[i] Hello.

[r] Hello.

[i] Can you tell me where you were born, please?

[r] So, Cambodia. Phnom Penh.

[i] And when was that?

[r] When? When? It was during the war. April 2, 1975. 1975.

[r] And, how was the circumstances of your birth?

[r] Well, in the forest. And that was, I don’t know how to say this. There was no midwife, was there? He was my father. Who did… who gave birth to my mother.

[i] And why was she in the forest at the time?

[r] Well, it was… what can I say?   They pushed all the… all the people… in the city… Well, I was in the belly, wasn’t I? I know that… heard spoken by my mother, my father and the elders.  Well, they all got fired in the forest. All the people, all the inhabitants who are in town. And after that, they fled the war.

[i] And that was when the Khmer Rouge took power?

[r] That’s it! That’s it! That’s it! That’s it! That’s it! I don’t really know the story, it’s just listening and watching TV too. I’m also looking at how to say, these Khmer Rouge here, let’s say that. Well, for me, it’s….  We know that a lot of people have died, all that. But hey. It is said that out of a million children born in the forest, one survives. But hey, it’s destiny, right?

[i] You feel like a survivor, and a miraculous one?

[r] Miraculous, I wouldn’t say that. But hey, it’s our destiny. That’s all. That’s all. There you go. There are some who were born in shit, there are some who were born in shit….

[i] And… how did it go after you were born?

[r] So, in the forest itself, we’re going to say that well, everyone Adults, adults, adults… That’s what I hear all the time, the stories, that is, of my grandmother. I didn’t really know my grandmother very well. I know my aunts and all that. I recently returned home…. That is, when we lost sight of each other, huh. They were my father’s brothers and sisters on my father’s side. They told me a little bit of the story, that I didn’t know the story. They told me that when… Well, as a war, adults know life better than… than a newborn child. That’s what she told me, my great-aunt. Normally, all parents would throw their children away, already. Because there’s screaming, crying, all that. They don’t want the Khmer Rouge to hear the crying, the screaming. And then that… how they hide when… to hide all this. And…. Well my daddy he also decided to do like the others, like the other parents, that they left me a good time, alone. And then, Mom, she, on her side, told her mom that she left her child.  And the grandmother doesn’t want it. She didn’t accept that. He’s the first child. First son. And then, as a result, my mother and my maternal grandmother came to meet me, to pick me up. They searched everywhere. But they managed to find me.

[i] And where were you?

[r] Well, I don’t know where. In the forest! A lost corner, we don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s what she told me, I don’t know, right? I don’t know if it’s real or it’s not true or it’s true. But well, in any case, to say that they prefer to save their skin first. Because they know life. They know what life is like. I understand them, don’t I? I… I don’t know anything. I just came out of the stomach, what do I know? I know that crying, eating and then pooping, that’s all. Is that true or not? Well, yes! But yes, they are absolutely right! But hey, that’s to say that, well…… My grandmother, she left, because of those Khmer Rouge people there. Because of hunger. It’s my… on the mother’s side, huh. But it was my paternal aunt who told me all this. And that it’s all thanks to my grandmother. That I’ve never known before. On my… my mother’s side. On my mother’s side, her whole family is… liquidated. Except her little brother. Because his brother, he followed my dad. My mother, grandmother, grandfather, grandfather, brother his grandfather, whom I knew, on my mother’s side, everyone left. And, let’s say that…. I repeat again, if it’s true the story, it’s thanks to Grandma that I’m still alive, that’s all. There you go.

[i] And what happened next? You lived… for how long in Cambodia before coming to France?


