Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I found my hair salon!

Did I tell you guys how much I was disappointed the last two times I went to a hair salon in France? Well, they were for my wedding and they couldn't just do what I wanted.

Today, I pushed myself to visit a hair salon at the corner of the apartment complex. The result? Hubby said I look younger, and I myself like it a lot!

I was hesitating a lot between going for this one and pay 26or let my friend do it for 15€. my friend do it to earn some side income while studying. Eventually I decided to give it a try again, let the French handles my hair and pay like the French. Apparently it was a wise decision.

You might not believe it, but after 7 years living overseas, I went to hair salon twice in the USA , and 3 times in France, in which twice I was forced to go due to the wedding. When I was younger, it was my mother who would cut my hair. I loved the moment when she would touch and tidy my hair, I felt loved. I started going to hair salon only after I started working in Malaysia. My sister forced me to do the 离子烫 (direct translation Ion burn), which was very popular in Malaysia, and suddenly my messy hair became straight and smooth. So each time I would cut my hair in Malaysia instead of in the USA or France. Now, I want to try the hair style like the French girls here.

My first experience of going to a hair salon in the USA was an embarrassing one. I didn't know that it's in the tradition to pay tips to the hair dresser! So I went and I even got $5 discount. I just took the money and left, wondering at the same time why the hair dresser was looking at me. When I met my friend at the front door, she asked how much tips I gave. I said ZERO! Oh my god I was so embarrassed so I never went to the shop again.

And, and, have you guys even met male hair dresser who are manly??? I got a guy who cut my hair, and I just need to conclude that all the men who work in the hair salon are kind of like...girly. Why?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Is Osama bin Laden a living genius?

According to a new report, Osama bin Laden, Nelson Mandela, Steven Hawking and the man who created the Simpsons are all among the world's greatest living geniuses. The Al Qaeda chief came in at number 43 in the list compiled by an expert panel following a survey of 600 Brits.

The geniuses were nominated by 600 UK based individuals and ranked by an expert panel of six consultants in the fields of creativity and innovation.

They ranked candidates on five factors of genius - paradigm shifting, popular acclaim, intellectual power, achievement and cultural importance - before giving them an overrall score.

The list shows 19 of the 100 ranked geniuses are musicians, 15 are scientists, 10 are writers, nine are engineers or architects and eight are from fields engaged in the study of man. Only one sportsperson made the cut.

Further analysis shows 43 are from the United States of America, 23 are from Britain, 13 are from Europe and 11 are from Asia. Only one African is listed in the top 100.

Only 15 of the top 100 are women.

TOP 100:

