Monday, August 28, 2006

A natural socialist will swing left

Ségolène Royal, a popular candidate for the French presidency in 2007 election, is hot in the media these days. I do not know much a her, but the medias have been "caricatured"her in a way that I don't think Malaysia's medias will dare to do. Look at the caricatures and see for yourself.

Can you imagine that the media in Malaysia potrait Rafidah Aziz this way?

This photo tries to say that "a real socialist naturally swing to the left". Do you believe in it?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Free watermark software

I'm creating my website and one of the concern is posting private photos online. I found a free software to do the watermark, and it's very easy to use.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Do you pee in your garden?

Growing in Malaysia, I have heard of so many people telling their kids to pee in the garden. I was told that it is a good fertilizer for the plants. I was laughed at when I told my boyfriend about this. His father, with gardening as his hobby, was surprised when I told him.

Ok, why then in Malaysia people do this? It doesn't seem like the plant was drying from the pee.

Did some research. I was right. Urine can be a good fertilizer. Go figure yourself.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Visit to La Gacilly

I love Lavender, love it's colour and smell. After our civil wedding, my partner has 7 days of vacations. He asked me where I want to go. I told him I would like to see "La mer de Lavender", which means the sea of Lavender. Ideally we should go to Provence, the Lavenders grow nicely there. However, in summer, if you don't reserve in advance, chances are every hotel and campsite is full. We have no choice, but to go to other option. We chosed La Gacilly, as we heard that they might have some Lavender. We were wrong, but the trip was still nice.

Photo from

We didn't see Lavender, it's not the session, they usually fully grow during the spring. Instead, La Gacilly is famous of it's artists and handcraft shops. We saw shop producing glasses, collectional toys, galleries; their products are quite expensive. The shop below produce and sell candles in different shapes.

What impressed me was the big posters hanging on the wall of building. I didn't know you can have an art exhibition this way. Some of the posters are displaying the flooding situation in Redon in 1999.

They have also exhibition about Himalaya.

We visited also the botanical garden of Yves Rocher, a French cosmetic brand who produce cosmetic using plants. I heard of Yves Rocher in Malaysia, which my sister told me that it's famous in France. I told her I have never heard of it in France. It was my fault though, because I don't know French brand much. It's true that it's quite famous here. The botanical garden is fine, just that when you are in French, you don't expect people to introduce you what is bamboo, what is curry, banana trees, where is pineapple grow from pineapple tree... Gosh, I knew these since I was young, simply because I'm a Malaysian, and we do have a lot bamboo and banana trees, we do know that curry is not a plant but combination of spices, and that pineapple grow from the middle of the pineapple tree. No brainer.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Places I have been to (2001- 2006)

The year 2000 had been the turning page in my life. Since then, I have been visiting a lot of places in US and Europe, something that won't have happened if my life page hadn't changed.

Jan 2001 - San Antonio, Texas, USA
Feb 2001 - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Mar-Apr 2001 - New York, Washington DC, USA
Aug - 2001 - Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Nov 2001 - Phoenix, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, USA
Dec 2001 - North Carolina, USA
Dec 2001 - Jan 2002 - Belo Horizonte, Jericoacoa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Apr 2002 - Big Bend National Park, Texas, USA
May - June 2002 - Back to Malaysia
Jul 2002 - Singapore
Aug 2002 - Alps Mountain, Paris, Brittany, France; Turino, Italy
Dec 2002 - Jan 2003 - New York, USA
May 2003 - Back to Malaysia
Jun 2003 - San Antonio, New Orleans, USA
Jul 2003 - Philadeuphia, USA
Aug 2003 - Niagara Falls, Toronto, Canada
Nov 2003 - Boston, USA
Dec 2003 - Jan 2004 - Alsace, Brittany, France
Jun 2004 - Dallas, Houston, Enchanted Rock, Hot Spring, Arkansas, Johnson City, Fredericksburg, Wimberley, Texas, USA
Jul 2004 - Los Angeles, San Diergo, Santa Barbara, CA, USA; Tijuana, Mexico
Dec 2004 - Jan 2005 - Brittany, France
Feb 2005 - Back to Malaysia
Jun 2005 - Moved to France
Jul - Aug 2005 - Back to Malaysia; Bali, Indonesia
May 2006 - Back to Malaysia

The marriage procedure in France

Note: This information is gathered based on my personal experience. I'm not an expert in giving advise on this matter, but simply sharing my experience. You are advised to contact any relevant authorities for the up to date procedure.