[r] For how long… Well, all I’m going to say is that I…. I repeat again…. I didn’t invent it, I just heard about the great-aunt, the family, things like that, that’s all.  So, then….  We were gone, my dad… I’m thinking about what they told me… My dad managed to escape to Thailand, I think. Yes. He managed to escape to Chonburi. And then, not normally, it’s Vietnam first…. I don’t know, I don’t really know. Well, stories are starting to mix everything up. But I remember it very well, it was when I was a kid, it was in Vietnam. And that my dad, I was… we were just two of us, me and my little brother. Yes, that’s right, if that’s what it is. They went to Vietnam first. Yes, that’s right, that’s right. They went to Vietnam first.  How can I say this? Well, my dad, with nothing at all. When he arrived in Vietnam, he had nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. He was sleeping on the street with Mom.  And, he was picking up cigarette butts, that’s what he told me, my dad, uh, my mom. He picked up the cigarette butts, and he smoked the cigarette butts. From the falls of the mega deposits, there, the filters, there. He was starting to…. to have an idea. So, cigarettes without filters, he used to collect filters to make cigarettes with filters, it costs a little more. So, every day, he made ten, 20, 30, 40, after Mom, she will always sell at the market, all that. And, after that, little by little, it starts to have a… He’s starting to have small, medium… a little, a little, a little, a little. Well, with his savings, he managed to…. to make… to buy back tobacco leaves, factories, stuff like that. He has become seriously enriched. It had become, we will say, huge. Very very well known as well. There you go. To say that…. Always, my dad, him, my dad, with nothing, he can do anything. Even if, even… he arrived in France, he succeeded. Where he goes, he succeeds. And now he’s back in Cambodia, now. And he still succeeds. At his age, he’s 60… 1950. September 10, 1950. How old are you? 68. There you go. And after that, after Vietnam, well, we’re My dad, he knew the fortune, the wealth, all that. And, there was still the war. He lost everything. And then, I don’t know, he ran away, we went until…. We went to Thailand, to Chonburi itself. And now, now, how old am I? I was 6 years old, 6 years old, 7 years old. 6-7 years old. 6-7 years old. Well, we got nothing left, huh. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Because of the war again. Because with all his money, he can’t do anything. With all the buildings he has, everything’s been… squandered. Taken by… by other people… What did he bring back, he brought back a few kilos of gold, he said. He only brought back gold. And arrived at….. At first, it was Krabi Town? After Chonburi. Krabi Town first. After Chonburi. And he couldn’t find a solution, because he’s… You know, when you knew how rich you were, you always had maids, drivers, things, all that. And then, all of a sudden, boom, it went to zero. So what did he do? He wants to make up for it by playing. He plays. He plays, he plays, he plays, he plays. And we, on the other hand, the arrival of the younger brothers. I have another brother, the third one. And then, the little sister, she was very small. We’re all… two years apart. There were four of us. Arrived in Chonburi. And, uh, we had nothing to eat. All this. I was 8 years old. Now, I remember very, very well, from the age of 8. Between 6, 7 and 8 years old, I remember very well, very well, from then on. But, the rest of the time, I remember that in Vietnam I was the only one in Vietnam who had a small bronze gun, to put on firecrackers, the Vietnamese New Year. Chinese New Year, Tet. Chinese New Year’s Eve. We used to put on firecrackers, and then I used to dress classy all the time, super classy. I remember, when I was very young, that that was it. There you go. But, most of them…. The most memories were when I was picking up… Because Dad, he played all the time. We don’t have a penny, we don’t have any food, we don’t have anything at all, we don’t have anything to wear. We have… We lived… in a… in a straw house. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.  Me and my little brother, every morning, since we do…. Well, as in all poor countries, every time, when I look at poor countries, I recover my history. When I was 6, 7, 8, 8, 9 until I was 10, when I came here. For… up to 10 years, during those four years, I collected… cans. Bottles, boxes, bags… plastic bags. To go weigh, to sell, for a few pennies. I was bringing this for Mom. I was holding my brother’s hand, we were always going to pick up. Everywhere. And, I thought it was good, I don’t know how many kilos, we were getting ripped off, what.

