Stickman's Weekly Column May 26th, 2013

The Blowback From Lying To Get Laid


The mainstream press reported last week on a Thai woman going public about an American man she felt had duped her in to sleeping with her. What wasn't reported, however, is the backlash from conservative and aggrieved Thais at Western men who are perceived to be duping local women for sex. There's a growing movement of Thais taking to the Internet to out foreigners in Thailand who lie to get laid.





To recap the incident which made news last week, a 39-year old Thai woman sought assistance from a conservative / traditionalist group in Chiang Mai after she had responded to an ad in the local newspaper from an American looking for a local woman to be his wife. She met the American on two occasions and slept with him on each of them. After their second liaison he ceased contact with her. Following a week of silence she sent him a text message and received a reply telling her to refrain from contacting him as he had found someone. She suspected he was lying and asked two of her friends to contact him and ask for a date. He was willing to meet each of them, suggesting he hadn't found someone at all.

When the story broke two clear camps formed. Conservative Thais felt that what the American had done was wrong, not just to the lady concerned but an affront on the dignity of Thais and Thai culture. Most foreigners and many Thais felt the woman had no grounds to complain. She had, after all, gone back to a man's place on the first date and dropped her knickers.

The woman went to the foundation for help because she felt there may be (many) more women who had been deceived.

It's worth taking a closer look at the details of the incident. The woman responded to an ad in a local newspaper, in the Thai language, which started, "A wealthy 49-year old American businessman"…. is seeking a Thai woman of 22 – 28 years who is not a bargirl, is of good character etc. to marry and start a family.

The underlined words are relevant. Why would a man of his age want to marry someone so young? A typical early or even mid 20's Thai woman is very different to a Western male aged 49. The thing is….he isn't 49. According to a major Thai daily the guileful American lied about his age. He is in fact several years older.


Candidography


The lady is attractive and presented herself well. When asked about the American, she said that he appeared to have money. She very diplomatically noted that he had said he was trying to improve himself physically. I think we can take that to mean he is no Brad Pitt. Under questioning on a talk show program she implied that she dropped her knickers fast because she thought it would be the first step on the road to marriage. That was, after all, why she had chosen to meet the guy in the first place.

Online research revealed a man who has troubled relationships with his fellow countrymen, a man who has gone so far as to bring multiple pending lawsuits against residents in the condo building in which he resides. It's not quite the image one has of a tall, blue-eyed American businessman.

Was he genuinely marriage-minded or was the ad a ruse to meet women for other purposes? We'll never know.

This is just one such incident. It is what followed and what Thai women do when feel they have been duped by a foreigner that is perhaps more interesting.

Back to Google, the American's name showed up on various Thai-language websites where he is accused of deceiving this Thai woman. In addition to reports on news sites, his name appears on Facebook pages. A disturbing amount of personal information has been revealed along with some choice descriptions with words students of the Thai language won't hear in any classroom.

He, however, is not the only guy in some Thai females' crosshairs.

Thai women have set up pages online profiling Western men they say are scammers and / or love cheats. There are standalone pages on blogging sites, Facebook pages and threads on forums. Some pages feature the names of Western men and dozens of photos, accusing them of bedding Thai women under false pretences. The profiles of some men even link back to the man's own Facebook page. There are even pages with profiles and photos that (presumably Nigerian and other West African) scammers use when posing as a Caucasian. The pages are getting plenty of eyes and one Facebook page had in excess of 6,000 likes!

At one site about half the profiles of Westerners accused of deceiving Thai women had one thing in common that was not lost on those who had put the page together – they were Americans in their 50s who claimed to be younger. Looking at the Chiang Mai incident, he is an American in his 50s claiming to be in his 40s.



To inflate yourself to be something you are not, and to make promises you have no intention of keeping to get a lady's knickers down is asking for trouble in a country where the seeking of revenge (literally translated in Thai as the fixing of one's bitterness) is taken seriously. Love cheat websites are hardly something new, but Thai women may not stop there. For many merely outing the guy isn't enough and on one page is talk of how a lady called a guy's boss and caused him to lose his job. It's clear in some cases they want the guy out of Thailand altogether. Some of these women are seriously pissed!