Rank Name Nation Field Score

1= Albert Hoffman (Swiss) Chemist (27)
1= Tim Berners-Lee (British) Computer Scientist (27)
3 George Soros (American) Investor & Philanthropist (25)
4 Matt Groening (American) Satirist & Animator (24)
5= Nelson Mandela (South African) Politician & Diplomat (23)
5= Frederick Sanger (British) Chemist (23)
7= Dario Fo (Italian) Writer & Dramatist (22)
7= Steven Hawking (British) Physicist (22)
9= Oscar Niemeyer (Brazilian) Architect (21)
9= Philip Glass (American) Composer (21)
9= Grigory Perelman (Russian) Mathematician (21)
12= Andrew Wiles (British) Mathematician (20)
12= Li Hongzhi (Chinese) Spiritual Leader (20)
12= Ali Javan (Iranian) Engineer (20)
15= Brian Eno (British) Composer (19)
15= Damian Hirst (British) Artist (19)
15= Daniel Tammet (British) Savant & Linguist (19)
18 Nicholson Baker (American Writer (18)
19 Daniel Barenboim (N/A) Musician (17)
20= Robert Crumb (American) Artist (16)
20= Richard Dawkins (British) Biologist and philosopher (16)
20= Larry Page & Sergey Brin (American) Publishers (16)
20= Rupert Murdoch (American) Publisher (16)
20= Geoffrey Hill (British) Poet (16)
25 Garry Kasparov (Russian) Chess Player (15)
26= The Dalai Lama (Tibetan) Spiritual Leader (14)
26= Steven Spielberg (American) Film maker (14)
26= Hiroshi Ishiguro (Japanese) Roboticist (14)
26= Robert Edwards (British) Pioneer of IVF treatment (14)
26= Seamus Heaney (Irish) Poet (14)
31 Harold Pinter (British) Writer & Dramatist (13)
32= Flossie Wong-Staal (Chinese) Bio-technologist (12)
32= Bobby Fischer (American) Chess Player (12)
32= Prince (American) Musician (12)
32= Henrik Gorecki (Polish) Composer (12)
32= Avram Noam Chomski (American) Philosopher & linguist (12)
32= Sebastian Thrun (German) Probabilistic roboticist (12)
32= Nima Arkani Hamed (Canadian) Physicist (12)
32= Margaret Turnbull (American) Astrobiologist (12)
40= Elaine Pagels (American) Historian (11)
40= Enrique Ostrea (Philippino) Pediatrics & neonatology (11)
40= Gary Becker (American) Economist (11)
43= Mohammed Ali (American) Boxer (10)
43= Osama Bin Laden (Saudi) Islamicist (10)
43= Bill Gates (American) Businessman (10)
43= Philip Roth (American) Writer (10)
43= James West (American) Invented the foil electrical microphone (10)
43= Tuan Vo-Dinh (Vietnamese) Bio-Medical Scientist (10)
49= Brian Wilson (American) Musician (9)
49= Stevie Wonder (American) Singer songwriter (9)
49= Vint Cerf (American) Computer scientist (9)
49= Henry Kissinger (American) Diplomat and politician (9)
49= Richard Branson (British) Publicist (9)
49= Pardis Sabeti (Iranian) Biological anthropologist (9)
49= Jon de Mol (Dutch) Television producer (9)
49= Meryl Streep (American) Actress (9)
49= Margaret Attwood (Canadian) Writer (9)
58= Placido Domingo (Spanish) Singer (8)
58= John Lasseter (American) Digital Animator (8)
58= Shunpei Yamazaki (Japanese) Computer scientist & physicist (8)
58= Jane Goodall (British) Ethologist & Anthropologist (8)
58= Kirti Narayan Chaudhuri (Indian) Historian (8)
58= John Goto (British) Photographer (8)
58= Paul McCartney (British) Musician (8)
58= Stephen King (American) Writer (8)
58= Leonard Cohen (American) Poet & musician (8)
67= Aretha Franklin (American) Musician (7)
67= David Bowie (British) Musician (7)
67= Emily Oster (American) Economist (7)
67= Steve Wozniak (American) Engineer and co-founder of Apple Computers (7)
67= Martin Cooper (American) Inventor of the cell phone (7)
72= George Lucas (American) Film maker (6)
72= Niles Rogers (American) Musician (6)
72= Hans Zimmer (German) Composer (6)
72= John Williams (American) Composer (6)
72= Annette Baier (New Zealander) Philosopher (6)
72= Dorothy Rowe (British) Psychologist (6)
72= Ivan Marchuk (Ukrainian) Artist & sculptor (6)
72= Robin Escovado (American) Composer (6)
72= Mark Dean (American) Inventor & computer scientist (6)
72= Rick Rubin (American) Musician & producer (6)
72= Stan Lee (American) Publisher (6)
83= David Warren (Australian) Engineer (5)
83= Jon Fosse (Norwegian) Writer & dramatist
83= Gjertrud Schnackenberg (American) Poet (5)
83= Graham Linehan (Irish) Writer & dramatist (5)
83= JK Rowling (British) Writer (5)
83= Ken Russell (British) Film maker (5)
83= Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov (Russian) Small arms designer (5)
83= Erich Jarvis (American) Neurobiologist (5)
91=. Chad Varah (British) Founder of Samaritans (4)
91= Nicolas Hayek (Swiss) Businessman and founder of Swatch (4)
91= Alastair Hannay (British) Philosopher (4)
94= Patricia Bath (American) Ophthalmologist
94= Thomas A. Jackson (American) Aerospace engineer (3)
94= Dolly Parton (American) Singer (3)
94= Morissey (British) Singer (3)
94= Michael Eavis (British) Organiser of Glastonbury (3)
94= Ranulph Fiennes (British) Adventurer (3)
100=. Quentin Tarantino (American) Filmmaker (2)

News taken from here.

So that do you think? Is Osama a living genius for you, together with Bill Gates? In my opinion, I'm not sure we actually know this guy. All we read from the news might be fake or miss-interpreted. We didn't really know what was his role in the Islamic movement.

Another remark, none of the living geniuses here is French. Since this survey is done by the Brits, you can see how much they hate the French. :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

shift your clock

For those who live in France, don't forget that the summer daylight saving is over starting from this Sunday (28 Oct), now you have to shift your clock back by one hour. For example, 3pm would be 2pm now.

