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CC Double O Branding
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Thailand’s ingenious new approach to branding

Fascinated by retail in Thailand, I started paying attention to the differences compared to its Western counterpart. One distinction is related to branding in casual wear and denim.  Where Western advertising highlights when a brand was conceived, the Thai counterpart emphasizes where it originates from. This historical infatuation with foreign products has led to an ingenious new approach to branding. Counterfeit products and licencing are out. Inventing foreign brands is in.

CC Double O Branding

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Culture Club launch artwork
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History of the Culture Club nightclub (Ghent, Belgium)

Back in 2005, Glitterati.be was a popular nightlife-and-fashion webzine yours truly was extremely proud of. Times have changed, life has moved on, but the original Glitterati website still has a special place in my heart. Its most popular post was titled Culture Club: history of a nightlife phenomenon. Now and then people still ask me if they can get a copy. For old times’ sake, I’ve decided to translate and update the article. Please enjoy the complete story of the legendary Culture Club nightclub in Ghent.

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Glitterati Blog recovered

This blog has almost completely recovered from the major difficulties early this week. After a major power outage in the data center the site returned with very long loading times. Transfer to another server inflicted additional damage and flushed all recent upgrades down the drain. A few days later I am proud to say that everything is back up and running. The pagespeed score has even increased to 99%. With the infrastructure no longer an issue I can return to writing new content. Coming up is an exciting new series about the mystical side of Thai culture. Stay tuned. *Update: video player fixed* All systems are go.

 

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The best currency exchange rates in Bangkok

Holidaymakers set on visiting Thailand regularly ask me where they can get the best exchange rates, converting their Euro’s into Thai Baht. In my experience (so far) the best deals are had by bringing cash over and converting them the old-school way at an exchange office. Let me explain where the best exchange rates are offered. Update (25/05/2017): Added additional exchange agencies.

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Siam in-between: Livin’ la vida local

Over the last few weeks the frequency of the updates on this blog has diminished, I am well aware. Getting a visa that allows my (Thai) fiancée and I to get married in Belgium has proven to be a daunting task. So much so, that I decided to fly to Thailand a few weeks ago to help get things sorted, locally. One Blue Monday, we found ourselves standing on the side walk outside of the Belgian Embassy, administrative challenges handled, red tape cut … and both of us with two weeks of holiday ahead, wide-open. Why not take the opportunity to experience vintage country-side living before this options disappears?

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Taking care of business in Bangkok

On Friday, I hopped on the red-eye to Bangkok, as some of you have noticed on social media. A little while ago, I started writing about the process of getting married to my Thai fiancée in Belgium. After battling through the red tape at my local city hall and the Belgian Ministry of Foreign affairs, the very last part of the administrative journey takes place at the Belgian embassy in Bangkok. As we want to manage the process ourselves and in person, I decided to fly over. As a bonus, I’ll have more adventures and discoveries to tell you about. Updates coming soon. Sawasdee khrab.

Sunset at Ploenchit Skytrain station
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Mobile wallets: skewed market research

Kind of a tech geek, my attention was drawn to this article in Business Insider today. Yes, I know, your wallet has been mobile all along. Mine too, but I was kind of hoping it was about hardware wallets. Turns out that mobile wallets are apps that store payment card information in your smartphone, allowing you to make in-store payments. Mastercard, heavily invested into the phenomenon with its Masterpass, did some market research about mobile wallets and came up with a conclusion that seems rather biassed. Mobile Wallets were mentioned In 75% (!) of 3.5 million social media conversations about new payment methods. Yet these apps are used in just 1% of retail sales. Their conclusion: mainstream breakthrough is hindered by too many available mobile wallet apps, lack of support for store loyalty cards and consumers waiting for wearable wallets. My two cents: with 75% awareness and 1% penetration, could it be that the public just isn’t interested? 🙂 My wallet contains all cards I need, is finished in premium leather and I do wear it … in my back pocket.

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Foodtruck market in Vilvoorde

Today (06/04/2017) my hometown of Vilvoorde (Belgium) hosted the first edition of a monthly foodtruck market, behind city hall. From April to October, the event will take place on the first Thursday of each month (17.00 – 21.00). Even though I visited quite early in the evening (17.30) the square behind city hall was already buzzing. Very commendable initiative that will only improve while summer warms up. Let’s hope that it is moved to the town square to include the bars with open-air seating, once renovations are completed. Along with Hipster Vilvoorde, this is just another sign that the future is colorful for our city. More pictures are available here.

 

 

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Review: Felix Pizza, Vilvoorde (Belgium)

‘The best pizza of Vilvoorde and surrounding area’. Felix Pizza in Vilvoorde has chosen quite the audacious tag line. I do like the implied confidence, but it does sound like a challenge. With a growing number of pizza parlors in my hometown, there are a lot of contenders for the title. Off the top of my head, there’s Testa Rossi, Barino, Pizza Vera, Pizza Talia, Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Main rival in the region is Il Casale in Grimbergen, in my opinion. Does Felix Pizza measure up? Let’s have a look.

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