Why do guys lie to get laid in a country where for a small amount of cash they can get themselves sorted? Is it an ego thing so they can gloat to their friends about all the non-bargirls they bedded, an increasing and ugly phenomenon? Or is it, as I strongly suspect, the work of guys with low self-esteem who have little to offer a woman so they lie and make false promises to get someone to like them?

It's the systematic and deliberate lying to inflate yourself to be something that you're not because you know that if the lady knew the real you she wouldn't have anything to do with you that irritates – and it's something many foreigners do.

Plenty of local women are up for a one-night stand. You don't have to tell a woman from the outset that you only intend to see her for one night, but shamelessly making promises of a future together as it's the only way to get her knickers down is pathetic. With that said, a woman who drops her knickers so quickly is hardly blameless.

The big story here is not the Chiang Mai incident, but the backlash from local women. If you lie to get laid in Thailand you might find the whole world soon knows about it. And you might find that a spurned Thai woman is a dangerous beast who won't stop until she is satisfied that she has inflicted revenge.





Where was this photo taken?

Bangkok

Last week's photo was taken inside the Star of Light in Patpong. A good number of readers got it right. There's a 500-baht voucher for Firehouse in Sukhumvit soi 11, known for its excellent hamburgers for the first person to get the photo right.

Terms and conditions: The prizes are only available to readers in Thailand at the time of entering and are not transferable. Prize winners cannot claim more than one prize per calendar month. You only have one guess per week!

FROM STICK'S INBOX (These are emails from readers and what is written here was not written by Stick.) Preference may be given to emails which refer to the previous week's column.

EMAIL OF THE WEEKThe ATM card worry.

I had money disappear twice from my account with a Thai bank 7 years ago. After jumping through all the hoops with police reports, they continued to stall and do nothing. I never got anything back and I have not used the ATM card since then. I used the same machine for each withdrawal, however the mysterious withdrawals all came from a machine that I never used and the bank could not produce video because they said that particular machine did not have a camera. In addition, the police told me that often times when this happens it is actually a bank employee stealing the money!

Ramifications from the Chiang Mai case.

Regarding the Chiang Mai American and the aggrieved Thai woman, I agree that it will be interesting to see how this develops. There is already a lot of underlying resentment towards farangs taking advantage of respectable ladies. This incident will just compound their prejudice even further, especially with national news coverage. All the naughty boys out there ought to keep their heads down until this blows over.

Playing outside the designated playground.

Your closing comments this week reminded me very strongly of a short essay by Dana called "An opinion I never hear". The piece reflects my personal views to a pretty big extent and maybe it would serve as a base for another weekly column. The point is that there are so many people coming to Thailand to screw around that yes, believe me, the Thais get annoyed if they do it outside the tourist designated pay-for-play scene. I am not talking about Bangkok, but Thailand in general.

Changing attitudes towards foreigners.

Thailand and its attitudes have changed hugely over the years. On my first visit the country had its "Visit Thailand year" where it appeared school children were taught useful English phrases. Speaking a few words of Thai would have locals fascinated by you, hence I learned as much Thai as quickly as possible and found myself practicing in department stores surrounded by pretty shop assistants all willing to teach me more which was so good for the ego. Fast forward 25 years and I feel that many in Thailand view us as vermin. There seems to be so much less interaction between locals and foreigners these days.


A last hurrah at the Federal!

I was very sad when you reported that the Federal Hotel on soi 11 is to be demolished. I have used this hotel for the last 12 years and it has a great ambiance, fantastic staff, good room rates and is in a prime location. After reading the sad news I emailed the staff to find out when the hotel would close. They informed me that it would be January, 2014, so I decided to book a trip to Bangkok to have a last beer around the lovely pool and soak up that atmosphere one last time!

Black Ops Central.

The Federal Hotel has had more black ops planned there than any other place except the US Embassy. It's the very first hotel I stayed at on my first trip to Bangkok and many times more while I was commuting back and forth. More spooks, wannabe spooks, and mercenaries (what we used to be before we were now common "contractors") stayed there and planned operations and used it to control operations than any other commercial business in Bangkok. It was so good that I lived there the first 2 months when I moved here for good. One of my compatriots lived there for maybe 5 years – he liked it so much! We still used to meet there for lunch every month or so and the employees still remember us even after I moved out so long ago.

Snappy dressing.