As for the US region, the shift will be effective from 4 November, Sunday next week.

An Indonesian gathering

We had so much fun yesterday! Most important, I ate so many good Indonesian foods! Since I didn't take any photos, I got some from the internet, just to show you guys some of the foods we had eaten.

Hubby was very excited in the morning as he loves to try out different kind of cuisine. When we arrived around 1pm we saw different kind of cookies and Indonesian appetizers plus some French one already on the table. I ate non stop while waiting for the others to arrive. Hubby had to keep reminding me to behave myself.

She invited like 8 couples, all men were French and all women were Indonesian except me and a Colombian friend. At this point I really wonder why so many French men married to foreign spouses. :-)

There were so many dishes. I started with the meatball soup with some dumpling. She made all the dishes by herself including the dumpling. They were all super delicious. Others dishes were all spicy and it went super well with the rice, with lots of favor and color. I was quite amazed that the dishes had a lot of Chinese influence, like the dumpling and the tofu she put in a dish.

Most of the French had their cheeses and salad. As for me, I went directly to the dessert, kuih lapis (layer cake). The Chinese has the "night layer cake", I was wondering whether this is from the Chinese influence or the Chinese Malaysian were influenced by the Malay-Indonesian cuisine.

It was such a nice afternoon, people chatting and enjoying the foods. They were many kids too, make me wonder how my kids would look like, seeing so many mixed couples and their creation.

One sad thing my friend told me was about her working experience. Basically she got laid off after one month of working, just because her female co-workers couldn't accept her. In this region, they voted for the far right, a racist political party. They are against the foreigner, mostly fear that they job would be grabbed by the others. She tried to defense herself by asking to be placed in the other department, but her superior just didn't accept it. Considering that her husband is working in the same company, they didn't want to make a big fuss into this issue. But, her moral was badly hurt.

And all these times I thought that racism is not that serious in France. How wrong was I.

Friday, October 26, 2007

On school holiday, la Toussant is here

Since I don't have class on Friday, there you go, my school holiday starts from today. Yeah!

Every year this time students from primary school to University have one week off end of October. Besides, right after Halloween is La Toussant, the day for the dead one, where some people will go visit the grave of their love one. Since this year La Toussant will be on Thursday, a lot of people will take Friday off to have 4 days continuous vacation. They call this action as "faire le pont", do the bridge.

I was having this conversation with a classmate and was sad with his reaction:
Me: So during La Toussant, what are you doing? Do you visit your grandparents' grave?
Him: I don't care about dead people, there is no need to go visit them when they are dead.
Me: But you can reminiscing the time you had with them, think about how much your grandma loved you.
Him: She is dead, nothing else is important.

In contrast with the Asian culture where you will see kids and family visit the grave during the Cheng Ming festival, here you see old people go alone visiting and cleaning their husband or their wife's grave. There is no such thing as "pay respect" by visiting the grave.

I just need to remind myself that if my husband is dead before me, nobody will visit my grave when I'm dead.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blow nose season again

Its freezing these days! Time for flu shot for the old people in the US, from what I remembered.

These days in the class, I have constantly hearing the awful nose cleaning sound coming from all the corner. Our professor wanted us to sit facing each other. With the students sit in U shape, I can clearly see my classmates blow their nose over and over again, with the same handkerchief.

After two years in France, I still feel its so gross to do this in front of everyone, especially at the dining table. My appetite got spoiled when someone does this when I'm eating. I was always taught to blow my nose in the toilet, so I just cover my nose with a tissue paper and whenever its full, I go to toilet to blow it.

Once we were asked this question in the French class, and most of the Asians preferred to go to the toilet, and the professor and the rest feel its so stupid to have to go to the toilet, they were not bothered at all by the noise.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

He killed a man by jealousy: What is your verdict?

Yesterday I was watching a high court process about this case: a man killed a man out of jealousy. It made me discovered some differences in the trial process, comparing to Malaysia and USA, learnt through TV dramas and series. I would like to note that this is a real case and real process, approved by the French High Court to diffuse through the television.

France: You are guilty until proven innocent. (a scary concept to me)
USA and Malaysia: You are innocent until proven guilty
(Need further verification)

France: The judge is called "Mr President"
USA : Your honour
Malaysia: My lord (correction after indicated by Angie)

France: No death penalty and life long sentence
USA and Malaysia: Death penalty (in certain states in the USA) and life long sentence

It seemed weird to me that it has 3 lawyers: one from the government, one from the victim family and one for the defense. Isn't it we usually see one lawyer represent each side?

