Well, well, well…how more cosmo could it be? Your Franco-Tunisian-Scottish Baroness who lives in Switzerland sends her thanksgiving note from Chiang Mai, Thailand, in the “Jewish quarter”. Right downstairs from my humble abode

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I have at least two restaurants and the headquarters of the Habad movement right below my Twin Peaks residence…not to mention that the majority of tourists here are…French!

And if that wasn’t cosmo enough, today is Thanksgiving. Time to thank my family for being not only critically supportive of my very personal madness, but my friends who so kindly organised the party closing a chapter of my life and opening a more…mature one….I heard you, Anita, Rela, Anna, Ingrid, Marko, Raoudha….I heard you say from my fingertips to God’s ears because you all know I’ll never mature.

Nevertheless, I adored my first visit to India thanks to my little brother Surendra and my new nephew Markos, thoroughly enjoyed sharing with Isabel Alama her passion for Sidi Ifni and belly dancing, discovered with delight one of my countries of origins with Nawel and Mathieu, had a really great Atlantic trip with Laurence and Anita, my Berlin stay with Serafin, Michael, Raoudha, Yuki, Lisa, Claudine, Uri, Eliezer, Bernard, Sima… and the many other sociolinguist friends was grand, I have wonderful memories from LA with Renford, Linda, Jaco,  Mignon, Oliver and John Scott, a mystical experience in Marseille with Agnès, Xavier, Amal and Isabelle…and a great start in Chiang Mai thanks to Fernand and Richard…looking forward to a trip to Laos shortly;-)

I enjoy life as it is and try to share it with my beloved friends and colleagues. Quite a full time job, but as long as you like it and respond, I’ll keep writing and taking you with me!

This time, I ran away to Thailand, to write, translate, prepare some academic work…but above all to discover a marvelous region, and its neighbouring countries.

I started off yesterday in always exhilarating London

A redecorated Leicester square before reaching the NG

where I indulged in a National Gallery treat between Velasquez and Canaletto, Rubens and Gentileschi, Vermeer and Brueghel, Richard Hamilton and Leonardo da Vinci….

credits: http://www.viewlondon.co.uk/whatson/leonardo-da-vinci-at-national-gallery-article-9995.html

the most fabulous masterpieces in the world before heading to the Thai jungle.

A little tour at the musical and social Crypt of St Martin in the Fields …and I caught my plane to Bangkok, with 20 mn delay which the BA pilot never managed to catch up…I arrived half an hour late, too late to catch my next connection to Chiang Mai since not only didn’t the plane wait for me…but it left some 20 mn early. What would have been a real problem in Europe found its easy solution, they purely and simply put me on the next flight without any further question nor cost! Vive la Thaïlande!!!!

So I arrived last night, had a very private tour of the night market and a drink at the Blues Bar…and settled in my new premises with delight! This is when I realized that if I thought I’d escape the Middle Eastern conflict by moving to Thailand, I was wrong because not only do they have israeli restaurants here, but signs are in hebrew! Talk about a linguistic landscape….You’ll see them in my next posting.

Today, after a really good coffee at what will my headquarters below my building, my very first touristic excursion was on the Mae Ping River…and I’m delighted to share with you some of the spectacular and tropical delights I enjoyed. Coconut trees, coffee bushes, banana trees, mango trees, papaya trees, mangoustan, jasmin fragrances, flowers of paradise, starflowers along this muddy but charming river. I even saw some rowers so chances are I’m going to be tempted again!!!

Enjoy the slide show !

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Now, to add to the spicy cosmo flavour, I’ll have to work on my paper for Fernand de Varennes’s conference on linguistic conflicts. I chose a topic so far understudied, not to say rather new: a hypothesis of a return of the occupied territories to the Palestinian Authority (Palestine as a country if I could have my say…along with my colleagues from J Call and J Street). With this and a few translations for the next edition of Droit et Culture on India …and some very interesting meetings here and in Laos, I have already the feeling time will be flying too fast! So you all have my Cosmopolitan greetings and thanks for being so wonderful and special to me. And if you know me, you know I mean it.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING 2012
credits: http://www.cuindependent.com/2011/11/17/a-boulder-thanksgiving/29975

love, love, love, friendship, friendship, friendship, laughter, laughter, laughter, ethics, ethics, ethics, open-mindedness, open-mindedness!