How come long-term expats completely forget about good dress sense? Why do long-termers all have terrible clothes? All the new, younger expats with jobs at multinationals dress great, go to the gym and take pride in their appearance.

The benefits of playing touch rugby.

I play touch rugby in lower Sukhumvit every Saturday morning. After finishing up I was giving my mate a lift back to my condo so he could shower before we went out to grab a bite to eat. One block before my soi, also in lower Sukhumvit, I was pulled over by police for the usual kick the tyres, make sure the farang is not transporting drugs routine. After checking all my pockets, wallet and bike to make sure I was not, I was about to be issued a ticket for not having a Thai driving license (just laziness on my part) when they asked to search my plastic bag. After showing them my boots, socks and training top and informing that it was sokoprok (dirty) from "rug-bee", I was smiled at, given a nice wai and sent on my way without the ticket. I would think that this is not that important but this is the second time it has happened to me this month. Do the boys in brown have a rugby fetish that is not known about? Or is it as my friends (Thais and farang) say that the BIB like people who they think are not what could be termed sexpats and consequently give them more leeway? I knew it would keep me from getting bored in Bangkok, but had no idea it would save me money!




Girl of the week

Mook, hostess, Zen Bar, Soi Nana.

27 years old, from Surin province, Mook is a friendly, polite and pleasant-mannered lady.


Bangkok hostess

Bangkok hostess



The Strip Gogo Bar Bangkok

It's widely known that the owners of soi 7's Biergarten have been keen to get out for some time so there may be truth in the latest rumour that it, along with the alley way connecting sois 5 and 7, will be demolished and a condominium or hotel built in its place. Whether the plot is large enough for such a development to be viable, I have my doubts. Height restrictions on new developments are a complex formula which takes in to account the width of the street and the distance from the main road. Sois 5 and 7 are narrow which would significantly restrict the height of a new development.

Playskool A Gogo in Nana Plaza has 95 baht Leo, Chang and Sangsom all night, every night – a great deal for a ground floor Nana gogo bar. Playskool still plays all the old rock classics and they have a decent line-up of girls at the moment too making it worth at least one drink.

Zen Beer on Soi Nana, right next to the entrance of Nana Plaza, is running happy prices all day, all night, every Monday.

Long-running Renoir in Sukhumvit soi 33 closed some months ago and the space is undergoing a major reconstruction. The new venue is being described as a multi-floor, deluxe establishment with rumours that it will be spread over 5 floors, which strikes me as overkill.

Velvet, the Thai-style club which took over the space in soi 33 that was once Christie's, has a ladies night every Tuesday. Ladies night = free entry for ladies and 3 free drinks. They also have a model's night every Thursday = free entry for models and 8 (yes, EIGHT) free drinks! I went to check it out but didn't go inside. Security was patting down everyone on entry. Sorry, I don't do pat-downs. Velvet opened last month and then closed last week for several days. Another grand opening party is planned for the venue in June, almost as if last month's opening never happened at all!

Still in soi 33, Mojo's, the one venue in sleepy soi 33 which featured coyote dancers, is on the market.

Just around the corner from soi 33 on the main Suhkumvit Road, progress is painfully slow at Duke's. While signs went up a few weeks back calling for applicants for various positions, rumours persist from multiple sources that Duke's in Bangkok is not a sure thing and despite the work done so far it mightn't happen. If it doesn't it's going to be an expensive exercise with rent on the property alone said to be in the vicinity of 250,000 baht per month.


Club Electric Blue Patpong A Gogo Bar



When my spies in Pattaya reported that they had seen Howard of Pattaya One fame driving around Sin City in a pink Cadillac while wearing an imitation fur coat and platform shoes I wondered what they were on. It all become clear after they followed the media mogul and former diplomat to Booze Bar, a soon to open lounge on the other side of Sukhumvit Road, what is otherwise referred to as the darkside. You can find out more about Booze Bar at their Facebook page.

Martin is finally throwing in the towel on the long-running FLB Bar on Pattaya's Walking Street and is selling up so he can kick back and retire.

The owner of the Blues Factory has acknowledged that his venue is another up for sale. Rumours have circulated about it being on the market for years. The Blues Factory is a great venue with a niche all of its own…which makes me think it's going to take a special person to keep it going. Kind of like if someone wanted to buy this site, I reckon. It would end up different.