We wore tons, tons, tons, to get a few baths, that’s all. And what did I do, I thought, well, well, if I saved a little, I’d buy some bread. With condensed milk and sugar. I would knock on the door in the morning. For their breakfast, the rich…. No, in brackets, rich, rich, rich… It was a refugee camp, almost. That’s it, it wasn’t, very, very, very tall… And… a little something.  Well, I was selling that, and then I was taking that money, to do something else. Well, let’s just say, at that time, I’m… I’m not saying I’m a hero, am I? At that time, if I wasn’t as… let’s say, I’m already a little responsible. When I see that people, they take their children to restaurants, things, all that. Or, they have food, so do I, my grandchildren, my little sister, I am the tallest. I’m doing everything I can.

[i] You lived in a refugee camp?

[r] Yes. It was a refugee camp, we couldn’t cross over to the other side of Cambodia. I don’t know how my daddy did it. So, we were, they fired us in Cambodia. From Cambodia, back in the forest, after my father, I don’t know, he left, in Vietnam, after he returned, I don’t know what, in Thailand, I don’t know what’s going on. Well, I don’t really, really know the exact story. But I know it was very, very hard.  When we were in that refugee camp. To say that….  How to say… Well, you have to find money all the time for Mom. All the time, all the time, all the time, all the time, all the time. I was also making… after selling the condensed milk and sugar breads after all, I go to a lady’s house to make shredded ice cubes there. I was using syrup. I was making syrup, and… I was selling a baht. A baht, like that, but sometimes, to say that well, there is never enough money… I’m not a thief, but I have to. The lady, she’s… she’s… she’s not… the husband’s fine. But the lady, she’s not… He’s missing a spot, let’s say. So I’m taking advantage of it. When I sell for 100 baht, I may take 20, 30, 40 baht. I put it in the pocket, I bring it for Mom.  And…. I understand, don’t I, people who steal, don’t I? When, when you’re little. When it’s little ones, but I don’t mean today, little Romanians, that’s… It’s something else, huh… it’s not the same. I mean, there are two meanings to “stealing”.  Because when I fly, it’s for my brothers and sisters. But, them, when they do, they steal… There are two meanings to “stealing”, it’s… There is a meaning that is wrong, there is a meaning that is good for…. Well, that’s not good, let’s say. Let’s say, overall, it’s not good. But, for me, I was a little forced. That’s it, to feed my family. So I got caught by the… by the big son. They are… they are two brothers. I stole so much that I got caught by the big son. I had 200 baht that day.

[i] The great son of?

[r] The gentleman who… who sells shaved ice cubes. There you go. And he caught me. “Hands in the bag”, as they say. I had 200 baht. And, I offered to share, each one 100 baht. And he agreed. And then, saved! There you go. And then for a while, the little brother caught me. And I asked him to share. And he says no, he’s going to tell his dad. So I was scared. As a thief, you’re afraid. There you go. I’m so scared, too, especially my father, he’s someone from…. In our country, the parents, our… parents’ generation, they are very, very, very hard, eh. When typing is not the caresses they give us, it’s not the little spankings they give us, eh, like in France, eh. Spanking here is, it’s hugging, right, totally.  To say that, he said, he’s going to say to his father. I, I got scared, right away, I took a pencil, I threw it in his head.  Then he fainted, I ran, I ran, I ran away. And, since then, I haven’t worked there anymore. What have I done, well, well, we still have to find the money. All the time, all the time, all the time thinking. What did I do? What did I do? I see… I have found a solution. I see that the young ones, they have the attacking fish, the fish… Fish… we call them fighting fish. Do you know it? You know what it is? Do you know it or not? They’re fish, so they’re very beautiful. Well, why, I’m wearing this, why I’m wearing this… This one, this one.  There. This is the fighting fish. So, I see that the… that people, they buy for… 10 baht. Sometimes 50 baht, a fish, like that, wow! But, I say but, I can say them… how to say them? I can try to reproduce them. No, what do you mean… do the kids, do the babies right now. Reproduction?