In terms of the attire, after watching so many soup operas from Hong Kong, I thought every lawyers and judges have to wear wigs and bands and robes. Fabien was laughing like hell when he saw all these wigs and bands. The French just like to do thing differently. The middle photo is the family lawyer from this case. They never wore wigs! I read that the lawyers in US and Malaysia don't wear these anymore unless they have to go to the High Court.

The case:
Between the night of 13 and 14 August 2004, a man was found dead in a burnt car in a small village in the North of France. The police found out that it was not an accident but the man was assassinated. They found Jean-Léon Cazier, a garage worker, 50 years old, to have the biggest suspect. He was jailed for 3 years before the High Court open the trial in June 2007.

The suspect admitted that he killed the guy. The trial was just to find out whether he planned the whole killing scene (first degree murder), or it was unintentional (second degree murder). It all started when the suspect found out that his wife, who worked with the victim's parents, was home late everyday, so he suspected that she has a lover. On the night of 13 Aug 2004, he went to the victim's parents' house, wait outside for 30 minutes before the victim said goodbye to his parents and went inside his car. The suspect went directly toward the victim, warmed him to leave his wife alone, beat him, then later hit him with a stone. The victim fainted and the suspect put him inside the car, drove away, still remember to honk the car, imitating what the victim would do every time he leaves his parents' house. All these time the suspect didn't forget to bring along a gasoline container full with gasoline.

He then drove the victim to a farm. The victim woke up and tried to run away, but was hit again by the suspect. At this point, the suspect decided to make it look like an accident, he spread the car with gasoline and burned the car. He then run away.

During the trial, the wife admitted that she and the victim have kissed and touched each other. She is living with the suspect's 81 years old mother and their children. The victim left behind a wife and 3 daughters, all grown up.

The verdict of the jury: It was a well planned killing case, the victim was to go to the jail for 20 years.

For the victim's family, the guy should be sentenced to the death penalty or whole life in the prison. 20 years is too little for a punishment. As for Jean-Léon Cazier, his wife and the 81 years old mother think that it was too much a punishment, that they would want to be able to have a normal life again with him. What would be your verdict?

Monday, October 22, 2007

When you have a lovely hubby... are going to get this kind of note "Don't even THINK about it" when your crave for a biscuit.

According to hubby, I'm fat enough so I'm forbidden to get all kind of junk foods. However, I can eat as much fruits and vegetables as I want to support the government campaign of "Eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day".

Another day I'm allowed to have junk foods is when there are guests at home. The French serve junk foods as appetizers.

Poor me.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Why I write pay post

This morning I was telling hubby that when I get a job, I will buy myself a LV bag. He said if I do so, he will be very disappointed. I don't know how to explain to him that I don't like to live on someone. LV bag is just a symbol, that I'm able to support myself, that I can love myself with my hard earn money.

Ever since I was very young I started working part time to support myself. I don't remember ever received monthly pocket money like the kids get here. One thing I hate about France is the possibility to get a part time job is super low, even as a sales person in a supermarket, probably because I'm a foreigner. There is a constant "eage" deep from my heart that I need to gain some "bread" by myself.

I knew about paid post from some sites and at the beginning I just ignored it. Then I slowly accepted it, as I have seen that sites where paid posts exist could have interesting contents too. My intention at the beginning was to buy myself some hobby related stuff, like a book or a puzzle.

After 4 months of trying, my paypal account grew from 0 to $164. This is nothing compared with what others have achieved, but at least it is an effort from my part. Do not think this is an easy job. I sincerely think people who manage to earn a lot out of this have to have certain talent in certain way. I tried to make sure whatever I write is related to my experience. I actually enjoy writing some of the posts, it keeps myself updated to some of the products and information available out there.

I was almost giving up at some point, because I only registered with PayPerPost, whom's opportunity could be gone within minutes. I was not motivated to check the site everyday just to fight with someone to get the post. I don't want to write about anything related to gambling or some products I have never used. Recently I joined Blogvertise, I sincerely think they have a better way of approaching the blogger, by sending them email about the task and people can just accept or decline it.

I usually write for post that pays minimum $10 = 7 euros, which can only pay for a sandwich or cheap lunch in France. I have yet to buy anything with the money, but who knows one day I can use my American Airlines Mileage to visit USA again, and these money can pay for my expenses there? :-)

Friday, October 19, 2007

What would you do?