Secrets Bar in Pattaya will host the unimaginatively named Great Big Party on Monday, June 10th, featuring free food, special entertainment and lots of ladies. Don't you just hate these stupid terms bars use like special entertainment. What does that mean? Things get going at 8 PM and they are considering making it a monthly special on the 10th of each month.

Heaven Above on Pattaya's Soi Diamond has announced a Summer Party Series which kicks off on Friday, May 31st, and continues with a party on the last Friday of every month through until September. Each party will feature a special BBQ (again, what does special mean?), Thai food, 50 baht happy hours from 7:30 – 9:30 PM, 95 baht San Miguel and door prizes. In addition to the Summer Series, Heaven Above will have several other parties throughout the low season. Like just about every bar in Pattaya, Heaven Above claims to have some of the most beautiful and friendly girls on Walking Street.

With big name bars like Secrets and Heaven Above scheduling parties for the next few months, it sounds to me like Sin City is starting to feel the pinch of the low season.

I notice one of Bangkok's newest farang bar managers is really hands on in his new role. Not only is he hands on, he is lips on with the girls in the bar too. Not sure that's the way to go but then he has bar management experience and I don't so what would I know?

Soi Nana's Strikers has a Ladies Night on Tuesdays with 3 free drinks for the ladies, and an extra if you check in on their Facebook page. And to entice guys along – if heaps of hot girls is not attraction enough – a girl can give a guy she likes 1 free drink too!


Strikers Soi Nana


A contributor to this site was strolling along Soi Thonglor with his girlfriend last weekend when a motorbike cruised past, the pillion passenger snatched the girl's bag and the rider gunned the throttle and sped away. She lost her new iPhone, wallet, cards and some cash. This sort of thing is more common over in Saigon and now it's on the increase in Bangkok. Signs started popping up around downtown warning of this sort of thing last year and at the Thonglor police station were others reporting exactly the same crime as my friend and his girlfriend. The very same thing happened to the girlfriend of another friend in Sukhumvit soi 11 late last year so upmarket nightlife areas may be specific target areas. It makes sense as the birds in that area probably have flasher phones and more cash in their handbag. In Saigon I was told to make sure my camera was slung over my shoulder away from the road and to be aware of motorbikes on the pavement. That's probably decent advice here too.

What happens to these girls? How do they leave the industry? I used to always think that they eventually end up in some hole like the Star of Light or Kangaroo Club. Many find it difficult to settle in to other work once they experience the relative freedom and lofty earnings that come from selling their body. Anyway, a friend was in Harry's Bar in Singapore last week, just behind the infamous 4 floors of whores. He noticed one of 3 ladies at a nearby table was staring at him. She was obviously working, wasn't flirting, rather she was peering at him with what he felt was a curiosity. She was no spring chicken and he guesses she was 20+ kg overweight. Needless to say he didn't pay her the same attention she was paying him. His mind wandered on to other things but a little while later he noticed that she was still staring at him, which he found disconcerting. There was, he had to admit, something familiar about her. His mind drifted back 20 long years, and it was then he recognised her. In August of 1993 he had flown in to Phuket where he was accosted at the airport by what he describes as a smoking hot 26-year old with gigantic, natural headlights. She'd just seen off her teeruk at the airport and my pal would keep her warm for the next couple of nights. The lady staring at him was that same woman! She was a little hard when he first met her and she was hardly new to the industry then. 20 years later, she was still working. Said woman may have been in the industry for 25 years or more and had yet to find a way out.


Kangaroo Club


I notice True, one of the big 3 mobile phone networks, is advertising 4G. It's supposed to be in operation in parts of Bangkok already and over the next few months will be rolled out in other parts of the country.

The cops are still at it near the Asoke intersection. I walked past a foreigner who was being searched and questioned outside the petrol station at soi 23. This respectable looking, clean cut, 30-something white guy looked to me like he was resident in Bangkok. As I ambled past the 2 coppers had stopped their motorbike beside him and were going through his cigarette packet.

The owner of Avenue New York Steakhouse emailed me this week. Where, I hear you ask. Yep, I'd never heard of it too, but it's always nice to learn about a new farang-run steakhouse. They have a daily happy hour from 6 – 7 PM with buy one, get one free for all beers and spirits AND they have free steak sandwiches. More about this new steakhouse on Sukhumvit soi 16 down beyond Foodland can be found at the Avenue New York Steakhouse website.