There you go. Well, I took my few small savings.  In brackets, I bought a male and a female. It doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, I don’t understand. I don’t know how to do it, the solution to, to have babies.  Well, I tried to go see the other breeders, supposedly, well, go buy some fish, like that, and I look all the time. I go there all the time to see how he gets the eggs, after the things, all that, I try to see. Arrived…. The moment I found…. Just when I arrived at a gentleman’s house, that he had bubbles, full of bubbles, and that he removed the male, and I don’t understand anything. And I always try to do the same thing he does every time. And then I succeeded. And it is from there that… Wow, lots of money! One: 1 baht, one: 1 baht, all the time. That’s it! That’s it! [Laughs] There were plenty of them! I made a lot of money. There you go. And then, most importantly, the funny thing is that…. I’ll never forget in my life, it’s the… the New Year, the Chinese New Year.  So I was also selling my fish, but I love the most, I make a lot of profits compared to firecrackers. Little firecrackers, I… I was crossing the border. When we bought a box, a firecracker box, inside there were 20.  The box is worth 1 baht. So, I used to take several boxes, full, I used to take lots of boxes, there are 100 bahts, 200 bahts. Every New Year’s Eve, I bought… I bought… I was crossing, but no one dared to cross. I… I sneaked in like that, I just came to the stadium, in front of the school, I put my stand, a very small stand with my firecrackers, I sold one: 1 baht. That is, I the box, I earn 19 baht. Each box. And every New Year’s Eve, I have plenty of money.  And my mom, very happy. There you go. That’s where I love it the most.

[i] That was one of your best memories?

[r] But there are plenty of other things to do… Oh, that’s great! That’s great. That’s great. And why is that? I’ll tell you why I love life there, because we can live with almost nothing. I have a friend, his name is[friend’s name].  He is an orphan.  He is an orphan. He lives in a small cabin.  He lives… he lives in a small cabin, alone. And, why I call it[friend’s name], it’s a Cambodian word, it’s… Every time, when I earn a little bit of money, I buy him an ice cream, and he eats the ice cream, until the stick… there is no more stick. He bites the stick. And he’s a very resourceful man.  So as I said, with almost nothing, we can live… we can live… well as alone… I if, for example, I was alone, I may not fly, but I can work, and then also earn all that. And live, eat my three meals a day, you know.  And to say that, with a slingshot, you don’t even need a fishing rod. We can, we can eat meat, that is, birds, all that. You can also eat small animals, insects, stuff like that.  And we, the two of us, we managed to find food all the time. Me and my little brother too. There was my little brother, all the time, he was with me. All the time, all the time, all the time, all the time.    To say that after that, well after all that, in the country, there, we were the last ones, to have come to France in the camp, there.

[i] Where exactly was this camp?