I just got the confirmation from my classmate who participated in the conversation with my professor, that she clearly heard that I said 12pm = noon and 12am = mid night.

So I did express my idea correctly but the professor said I was wrong, unless he learnt his English wrong.

So, if you were me, will you send him an email and tell him that he was wrong?

12am Vs 12pm

We had dinner with our American professor tonight and he was sitting around to make sure he can speak with all the students.

When he was sitting beside me, he asked what was the differences I could tell about the American University and the French University.

I told him I was impressed by the facilities in my University in the USA, that the library was open until 12am.

He corrected me and said, it should be 12pm.

No, I told him, that I meant mid night 12am, and noon = 12pm. Mid night is 12am because it's the beginning of the day.

He said I was wrong. Then he joked that maybe he were wrong that he learnt the bad English.

I checked on the internet, and according to wikipedia, I was right. 12am = mid night

How about you guys, do you have problem with this? What is 12am for you guys? Night or noon?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I hate presentation!

I have a presentation tomorrow and I just hate it. Usually if I know the topic well I have no problem. But this time, the article is a summary from a 2 days forum from OECD, so you get pieces of info here and there. Not much elaboration into each point. I hate to present something I myself don't even understand.

Besides, I do not think this professor deserves my hard work. She is just plain lazy, having us doing the work and teach nothing. According to her, if nobody asks question that means our presentation is not interesting. For Pete's sake, when she lectures nobody asks question, or sometimes she couldn't even give satisfactory answer.

Even internet couldn't help much this time. :-(

Monday, October 15, 2007

Airbus delivers its first A380 superjumbo to Singapore Airlines

After 2 years of delay, Airbus finally delivered its first A380 to Singapore Airlines.

Some info about A380:
Total capacity: 471 passengers
Private suite: 12
Business class seats: 60
Economy class seats: 399

From Singapore to Sydney round trip:
Private suite: $5115
Business: 15-20% more than the normal flight
Economy: 1040 euros (I saw this on the news but not sure this price is for Sin-Sydney flight)

So, you can now spend $10,230 for honeymoon on the A380 and sleep comfortably before arriving in Sydney. Now Samantha doesn't have to be disturbed by the flight attendance while dating her rich Richard (a scene in the Sex and the City).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

President of France divorcing

PARIS - The president's wife has gone missing. And the question of the day in France on Friday was: Has she gone for good?

Cecilia Sarkozy didn't vote for her husband, Nicolas, in May; she didn't accompany him to lunch with the Bushes in Maine last summer; and the woman at Sarkozy's side at a celebratory dinner after France's victory in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup a week ago? Not his wife, but one of her closest friends.

The chic former model, in fact, has done nothing official since Bastille Day in July. And this weekend, she is reportedly at a $1,000-night-spa in Geneva while he's in Paris rooting for France in the rugby semifinals.

On Friday, a journalist for the newspaper L'Est Republican, citing sources close to the presidential palace, reported that the couple were getting divorced - something the rest of the media have hinted but not quite said for weeks. "Where has Cecilia Gone?" Le Parisien asked last week.

The French are a tolerant people. Their presidents have had mistresses and even fathered illegitimate children and life went on. But divorce? How ... conventional. How ... bourgeois. How ... unconventional, actually.

But Christine Clerc, a French "first marriage" expert and author, said the French are ready to accept an Elysee Palace divorce. "In fact, it's the first time we can see it like this - with our very own eyes," he said Friday. "Before, the private lives of presidents were all hidden and many things were forbidden to be even discussed. Now we say, "The first lady is gone."

Taken from

Could American accepts a divorced president? Does Malaysian Prime Minister have a right to divorce?

Dont fight cos everyone is right

Unavoidably, we need to have group project which leads to group discussion thus argument.

Once we were arguing over the finance term "turnover", "revenue" and "income".

For me, what a company gets from selling it's products and services is called "revenue".

For the French and other foreigners, its called "turnover".

One guy said it should be "income".

Turned out everyone is right.

Revenue is a term used in the USA, turnover is a term used in the Europe, and income is a term used for individual.

So, everyone is right so stop arguing.

But, our professor is from the US and we are in the Europe, which word should we use?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The French and English

We had a conference this afternoon and the speaker was a professor from the USA. I thought about it and realize, that professors who speak English can just give lecture in almost every corner of the world, but a professor who speak only French, would in contrast have very limited opportunities. What is the odd a French professor who only speak French give a conference in the Universities in Malaysia or USA?