The Korat Tourist Police volunteer program is seeking 30 volunteers. The duties of tourist police volunteers include:

* To help and care for tourists throughout Thailand.
* To suppress and to protect criminal problems affecting international tourists and expats.
* To facilitate and to provide both Thai and international tourists with security and protection of their interests.
* To promote the Thai tourism industry.
* To join with or to support any activities of the authorities concerned.

The Tourist Police in Korat are being very selective about who can apply. Each applicant is carefully screened and a full background check is done in Bangkok to weed out the undesirables. This is actually a good thing considering a few bad apples who have tainted the programme in the past. Anyone interested can get in contact at : [email protected].

Babydolls A Gogo on soi 15 off Walking Street celebrates its 5th anniversary on Thursday May 30th with a huge party for customers and staff old and new. There will be free food and party games. Manager Phil, AKA Mr. Egg, will be looking forward to this party, as his birthday party had to be put on hold recently, when he fell ill. I note that a new feature at Baby Dolls is freestyle Sunday when the girls dress in whatever makes them feel sexy. Baby Dolls has been popular for a long time and its parties are like a good plate of som tam, real spicy!


Baby Dolls Pattaya


Quote of the week comes from an Indonesian friend, "Thai ladyboys are cute and remind me of K-Pop stars."

Two excellent reader's stories were published this week. From Shady comes, "Thai Women And Money" and from Korski, "Life and Death in Cambodia".

The Vancouver Sun looks at the most popular Canadian novelist who most Canadians have never heard of.

Pattaya is voted #1 in a list of the world's top 10 sin cities!

A tragedy in the UK with a Thai student found dead days before she was due to return home following allegations of abuse.

A Thai woman is conned out of 190,000 baht with the old a package is waiting for you, pay a release fee scam.

Two drunken Aussies get a beating in Phuket after kicking things off by smashing an American with an ashtray.


Bar Bar Patpong




Ask Sunbelt Asia Legal

Sunbelt Asia's legal department is here to answer your questions relating to legal issues and the law in Thailand. Send any legal questions you may have to me and I will pass them on to Sunbelt Legal and their response will run in a future column. You can contact Sunbelt's legal department directly for all of your legal needs.



Question 1: Foreign teachers in Thailand are usually employed on limited-term contracts (one-year, two-year etc.) which are renewable at the end of each contract period. Under Thai labour law, when an employee is terminated, they are entitled to severance pay based on their length of service, unless they are fired. If a teacher has worked through several years of contract cycles and is then not offered a new contract, but is not terminated during their contract period, is severance pay expected? Assume that the teacher's position is not dissolved, but that the school plans to hire someone new. If severance pay is required, is the length of severance pay based on the end-date of the contract or on the date the employee was told they would not given a new contract?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: Under Thai labour law, even though your contract is renewed on an annual basis, even if over several years, it is still considered as continuous employment. If you have not been given an extension for the coming year you would still be entitled to severance pay (as stipulated by the labour law). Severance is calculated on the number of years that you have continuously worked at one employer.

– Working for 120 days or more but less than 1 year, the employee will be entitled to 30 days of pay.
– Working for 1 year or more but less than 3 years, the employee will be entitled to 90 days of pay.
– Working for 3 years or more but less than 6 years, the employee will be entitled to 180 days of pay.
– Working for 6 years or more but less than 10 years, the employee will be entitled to 240 days of pay.
– Working for 10 year or more, the employee will be entitled to 300 days of pay.

You will not be entitled to severance if you voluntarily resign (or terminate or choose not to renew) your employment agreement. Also, please note that you will not be entitled to compensation for advance notice (of 1 month) as you are already aware of the employment agreement ending date.

This may not apply if you work for a private school as it is generally believed that private schools are exempt from this requirement. However, this may vary from province to province and even from court to court. If you are a private school teacher and feel you are due severance pay then the best scenario is to take it to the labour courts where you live and apply through the courts.

If you have issues obtaining severance pay from your employer, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We can help in communication and in negotiating with your former employer.



