étranger alors que j’étais en Suisse et chez moi toute la journée !

J’ai eu une dame au téléphone qui a accepté de m’effacer ces frais mais que c’était de ma faute car mon réseau devrait être sur manuel !

***

Quelques mois sans problèmes et rebelote! 9 CHF de frais internet après 272000 kB de consommation internet à 6:41 du matin un lundi matin. Cependant, quelques problèmes: je dormais à cette heure ci et n’ai pas utilisé internet et même si je l’avais utilisé j’étais chez moi et étais donc connecté au wi-fi. Aussi, cette quantité de données n’a pas de précédent est anormalement élevé. Donc en gros si j’avais pas fait attention j’aurais tout simplement payé plus de 10 CHF de plus (car cette quantité de données a réussi à dépasser ma limite de 1 Giga ET rajouter 9 CHF à la facture, donc toutes les connections que j’ai eues après ont également été facturées alors qu’elles n’auraient pas du l’être vu que je n’avais pas dépasser ma limite de 1 Giga gratuit). J’ai vraiment l’impression qu’ils le font exprès, comment se fait-il qu’à chaque fois qu’ils font une erreur, c’est vers le haut et jamais vers le bas (jamais ils oublient de facturer quelque chose, ils facturent toujours plus)? En plus, ils m’envoient tout le temps un SMS me disant “rajouter 2 Giga de consommation pour 20 CHF de plus par mois!” J’ai l’impression qu’ils veulent juste me pousser à le faire en me montrant des factures internet supérieures à ce qu’elles devraient être afin de me faire dire “ah mais alors ça vaut la peine de payer 20CHF de plus pour plus d’internet!”….

Le même problème est arrivé à plusieurs amis à moi quelques mois plus tard et je l’ai même vu posté dans un groupe d’étudiants dont je suis membre sur Facebook en avril 2014.

******

Un an plus tard: Orange a automatiquement prolongé mon contrat car j’ai signalé ma résiliation trop tard. Normal, mais la prolongation a été de 12 mois alors que c’est de 2 mois chez Swisscom.

Dans cette année, le principal problème que j’ai eu et dont je me souvienne est le même qu’en haut: connexion à internet à des heures improbables et beaucoup trop long.

De toute façon, je les ai appelés au moins une fois par mois.

Dernier grand problème:

j’ai résilié mon contrat pour juin et j’ai demandé à ce qu’au jour de la résiliation, ma carte passe en prepaid. Cela été fait et j’ai même rechargé ma carte, sauf que je n’ai pas eu de réseau pendant 24 heures (impossibilité de recevoir, composer des appels / SMS) et j’ai donc appelé Orange qui m’a dit que c’est normal au moment d’un transit d’abonnement à prepaid et que 24 heures est le max. J’ai attendu encore 3 jours et toujours rien ne fonctionnait. J’ai donc appelé Orange qui m’a créé “une fiche technique” qui fait que les mecs de la technique vont m’appeler dans 2 jours, c’est à dire que malgré le fait que je leur ai dit que j’avais absolument besoin du téléphone dans la journée, ils me font poireauter une semaine ou si ce n’est plus (j’y suis pas encore).

J’ai donc pris à présent un abonnement Swisscom et là je me rends compte…

Je comprends pas pourquoi quelqu’un prendrait un abonnement Orange alors qu’avec Swisscom, pour 55 CHF par mois on a internet illimité alors qu’Orange le limite à 1 GB, appels vers fixe, mobile (Orange, Sunrise, Swisscom, etc.) gratuits alors qu’avec Orange il faut payer quand c’est un réseau mobile non-Orange, une extension tacite de contrat de 2 mois au lieu de 12 pour Orange, des employés beaucoup plus sympathiques et serviables, un meilleur réseau, pas tous les bugs qu’Orange a (abonnement soudain à un réseau illimité pour 80 CHF alors que rien demandé, pertes de réseaux, utilisation surélevée d’internet à l’heure du sommeil, transfer en carte prepaid qui bloque la carte pendant 1 semaine), etc. , etc. BREF, n’allez pas chez Orange!!! 