Then why, in France, kids start learning English at the age of 10, and it's not mandatory? For student who choose Spanish or German as their second language, they could totally ignore English. Most of the American series and movies are duped in French, so it's kind of hard to watch an English film if you don't subscribe to the private English channels. We Malaysians are just lucky, able to see different program in different languages easily.

Luckily, things are slowly changed. My classmates had asked to have all the classes in English for the second semester. Our in charge professor said he will try, but the main reason why they were not able to do it was due to the reluctance of some of the French professors. These professors do not feel comfortable to teach in English. Actually, some of the professors we have who teach in English do not have perfect English and sometimes make a lot of mistake, but they are eager to try and the students enjoy having classes in English.

I hope in the future most of the French are at least bilingual, her neighbors German, Netherlands, Belgium have achieved a lot more in this field. Let's catch up France!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Naked farmers

This can only happen in France, or most likely happen in France.

The farmers took off their clothes, posting for a calendar. All the profits will be donated to Téléthon, a Television Marathon program to raise fund for different charities organizations. In 2005, they managed to sell 7000 calendars, considered a big success. This year, 6 farmers volunteered to do it. One of the goals is to address the prejudices towards the women farmers, stressing that they could be as attractive and as professional compared to other women.

These are photos from last year. Only men posted last year.

What do you think? I personally think it's a good idea, the farmers really can be as attractive! haha

Note: All photos are taken from the internet.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

We had a great time

The dinner turned out to be great, thanks to the chefs ,cookingninja and Snippets of my life. My in-laws family liked the fact that each time they come visit us, they will taste different kind of cuisine.

Sorry but I didn't have any photos to show you guys. I have to officially announce that:"I LOST MY CAMERA!". Yes the one I bought 6 years ago with my own hard earned USD. This digital camera is worth nothing and is probably technologically outdated, but it has a very sentimental value to me. It was the feeling of having high purchasing power and able to reward yourself with something.

Anyway, like Chinese saying, if the old one is not gone, the new one won't come. I have a peep on the new model and it was not as expensive as I imagine. Arggg, I just miss the time where I can just snap a photo on everything and on every moment!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to Fabien

Today is Fabien's birthday. Tomorrow his family will come over to celebrate. I already planned for the birthday dinner. Here should be the menu:

Appetizer: Guacamole
Entrée: Tom Yam soup
Main dish:Pineapple fried rice and Thai green curry Recipe from cookingninja
Dessert: Tiramisu from Snippets of my life

I'm pretty nervous as I didn't have experience to cook all these dishes. Guacamole will be handle by hubby.

I have to admit that I'm not a good wife. I didn't prepare him any present, but my argument is that he has everything he needs. He just bought himself a fancy Nokia cellphone and have been playing with his new toy for a while. I don't think I can find him anything that can bet the gift he has chosen for himself.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Zero income tax! It's that possible in France???

Well, France is well known as one of the countries that impose the highest income tax in the world. Unlike the US system where income taxes are withdrawn from your pay check each month, and at the end of the tax year you could gotten back some tax return and be happy about it, the French government will in contrast tell you how much you owe them after you file for your tax return.

So you can imagine my reaction when I received the income tax form. Zero? We owe the government nothing??? How could this be possible, in France?

At first I thought I had a horrible French just couldn't understand what was written in the form and just forget about it and let hubby deals with it. But hubby said the same thing.

The trick? Get married in the middle of the year! That way you divide your income into two since you are now consist of 2 people, thus too low to "qualify" for tax payment.

This could be one of the reasons hubby wanted to marry me?

Monday, October 01, 2007

95 years old lady jumped from a parachut

Photo from here.

A 95 years old French woman made a parachute jump last Saturday. She did that to help raise fund to help the children of Cachemire, victims of the earthquake in 2005.

Can you imagine that? What do you think you can do when you are 95?

I can't do parachute jump even though I'm only in my 30s. :-)

Free call to Malaysia

Starting from today I can call Malaysia for free. This service is presented by my internet provider, Free, who also provide the phone services and digital TV on the same package. They already have free phone calls to countries like US, China and Singapore for quite some time, and now they have expanded this free services to more countries.

I like the fact that internet technologies have made communication less and less costly. However, my mother just told me that they will cancel the fixed phone line at home because each month it costs them around RM50 (around 10 euros) even though she doesn't use it much.

I just wish Malaysia can be as advance in terms of internet services. In US and France, people call fixed phone to fixed phone for free within the country. I'm paying 29,99 euros for TV, phone and internet, but Malaysian need to pay all of these services differently.