How to get married in France

Once you decide to get married, you need to go to the Town Hall (Mairie) where you are going to have the wedding for a list of documents to prepare.

Each Town Hall might request a different set of documents. Here are documents required by the Town Hall in Queven:

1. Medical certificate within 2 months before you send in the application.

Note: Make sure the town hall give you also a booklet that have 2 forms for this certificate. Both of you need to go see a doctor and it's you who have to bring this form along. If you don't have it with you, you need to go to the Town Hall again and come back to the doctor for him to sign.

2. You will need to fill out the forms in the booklet which provide the Town Hall with the personal details of each spouse as well as a list of witnesses.

3. Extract of your birth certificate issued within 3 months to the day of the wedding (Original and translated copy).

Note: I didn't provide them a new birth certificate. Instead I told the Town Hall that unlike France, Malaysia only issue a life time birth certificate. The officer in the Town Hall called their judge, and the judge agreed that I only need to provide them with a translated copy which is made within 3 months, and a certified copy of my original birth certificate. All of these can be done with the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris.

4. Proof of the residency - electricity bill or other bill with your name on it.

5. Photocopy of your identity card (with photo).

6. Photocopy of the identity card of your witness.

7. Certificate of custom (A paper saying that the law of Malaysia allows you to get married).

8. Certificate of yous single status (A proof that you have never been married).

Note: Item 7 and 8 can be done together. Please call the Embassy of Malaysia in France to verify all the information.

Apply from France

You will need to go to the Embassy of Malaysia in Paris. Make sure you call them and make an appointment before going. You will fill in the form and swear in front of them that you have never married. They will issue you a "surat akuan" with some forms. You will need to send all these along with a photocopy of your IC and RM5 to:

Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia (Attention Puan Nor)

Bahagian Perkahwinan dan Perceraian

Aras 1, Lot 2G5 Presint 2

Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan

62100 Putrajaya


Once they receive your application, it will take them 7 days to issue you an English version of "Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan", where you should ask them to send it to:

Kementerian Luar Negeri

Bahagian Konsular

Wisma Putra

No.1, Jalan Wisma Putra

Parcel C, Precint 2

62602 Putrajaya


Kementerian Luar Negeri will certify and sign that this "Surat Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan" is actually signed by the right person. You need to pay RM10 for that. They will then send this letter to you in France.

You can then send this letter to the Embassy in Malaysia in Paris:

Ambassade de Malaisie (Consular Department)

2 bis, rue Benouville

75116, Paris France

Tel:(331) 4553 1185

Fax:(331) 4727 3460

Once the Embassy receive this, they will translate the "Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan" to the required certificate of single status (Item 8) and issue you a certificite of custom (Item 7). You will need to pay 5 euros for Item 7. This can usually be done within 2 weeks.

Apply from Malaysia

I did mine in Malaysia May 2006. My family got me the form from Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia. I then went to see a commissioner of oath, he signed and I paid RM4. Then, I went to Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara Malaysia in Putrajaya to submit the application (RM5) with a photocopy of IC. Service was nice and fast. One week later, I went to collect the "Sijil Pengesahan Taraf Perkahwinan", then go to Kementerian Luar Negeri to get it sign (RM10). Service was nice but slow due to the crowd. I then sent it by poslaju to Embassy of Malaysia in Paris. They sent me Item 6 and 7 to my address in France within 2 weeks.

The Civil Marriage

Once the town hall receive all the necessary documents, they will make an announcement of the marriage. Your wedding day will have to be 2 weeks or one month after the application, depending on the city you live.

On the wedding day, the ceremony will last for around 10 minutes. The mayor will ask the bride first for the consent of marriage follow by the gloom. You will be given a "livret de famille" and several extract of the marriage for future administrative purposes.

The Carte de séjour

As soon as you are married, you can go to your prefecture to process your carte de séjour. In Nantes, I need my passport and the livret de famille to get an appointment to process the carte. The prefecture only open from 1.30pm to 4pm, so people were queueing to fight for the 20-25 numbers available for the day. My appointment was scheduled to 2 months after. That means I can only work when I get my temporarily carte de séjour on the appointment day.