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Traduction en persan de la chanson Dernière Danse d’Indila ترجمه آهنگ رقص آخر – ایندیلا Persian translation of Indila’s song – Last dance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5KAc5CoCuk

این آهنگ درباره ترد شدن در اجتماع است و اشارس به تمام کسانی که مثل خود خواننده-ترانه سرا خارجی تبارن در فرانسه و همیشه در انزوا زندگی کردن٫ این منظورو توی ویدئوش هم میشه دید
لایتموتیف آهنگ قسمت «آه رنج شیرینم»ه که همش تکرار می کنه و عمدا جوری تلفظ می کنه که به نظر می رسه میگه «آه فرانسه ی نازنینم» چون این دو جمله خیلی به هم شبیهن

Ô ma douce souffrance (آه رنج شیرینم (فرانسه نازنینم
Pourquoi s’acharner tu recommences تلاش چرا٫ تو تکرار می کنی
Je ne suis qu’un être sans importance من فقط یک وجود بی اهمیتی ام
Sans lui je suis un peu paro’ بدون او یه کمی معذبم (کلمه ای که واسه معذب استفاده می کنه خیلی عامیانه س٫ اکثرا معنیشو نمی دونن)
Je déambule seule dans le métro سرگردون و تنها راه میرم تو مترو
Une dernière danse (یه رقص آخر (اسم آهنگ
Pour oublier ma peine immense برای فراموش کردن انوده عمیقم
Je veux m’enfuir que tout recommence می خوام در برم و از اول همه چی شروع بشه
Oh ma douce souffrance (آه رنج شیرینم (فرانسه نازنینم)

[Refrain]
Je remue le ciel le jour, la nuit زمین و زمان را صبح تا شب به هم می دوزم
Je danse avec le vent la pluie با باد و بارون می رقصم
Un peu d’amour, un brin de miel یه ذره عشق یه کمی عسل
Et je danse, danse, danse, danse, danse, danse و می رقصم٫ می رقصم٫ می رقصم٫ می رقصم
Et dans le bruit, je cours et j’ai peur و در غوغا می دوم و می ترسم
Est ce mon tour ? آیا نوبت من رسیده؟
Vient la douleur درد داره میاد
Dans tout Paris, je m’abandonne در تمام پاریس ول می گردم
Et je m’envole, vole, vole, vole, vole و بال می زنم بال بال بال بال بال

[Pont 1]
Que d’espérance چه امید هایی
Sur ce chemin en ton absence در ابن راه در غیبت تو
J’ai beau trimer, sans toi ma vie n’est qu’un décor qui brille, vide de sens هرچند جون می کنم بدون تو زندگیم فقط یک دکور براق خالی از معنیه

[Refrain]

[Pont 2]
Dans cette douce souffrance (در این رنج شیرینی (فرانسه نازنینی
Dont j’ai payé toutes les offenses که تاوان تمام اهانتاشو پس دادم
Écoute comme mon cœur est immense نگاه چه قلبم وسیعه
Je suis une enfant du monde من یک فرزند جهانم

[Refrain]
Je remue le ciel le jour, la nuit زمین و زمان را صبح تا شب به هم می دوزم
Je danse avec le vent la pluie با باد و بارون می رقصم
Un peu d’amour un brin de miel یه ذره عشق یه کمی عسل
Et je danse, danse, danse, danse, danse, danse و می رقصم٫ می رقصم٫ می رقصم٫ می رقصم
Et dans le bruit, je cours et j’ai peur و در غوغا می دوم و می ترسم
Est ce mon tour? آیا نوبت من رسیده؟
Vient la douleur… درد داره میاد
Dans tout paris, je m’abandonne در تمام پاریس ول می گردم
Et je m’envole, vole, vole, vole, vole و بال می زنم بال بال بال بال بال

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(Never fly with) Emirates

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I had always thought that Emirates was a “classy” airline, offering good services. This was mainly because of their commercials and the way they had to introduce their company.

I booked a flight for me and my mother from Geneva to Tehran in August 2013. In order to have a minimum waiting time in Dubai (the flight was Geneva-Dubai Dubai-Tehran), I booked on Kayak a ticket with a 2-hour waiting time in Dubai, instead of all the other tickets that had a 7-hour waiting time, but that were much cheaper.

The plane in Geneva was 30 minutes late, I asked the lady in the Emirates check-in in Geneva airport if we would manage to catch the connection as the plane was late, and she replied in a really rude manner (meaning, “of course you’re stupid”):
“Well yeah! 30 minutes is easily compensated during the flight!”

Inside the plane, I noticed in the last hour that we were arriving late in Dubai, I asked the flight attendants who guaranteed me that because our connection was with Emirates, the flight to Tehran would wait for us.