[r] It’s Chonburi. Chonburi is the border of Thailand and Cambodia. There you go. And to say that, normally, in these camps, if you have… family members abroad, in the United States, Australia, France, anywhere, they can do that to you? “Mandate” or how? They can make sure that….  They can make sure that they… you can cross over to their country. Do you see or not? And then we have our family too, in Australia, all that. But, on the other hand, my father, he doesn’t get along with his mother, my grandmother. And, on the side of…. on the father’s side, Nobody. Everyone was angry with my father. I don’t know why.  At the time, he was rich, everyone loved him, and when he is poor, everyone is afraid of him.  And to say that in Canada, we too have family, but we have a distant family. In the United States, too. Now everyone is afraid of my father. That’s why I told you earlier. When you have, there are plenty of them. They’re like… bees, flies.  And when you have nothing left, you have leprosy or AIDS. Do you see or not? There you go. Even the family, huh.  And my dad, what, we were stuck for four years. We were the last to come. So, the funny thing is that when we waited for us, waited for us, hoped that the family would… My father, huh, told me that. We have… We hoped that… how to say this?   So, to say that he waited more than four years, it was the last ones, the last ones.  The family could… help us to come to developed countries… There you go. No, there’s no one there. So as I was saying, the funny thing is that the day he left, my dad, he went to see how to say… the list of people who can go abroad, welcomed by foreigners…  He had three names. Three countries. Direct. One, to the States… to the United States. The other one, in Australia. And the other in France.  And he said in Chinese, I don’t know if you understand or not? “Damn, we’ve been waiting four years, there wasn’t even one[country to welcome them], and now there are three!” [en teochew] He said: “We wait during those years, all those years, not even one, and there are three! Three countries at once, where are we going to go? What country are we going to go to?” He did… he thought, without thinking, quick, huh, he did quick…  His thing already. Why Australia, he doesn’t want to, because there’s his mommy. And that he is very upset about his whole family there, his very close family, his very mother, his brothers and sisters. There you go. In the United States, he doesn’t want to, because also the family, we’ll say, the cousins, uncles, things, all that, he gives up. There’s only France, there’s nobody there. He’s quiet.  And then he came along. We arrived in….      June 16….   June 16, 1986. Yeah.  When we arrived, we were greeted by…. So I would like to make it clear that it was France that adopted us there. It is France itself that has given us…. Well, they sorted it out and put it in… let’s say the lottery, maybe I don’t know. It’s not family, no one has… we have…  Then France welcomed us, straight away, we arrived in a home in Nancy.  What is Nancy’s? We had what, we had our own room. There was also, what do you call it, there was a director. And then there was also a translator. It is called[translator’s name]. Now he lives in Paris. He lives in the 13th floor.  Well, in…. In that home, it’s all the… it’s all the refugees. And… let’s say, well, we can’t go anywhere without… without… without… First of all, we don’t know the language, nothing at all. Daddy doesn’t know anything. Knows nothing about us. We don’t know anything. They offer us…. They also give us, there’s the canteen. And for the clothes, it is the Red Cross that gives us. And…. Daddy him… He smells a little bad, sorry it’s his ear[talking about his dog]. And to say that, Daddy, he says he doesn’t like to stay like that. At that moment, like him he arrived in France, he has more friends to play cards. To… to… to… to use… to pass the time, to play cards. So, he in his head, that’s it, it’s starting to work. What’s he doing? He’s starting to…..  To make little trinkets, little jewels. Like this… a little bit, a little bit, a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. Then, by word of mouth, between the community in the camp, no, in the home, they talk to each other. He says, “Oh yeah, there’s such a man, he knows how to fix, he knows that, he knows that, he knows… he knows how to do this, he knows how to do that.” Little by little, it spread. And he, what he… he was missing, he was missing the raw material. There were also some small tools missing, all that. I’m talking about the jewelry store, huh. And, what did he do, he bought himself a bike. I remember the bike very well, it’s… It wasn’t a normal bike. He said, he bought, he had bought, a bike called Peugeot. It was a Peugeot bike. You know bicycles… The racing bikes here. Tour de France, there, the thing with the handlebars like that, there. There you go. Well, with that, he was going back and forth, but enough… Several kilometers to go to buy tools, raw materials to make his own jewellery.  Little by little, he made a name for himself. He made a name for himself, and then he also had a friend of his who is from Thailand, who comes to visit him. Sometimes he brings back a few small stones like that, so that he can sell. Little by little, well, he decided to come to Paris. And, in Paris, there were some people, well, let’s say, it’s, they’re pretty nice anyway. I say, well, we don’t have a family, but that’s because… she’s my grandmother’s sister. She’s my great-aunt. All right? I say, we don’t have any family, but we do. Why, I say, we don’t have a family, because they don’t have us either… how can I say this?  To make… so that we can come to France, that’s it. Just do what you have to do. That’s what my daddy says, right, I don’t know. And…. And now, my great-aunt, she says to…. “But you’re crazy to come to Paris, it’s too expensive for you.” All this. “Life is too expensive, you can’t live.” All this. And my father, he had calculated what he had calculated, it was in relation to…    to his repairs…. He’s going to work a little “black” at home, and then for the rent, it doesn’t matter. Fortunately, we are in France, he has family allowance, he has five children. He was receiving 12,000… 12,800 francs, at the time, in family allowances. And the rent was 10,000 francs. He has… he’s got a brain that spins very, very fast, huh. We lived in several families, he was the head of the family, he was the one who rented the house. And he rented the rooms more expensive than the rent he paid. And he worked in a jewellery room.  And, to say that….  Work. Then he asked…. This is really fate, huh. He asked the other jewellers in the neighborhood. He asked almost everyone if there was a place, that he wanted to work to get a good job, a fixed salary, all that. Because working at home, you risk getting caught, “on the black”. Also, it’s not going to go far, is it? By word of mouth, yes. But the problem is, you don’t have a fixed salary because he has children to feed too.  He asked everyone. And no one wanted it, a newbie jeweler who just arrived, so we don’t know where. They, here, here, at the time, it was very well known, it was… They were Cantonese jewellers, Hong Kongers, and Vietnamese. There you go. Besides, Father, we don’t even know where he came from. No one wanted it.