Question 2: I have had a Thai registered company since 2006, with myself and 3 Thai staff on the payroll. I offer consulting services. The company was set up using 6 Thais that I do not know (and in turn who probably do not know that they are part owners of my company). My 49% of shares have a vote each and their shares require 5 shares for one vote. They have signed over their votes to me in separate documents. I think I have what you would call a company with Thai nominee shareholders (I am not certain if this set up is still legal – or ever was). It has worked well for me since 2006, having been through several audits with no problems. Now I want to hire an expat, possibly two. I am capitalized sufficiently to meet that requirement but will not need to hire more than 1 or 2 additional Thai support staff. It is possible to get a work permit for one expat (that would make 2 if you include me), if all I have is 3 – 5 Thai support staff? If I must hire 4 more Thai staff for every expat work permit, is there another way around this? A friend mentioned that if I register a branch office in Thailand for my North American company, I will not be constrained by the 4 : 1 (Thai : Farang ratio). Is this true?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: Current regulations stipulate that for every work permit issued to a company, you (the company) must have 2 million baht of registered capital and the company must pay into the social welfare fund for 4 Thai employees (each employee must be earning a minimum of 9,000 baht, which can be confirmed through the company's PND 1 (the monthly withholding tax on staff salary) and social fund registration & filings). But should that work permit applicant (your expat) be legally married to a Thai citizen, then the requirement for the 2 million baht registered capital will be discounted to 1 million baht, however the requirement for 4 Thai employees for 1 work permit will remain the same.

Establishing a representative office could help you to resolve your 4 Thai employees per 1 work permit issue, as the ratio will be 1 Thai employer for 1 work permit. However, you need to consider the number of work permits allotted is governed by the objective of the representative office. Some would be limited to 2 work permit and some would be entitled to 5 work permits. Also, please note that a representative office must remit into Thailand funds to cover the operating expenses and a representative office cannot generate income within Thailand. Please feel free to contact Sunbelt Asia for a free consultation to go over your options.



Question 3: I have a few questions pertaining to the execution of a will here in Thailand.

A: If one has composed a personal will in the English language and this has been witnessed by two parties, does one need to have this then legalized by a Thai lawyer and translated into Thai if the will is to be executed in Thailand?

B: How does the execution process of the will take place in relation to one's worldly goods held in Thailand i.e. Thai bank accounts etc. where the beneficiaries are non-Thai nationals and assuming the death occurs in Thailand ?

C: How and who usually prepares the death certificate?

Sunbelt Asia Legal Advisers responds: It is possible for you to execute a will in English, as it the language that you can read, speak, write and understand. But for your executor and your beneficiary(ies), the process does not end there. Even with a will, your beneficiary(ies) cannot take immediate ownership of the estate. In your will, you can specify a person (or more) to be the executor of your estate. This executor's role & duty is to gather all the assets that are in your name, distributing / transferring your estate to the designated beneficiary(ies) in accordance to your will. But in order for this designated executor to have authority to act in accordance to your will he / she will need to be officially appointed by the Thai court. And therefore your will will have to be translated into Thai language unless you execute a will that contains both Thai and English (a bilingual version). This is the option we recommend to our clients.

With the court appointment, the executor can transfer your funds (in your Thai bank account) to your designated beneficiary(ies) and he / she could close your bank account.

Assuming the death occurs in a hospital in Thailand, it would depend on the services of that hospital, whether they would be the party to inform the district office, or they (the hospital) will only issue a supporting statement where the relative will need to inform the district office. The relative should also notify the deceased party's embassy / consulate in Thailand, so that they could also notify the deceased's relatives back home as well as other related government officials back home. Sunbelt Asia has extensive experience drafting wills for expats in Thailand and can assist you in ensuring that your will is drafted to meet your desires.







Patpong


I had planned for this week's opening piece to be a roundup of what I feel are the best venues in Patpong, a follow on from last week's column looking at the timeless bars of Patpong. As I was putting this week's together it all started to feel familiar. I realised that 4 of the 6 bars I had already profiled in recent columns. As such I decided to kill that column opener and put something completely different together. For the record, in my opinion, all the best venues in Patpong can be found in Patpong soi 2 and they are, in no particular order, The Strip, Club Electric Blue, Bada Bing, Cosmos, Black Pagdoa and Pink Panther. If you make it down to Patpong, check them out.

Your Bangkok commentator,

Stick


Firehouse

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