Nevertheless, we sat in first class in order to be closer to the door once it opened, and once it did, we ran out of the plane and ran to the connection gate.

Once at the Emirates desk in Dubai airport, they told us we couldn’t get into the plane to Tehran because our plane was late and they could not transfer our luggage to the new plane and we were not allowed to travel without our luggage for security reasons.

They thus told us to wait for 7 hours in the Dubai airport. I asked them to call their boss. It was a Pakistani guy called Mohammad (maybe written Muhammad) something (he was working there on the 11 August at midnight-12 August 1am).

He did not say hi, did not apologise and did not make a single smile in his speech. He just explained to us that they could not do anything.

After arguing with him for more than 30 minutes, they agreed to book us a hotel for the 7 hours in Dubai but he said very confidently that the immigration would not let us out of the airport because it was for less than 8 hours.

He was wrong. They let us out and we went to a small hotel belonging to Emirates (or which was an Emirates partner) for a few hours. We went to take our flight and saw the other Iranians, who had given up before he would give them a hotel (he refused to give them because he was saying that the immigration would not let them out), and they had stayed for 7 hours waiting at the airport… !

Coming back to Switzerland, I sent a complaint to Emirates, expecting them to at least compensate us for the difference between the 7-hour waiting ticket price and the 2-hour waiting ticket price (which was overall around $500). Other fees included $50 calling costs for calling the family and tell them to not come pick us up at the airport.

They replied apologising but saying they would not do anything. They just put 10,000 miles on my Skywards account. Just to have an idea, the minimum number of miles in order to get something for free is 45,000 miles.

So, I decided to write the experience here in order to let people know what kind of airline they are.

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Middle-Eastern genetics

After reading a lot about the subject on the internet, I now want to sum up the genetic composition of the different Middle-Eastern countries by making a list of the main Middle-Eastern countries with their haplogroups. I write hereunder only the Y-chromosome haplogroups constituting the ~80% of each population because the other ~20% is shared between a lot of less significant haplogroups. Note also that each of these haplogroups constituting the main 80% have comparable weights (the highest percentage of a haplogroup weights maximum twice the lowest).

The haplogroups are written in descending order (according to their frequencies)

Iran: J2, R1a, R1b, G, J1
Turkey: J2, R1b, G, E1b1, J1, R1a
Iraq: J1, J2, R1b, R1a
Levant: J2, E1b1, R1a, R1b
Armenia: R1b, J2, G, J1, E1b1
Saudi Arabia: J1, J2
Egypt: E1b1, J1, J2

It is also interesting to note that North African countries have >50% E1b1 and Western European countries >50% R1b, which makes them less diversified than each of the above countries (except Saudi Arabia and Egypt) but also related to them in some way.

References:

http://hpgl.stanford.edu/publications/HG_2004_v114_p127-148.pdf

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0041252

http://www.familytreedna.com/public/armeniadnaproject/default.aspx?section=results

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19686289

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_G-M201_%28Y-DNA%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-DNA_haplogroups_by_populations_of_Near_East

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_history_of_Egypt#Y-Dna_haplogroups

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Grand Hotel Sharm, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt

I was looking again at the photos we had taken in Sharm el Sheikh 3 years ago (2010) and was amazed by the beauty of our hotel and the place.

Our hotel was Grand Hotel Sharm, the employees were really kind people and we had so much fun with them. I just remember the name of one of them because of its originality: Ramzy Ramzy.

The hotel is next to a coral reef, and the water is clear blue. I had never seen anything like that. You can see until the deepest levels of the water and you can see fishes you have only seen in cartoons. It is really beautiful.

The hotel itself looks like an Oriental village or palace, depending on the perspective. It is truly beautiful and it’s huge. You have several pools, beaches, restaurants, stores, streets.

The only negative point about Egypt was the fact that some of its people were really too conservative and the environment in Cairo was quite repressive and conservative.

I share with you photos of the Grand Hotel Sharm, these photos were taken in January 2010:

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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Where do Indo-Europeans come from?