[i] And where was that?

[r] Well, in Paris 13th. Well, he got caught in a tower, didn’t he? An apartment in a tower, on the 30th… on the 29th floor. 130 boulevard… Masséna boulevard. At Choisy Gate there. Straight to the 29th floor.

[i] What year was that? 1980… We stayed in 1988. Here, there, there. And…. Well, he asked everyone, no one wanted it. No one wanted him as an employee. And what did he do, well…  He still does his little <i>business</i> at home. And all of a sudden, he heard that… that… there’s a very small shop on sale. And…. He can’t speak French, can he? He asked someone to translate. To go with him. And the gentleman I remember the name very well, his name is Monsieur[name of the seller]. Because why, because her two grandchildren, me, I was at school with them afterwards.   It was a… a shoemaker at the time, and Dad had only 50,000 francs at the time. And Mr.[seller’s name], how much did he want? He wanted 180,000. The commercial premises there. 180,000 francs. And, my dad, no one trusted him, no one lent him money, no one, no one, no one, no one.  And like why, I say, it’s really fate. Because with those 50,000 francs, he asked that owner, Mr.[name of salesman], he said: “Listen” – there’s a translator, eh, it’s not him speaking – he said “Look, I have 50,000 francs, I give you those 50,000 francs, as soon as I start working, I pay you.”   And the gentleman, he’s about to retire, he said, “Why not?” in his head. He sees that my father, he’s serious, and he’s accepted. Without paying the 130,000. 130,000 is separate, and without papers, without anything. Without signing, without anything at all, huh. Where do we see that? No, it’s really fate. There you go. So, with this little place, just next to the Tobacco des Sports there…  To say that….  50,000 francs is nothing anymore, he doesn’t have a penny left. Let’s say, it’s an empty room. Nothing, nothing at all. The work, we had to go ourselves. We the four children, not the five children, with Mom, Dad, there were seven of us, – Oh fuck it stinks…. speaking of his dog] – to remove things, to paint by yourself, to remove all the dirt, all that, to clean up. And, and we have…. we did our best, you know. And at the opening, he has… Mom managed to hide some little diamonds. She sold her diamonds, to buy fancy ones, good for it to be a jewelry store. Fantasies, she went to the 3rd, Arts and Crafts to buy little trinkets, fancy stuff, all that, to put in the window. Well, the window is nothing at all, it’s… This is really….. Let’s just say, it’s an empty thing, what, there’s nothing. She started with 2,000 francs. Mom. There you go. And little by little, with…. thanks, thanks… to his friend from Thailand who brings back stones, and there is also word of mouth, there are diamond dealers who trust him. You know, the Jews, they there, when they talk about business, it’s only trust, with their mouths. With the hand. So my father, he loves it. He is… very strict. It is straight. When he says one, it’s one, it’s not two, it’s not right, it’s not left. There you go. And then, not even for a while, the 130,000 of Mr.[seller’s name] there, he repaid everything. For commercial premises. And it was from that little thing that he succeeded. With his 50,000 francs. You see, in life. You see, or not, in life, it’s that… it’s really fate. You have to believe in fate. That’s it, that’s it.

