CLEW talks to Luxembourgers abroad. Meet Claude Petit, a boat builder in Thailand.
1. When did you move away from Luxembourg, whereto and why?
I moved a bit over 6 years ago, to Thailand. It just happened, I never planned it – I am that kind of person who is open to what life throws at me. And then I got stuck here – but of course there is a very long story behind it all…
I am building a catamaran. Since I first went sailing with my British uncle, I think I was 13 years old, I’ve always dreamed of living on and from a boat, and now I’m slowly getting there. It is also my job designing and building catamarans, and I want to offer adventure cruises to the Thai islands of the Kohchang Marine National parc near the Cambodian border (54 islands, many not inhabited , small paradise), once my boat is finished.
2. What do you miss the most and the least from Luxembourg?
I miss the food things, like mettwurscht, zossis ,rieslingspaschteit and many more.
What Claude misses the least becomes apparent in questions 3 and 5 (ed’s note).
3. What do you appreciate most and least about your new country?
Mostly the nice weather, the ocean, the people, the food, the cost of living, getting a smile in situations where Burgers would show you the middlefinger or yell at you (for example near road accidents). What I appreciate the least is a 280 percent tax on wine .
4. What was the biggest challenge / change for you moving to a different country?
What was most challenging was getting resident visa and a work permit.
5. How often do you come back to Luxembourg and have you considered coming back for good?
Roughly every 2 years, and no I never considered going back to Lux for good, can’t stand the bitching and whining of most people about everything anymore.
6. In what other ways do you keep in touch with Luxembourg?
E-mail, Facebook, Skype, Viber – but it is getting very little these days, after 6 years people start to forget… 🙂
Claude Petit, interviewed by Unni Holtedahl, July 2014