A surprising linguistic phenomenon is that the populations in Europe, Iran, Armenia and North India trace their languages back to the same root. What is surprising in that matter is that the other populations in the Middle-East speak Semitic languages (Arabic, Hebrew) which are unrelated to the above mentioned languages spoken by Iranian peoples (Persians, Lors, Bakhtiaris, Gilakis, Mazandaranis, Kurds, Balouchs, etc.) and Armenians [1][2]

The traditional point of view on this issue is that proto-Indo-Europeans migrated from East Asia and separated in Central Asia (North-East of the Caspian Sea), one group going to Iran and India and creating the Indo-Iranian (Aryan) subfamily and another one migrating to Europe creating Latin, Germanic, Slavic and other European languages. [3]

indoeuro

Source: BBC Persian

In that case, peoples currently living in these areas should be related, as they come from the same ancient tribe (Indo-European tribe-s) and this is what linguistic theorists based themselves on to conclude that these people constituted a tribe that separated in Central Asia.

The problem is that recent genetic studies done on Iranians show that their ancestors could not have come from Central Asia and that the current Iranian people are descendants of the peoples living in the Mesopotamia/Iranian plateau region ~10,000 years BC. [4]

According to the most accepted theory about Indo-Europeans, they arrived from North-East Iran and then composed the three main ancient Iranian peoples Greek historian Herodotus wrote about: the Persians, the Medes and the Parthians. [5]

However, if this is the case, how come no trace of Central Asian genes is found in the current Iranians’ DNA? One can argue that this is because they were mixed with other populations, but according to geneticists, traces of very distant and unique ancestors can be found in DNAs. [6] There should thus be a trace of Iranian ancestors in Central Asia.

As this is not the case, we can conclude that these Persians, Medes, Parthians and other Iranic peoples (Aryans) living on the Iranian plateau between 500 and 1000 BC did not come from Central Asia but were people already living there, along and mixed with the other peoples such as the Sumerians, Babylonians, Elamites, Assyrians and others. That’s why there is a unity in the country’s peoples, whether they are Iranian Persians, Iranian Azeris, Iranian Arabs, even though they do not speak languages from the same families, they are closely genetically related. [7][8][9][10]

Even genetic tests on today’s Indians show no relation to the Central Asia region or to tribes coming from there. [11]

Another issue is that some people like the Kassites and Hittites already had Indo-European roots in their languages and names before the arriving of the assumed wave of Indo-Europeans into the Middle-East (Iran) and India from the East and Caucasia.[12]

All these points lead to the same conclusion, Indo-European languages had already developed in the region and there was no immigration wave coming from other parts of Asia. The theory that Indo-European languages first developed in Anatolia or Mesopotamia seems to be right after all. Indeed, this theory was first developed by Colin Renfrew in 1987 [13] mainly based on archaeological events (the spread of farming) but was badly received by the anthropologist community [14]. However, genetic tests made nowadays seem to prove his theory, now backed by other scholars such as Quentin Atkinson. [15]

Moreover, Turks are genetically far from other Altaic-speaking populations such as Mongolic peoples, even though traces of Altaic peoples can be found in them, proving the Altaic invasion of Turkey and the imposition of their language. [16] Furthermore, Turks spoke Indo-European languages before the transformation of their language to current Turkish (Altaic). [17]

In conclusion, it seems that Indo-Europeans first developed in Anatolia and around Mesopotamia, spread to the East to reach the early Iranians and Indians thousands of years BC and spread to the West to reach Europe.

indo_european_migation

Source: [18]

This explains also the stable genetics of Iranians and Indians throughout History, phenomenon also observed in Levantine people (Lebanese, Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians) who trace their roots back to thousands of years ago in the Levant. [19][20][21] This also proves that the Arab invasions and the spread of Islam did not change the genetics of the indigenous people.

Populations of the Middle-East are actually quite close to each other and are all descendants of the ancient peoples who lived around Mesopotamia thousands of years ago, developing the first cities, first agricultural systems and first civilizations. The only part with a significantly different genetic composition is the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, etc.)

West asia genetics

Source: [22]

In my opinion, the reason why linguists started the Indo-European myth asserting that these languages come from tribes who originated in central Asia and migrated to Iran and India for one part and to Europe for the other part comes from the racial-superiority-justifying minds of the 19th and 20th centuries. Theorists preferred to believe that nomadic tribes had migrated from Asia than accepting the fact that their languages trace their roots back to the Middle-East, the cradle of civilization, the place that also gave birth to the Semitic languages, and to the most important inventions and developments of Ancient History.

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Tips and advice for travelers in Thailand

Thailand

I don’t intend to write a sophisticated or professional travel analysis, just try to make the reader aware of a few points.