On the appointment day, you need to provide these documents and your French spouse has to come with you:

1. Photocopy of your passport including pages that indicate your status in France (visa)

2. Extract of your birth certificate accompany by a translation in French

3. Livret de famille

4. Extract of your marriage provided by the town hall where you got married

5. Justification of your residential (electricity bill, phone bill...)

6. Identity card of your spouse

7. 4 photos, preferably in black and white, clearly showing your face

8. Your current carte de séjour

9. The appointment paper

How to get a student visa to France

Note: This information is gathered based on my personal experience. I'm not an expert in giving advise on this matter, but simply sharing my experience. You are advised to contact any relevant authorities for the up to date procedure.

How to apply for a student visa to France from Malaysia

If you are going to study in France more than 3 months, most likely you will need a student visa. Here is a list of documents that you need to prepare:

1. 1 application form duly filled in capital letters and signed.

2. 3 passport size photos.

3. Valid passport - validity not less than 1 year.

4. Copy of your A level certificate/last diploma.

5. Letter of acceptance from the University/School/Institute in France. *Kindly provide the receipt as proof of payment made for the fees

Note: Usually Universities in France will ask you to pay the fees once you are in France with your student visa. I told the embassy about this by the time I applied for my student visa. I called the Univesity to see whether I can pay in advance, but they said it's not possible. The embassy said they will call the university to verity this information.

6. Proof of the applicant's financial means for the duration of your stay in France.

*430 euros per month (if no accomodation)

*215 euros per month (with accomodation provided free of charge)

Note:I provided a letter from the bank stating the amount I have with the bank. It will take 3 days to get this letter from your bank.

7. If accomodation is provided free of charge, please present a letter from your friend or family with whom you are staying, together with a copy of his/her passport or identity card or resident permit.

8. Letter of motivation.

9. The application fee (not refundable) is 99 euros (pay in equivalent Ringgit Malaysia) which has to be paid at the time of application.


1. I applied for the student visa in August 2005. These informations might be outdated. In any case, please contact:

Ms Telmah Lopez

The Embassy of France in Malaysia

194 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

Tel (603) 20-53-55-65

Tel (603) 20-53-55-51

2. You are required to apply your visa in person.

3. It takes 3 days to process the visa.

4. If successful, you will be given a 3 months visa to enter France. You need to enter France within this period. After you have arrived in France, you need to go to the prefecture in your town to get a "carte de séjour". Usually it will last for 6 months, it can be extended without extra fees. If you wish to avoid the hassle to have to extend the carte de séjour, you can pay for 2 semesters at the beginning of the school, and the school will provide you receipt. The officer in the prefecture will give you the duration according to how many semester you have paid.

5. Usually the school will have an officer from the prefecture present from September to October.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Map the countries you have visited

I discovered this website where you can map the countries you have visited. Pretty cool.

Here is my map.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My civil wedding

We are going to get married 3 times. The first one, our civil wedding, went well.

It was a sunny day. We have 22 close family and friends going to the town hall with us. Everything was very well organized. Apparently Fabien's mother has planned and coordinated with everyone long time ago. I wore the wedding gown belong to Fabien's mother (she wore it 28 years ago). His brother designed the bouquet and decorated the tables with flowers. Here is the flow of the event:

1. Welcome by the Mayor
2. Mayor explaining the law of the marriage
3. Moment of saying "I do"
4. Poem with traditional theme about Brittany by the two grandmothers
5. A chinese song by a friend while her husband played guitar
6. Signing the marriage contract by all parties including the witnesses

7. Everybody sings the song "Quand on n'a que l'amour"
8. Poem by Fabien's mother

During the ceremony, musics were played including traditional chinese and brittany musics. A Malaysian flag and a Brittany flag were on the table.

After the ceremony, everybody went to Fabien's parents house for the "Vin d'honneur" or appetizer. We have also photos session with the guests. Some guests left while some stayed for the dinner. I wore a traditional Malay dress, baju kebaya during the dinner. My favorite dish is the wedding cake, made by Fabien's mother, decorated by his father. We did "yamsheng" like in Malaysia.

When you are registered, are you married?

In Malaysia, you can find many couples get registered (legally married), but still living separated, until they have their wedding ceremony. I don't know how it works in France.

Well, most of the French get registered in the morning and have their religion ceremony in the afternoon. It's done within a day, so they won't have this problem.

Me and boyfriend got registered in front of a Mayor last weekend. However, we considered ourselves only engaged and we became each other's fiancee. Not for his family though. They keep calling me Madame Le Bars. It's weird, I still want to be called mademoiselle. :-)