We went to Bangkok, Changmai and its jungle, Ko Samui and Kohphangan.

First, you will have to take the taxi from Bangkok airport to your hotel. The driver will tell you a price exceeding 100 Baht. Don’t listen and find a taxi with taxi meter. The taxi meter should start at 35 and the overall price shouldn’t exceed 50-60 Baht.

Bangkok was a quite dirty city, at least the area around Kao San road which is the main attractive street for tourists. Don’t go to touristy restaurants and find the thai places in smaller streets, a normal meal should be between 40-120 Baht.

Remember something: Thai people are really unfriendly and they won’t be nice to you unless they want money from you. You might think the prices are low for the West but they are not for Thailand and you shouldn’t promote Thai people to keep increasing their prices and taking tourists for idiots.

In taxis, 7 elevens, they tried to fool us not giving us back the right amount of money so always pay attention. We wanted to buy coats from a store and the lady had just put a sticker on the 20 baht original price making it double (instead of just removing the original price). Fortunately, they are not smart and it is easy to realize they’re fooling you if you pay attention.

(almost) None speaks English.

If you are given a price you should at least bargain to get less than half.

There was this really bitter experience we had in BK that’s worth telling. We were looking on the map and a nice looking short lady with a smile came to us asking if we needed help.

She showed us on the map where all the temples are and she seemed really kind and told us that we were lucky because that day was Buddha day and the taxis were half price and temples free. She also advised us to avoid booking with local agencies because they would fool us and she told us to go to the government agency which was also written on the map and its name was TAT. She said near the last temple there is a clothes factory and we could get cheap suits and clothes that day. We were really pleased and even took a picture with her. There was a ‘tuktuk’ (motorbike taxi) stopped there so she asked him to take us to all these places for only 20 Baht (because of Buddha day).
He was really smiling and brought us to each temple and each time we were welcomed by someone with a big smile saying it’s Buddha day and there is no entrance fee for the temples.
We went to the agency and surprisingly it was written ‘TIT’ on the door and not ‘TAT’… Inside, they tried to sell us really expensive tickets of thai box (40 Euros) so we just left.
We went to the clothes factory (the first floor was full of thais trying to sell us ‘jewellery’ and the second was full of fabrics) and a friend got a custom made suit for like 90 Euros. He paid with credit card and the suit would be ready one week after for pick up.
We then went to the last temple but we couldn’t find the tuk tuk anymore (who was supposed to bring us back to our hotel and get his money) so we asked another tuk tuk. And ! this tuk tuk driver had like 50 cards in every language and he gave us the one in English. It was written that our tuk tuk had left us and got his money from the stores we went to.
This guy (the first tuk tuk driver) and his whole network (or mafia) were amazingly stupid because the fact he left us made us start doubting, so we asked people if it was Buddha day and they all said no !! And we suddenly realized that the whole daY was just a scenario and trick just to make us go to the agency and the factory and spend money they would then all share (the first bitch, the stupid driver, etc.) !!!!!! Fortunately my friend had paid with his credit card and he called the bank to cancel the transaction so we actually just had a free one day bangkok tour ;)

We then took a tuk tuk back home and the driver said he has to bring us to a suit store so that they give him free gasoline. I was really tired of the fact there was no sincere relation between people and everything was about fooling and getting money. So, we went to this store and I did as if I was interested and I actually took advantage of this by asking the guy to give me a (free) beer I drank and said ‘actually Im not interested, bye’. I advise every tourist in Thailand to do this and fool the foolers ;)

We booked a tour for 3 days trekking in Changmai with a travel agency in Bangkok and I strongly advise every traveller to avoid agencies. We paid like 2000 baht for going to changmai with a bus and 3 days trekking there and then come back. The trekking was so exhaustive and bad (we were sleeping on the ground of a dirty hut with no proper bathroom and no shower) everybody (including us) gave up after one night and went back to the city.
We then realized that the agency had actually not booked any bus back to bk for us and we had to do and pay it ourselves. The bus was actually really better than the one the agency had booked up for us.

The city of Changmai was a cleaner, classier and more comfortable place than Bk, that’s all I have to say. We were staying in hotel m changmai which was quite good.

In Bangkok, we took the night train to the south and that was the worst travel experience of my life. Apparently, the thai standards are really low and the train had obviously never been cleaned, it was full of stains on the floor and the restroom was just a small hole in an empty room.
It had cockroaches and I actually got up from a cockroach on my nose (!!!).

In surat thani, the agency had told us the bus to the pier would come pick us up at a time which was 1 hour 30 earlier than what it actually was. The bus was actually waiting to fill itself and make the most money it could with just one travel. When I complained to the buses responsible about this saying customer had not much importance in his country he got really upset and I thought he would punch me :)

The bus took us to the pier where we took a boat to ko phangan and there, we took a bus to our beach (than sadet) and the road was the worst I have ever experienced (it was like in a roller coaster). We got to the beach and realized there were only really simple bungalows in the area and no electricity for most of the day… we were staying in a ‘hotel’ called seaview. There was only electricity from 6pm to midnight and there was no city (shops, pharmacies, markets) for kilometers around. However, the place was really relaxing and had a great ambiance.
I just got up each night by the sound of a different animal I had never heard before and it was quite scary. There were worms and spiders in the rooms.

One night, we got lost on our way back from the beach in the jungle and passed in front of a snake… ! That night, we were so afraid we were sweating and shaking all over. We found a house with a family cooking and we asked (no, we begged !) the lady if she could show us the way to our hotel but she just said “5 minutes walk 5 minutes walk” even though we were begging her to show us better than this. We tried to then go but got lost again and came back to that house and this time we really begged her to just come a bit out of her house and show us the actual way we have to take. She just repeated “go up, 5 minutes” … if it was in any country, the person would have just come out and shown us the way, as it is not a big effort from someone living in that district for years.

The lady working for the seaview bungalows was from Laos and was the greatest person we met in Thailand and actually had a sense of humor.

You can try something funny there, ask everyone you find nice where they come from and the answer is never Thailand :)

We then moved to Ko Samui (chaweng beach) in a good hotel called first house which has a pool and a beach. However, because of the naive tourists here, the prices are almost like in Europe. Their restaurants are wannabe classy but people still have the uneducated character that you find so frustrating in Thailand: almost aggressing you to get you to buy or consume from them.
The ‘classy-looking’ restaurant costed 25 euros for two people and some parts of the meal were replaced by other things because of the lack of the original food without telling us in advance and the bill was 200 Baht more expensive than what was on the menu (they tried to fool us).

To go back to our countries, we took a boat back to surat thani and took a bus for 150 Baht to the airport the agency had told us. We got there after maybe 1 hour. The airport was really bad, there was just one place to eat at and I asked the employee if the chicken was spicy and he said no but it was so spicy i gave up eating after 5 minutes.
The food my friend took tasted bad so she didn’t eat it.
We then went to check in and they told us that there was no seat under our names (!!). They called the agency and realized they had actually only booked the travel without buying it even though we had asked for it and they thought they had done it. After 1 hour of argument and stress (there was no flight with empty seats to Bangkok and we had to be there in the evening to take our flights back home), the agency booked us a flight from another airport.

We took the cab to that airport, it lasted 2 hours and we had to pay 2200 Baht (!!) and we managed to catch our planes. We wanted to go to the agency to get reimbursed for all the additional fees (bus changmai-bkk, taxi to the airport, interests for the stress and waste of time) but we didn’t have time.

We then realized the agency had taken twice the actual price of the tickets from us :)

In conclusion, I have to say I was really disappointed by this place. All my friends that had come here had told me how amazing this country is but I come to believe that the reason was that they hadn’t travelled to too many countries. The beaches, places, do not look any better (actually look less good) than any place close to Middle East or Europe or the US. Personally, I would tell you to never come to this place to avoid putting your money in such crooks’ pockets. If you are looking for beaches, go to Spain, Italy (cinque terre for example), Southern France, Turkey (Antalya), Egypt (Sharm el Sheikh), Morocco, Tunisia, Greece.
If you are looking for clear water go to Sharm el sheikh and check the red sea which is the most amazing piece of water I have ever seen (it’s undescribable, the water is literally blue and transparent, the coral reefs are beautiful and the fishes so colorful and amazing and you can see until the deepest level under the water).
If you are looking for kindness and friendly people, try these http://opentravel.com/blogs/5-friendliest-nations-on-planet-earth/
If you want parties, try Majorca, Ibiza.
If you want jungles, I don’t know, google it.
If you want good food, try Italy (Rome is really good).
If you want big mosquito stitches, come to Thailand.

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