[i] And the shop, it still exists today?

[r] Well, still here. It’s like I told you, it’s like I told you, there, 117 Massena Boulevard. There you go. We arrived in France, we have nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. What did we have? I was a serious thrifty man. Dad, Dad, how can I say this? Can you imagine 50 francs? He allows 50 francs per week to eat the whole family, the seven people. To be able to save that 50,000 francs. And if he didn’t have that 50,000 francs, I don’t really know fate, that’s all. I know if Mr.[seller’s name] agreed to leave the room there. That little place over there. There you go.

[i] And you, as a result… Did you enjoy growing up in the 13th district?

r] For me, growing up, compared to here, life here, in France, I don’t know why, I can’t find… I don’t know how to explain it. I was happier, more joyful, when I was there. When I was 6, between 6 and 10 years old. I’m on the loose. That is, we have to find here, for me… it’s…   I give an example exaggeratedly. There, it’s like… what do you call it… Tarzan there, he’s used to living in the jungle. When he comes to town, it feels a little weird for him. But I, myself, in today’s world, I’m telling the truth, eh, I don’t find that here, there, life…  Life… Well, I’ll take…. When I retire, when I go, because my father is there, there. I’ll go back there. Because it’s good there. We can… we can fish, we can go… we can eat all the things of nature, we can… we can do everything… here is nothing to do. I say frankly. But thank you France, huh. I say frankly, thank you France. Above all, don’t forget one thing, Dad, Dad, when he left me the shop… When Dad left me the shop, I used to pay all the time. I used to pay the RSI all the time, the thing, the cool thing, I kept complaining, I said, “But wait, we work for why, we work for… for them or what, we’re not dogs!” I kept saying that, and I was always complaining. That is, like, I was exaggerating, we earn ten euros, we already give nine euros, we still have one euro left. But, you have to see it too. Now, now, when I… I’ve had psoriasis for ten years, but thanks to all this money, it’s not that what France, what they have, they’ve done about the disease, the social security, the thing, all this is really huge, it’s really good. Can you imagine a vaccine at 2,000, 3,000, 4,000, 5,000? Who can pay for this? No, we can’t do that. We can’t do that. So I’ve had this disease for ten years. Well, it’s just…. two years since I’ve been dealing with this vaccine. If I’m not in France, I’ll still have it. These skin diseases, there, fortunately I’m in France. It was itchy all over! But also, it’s because of France that I’m stressed. [Laughs] There’s that too. Work, and here, that… Yeah, you have to pay this, pay that, you don’t know what! Once the customers, the supplier, you have to pay this. Sometimes I forget the EDF, they cut off the EDF, it’s forgotten, it’s not, not paid. It’s forgotten. And all that stress is not right at all. Well, all this, I mean, it’s…. It’s people’s lives… let’s say, it’s… developed countries, right? That’s it, isn’t it? All developed countries have too much stress, that’s why I don’t like it.  I have myself… in my country, when I was young, eh, but even so, I work, but good without the stress. But we can also experience the same thing. Maybe over there, I have….. Today, I’m 43 years old, maybe I live there exactly the same as when I was 8 or 10 years old. I do what I have to do, I have my three bowls of rice, that’s it, that’s enough for me. No need for what, Porsche Cayenne or…  We live today, and tomorrow we leave. We come up with nothing, we leave with nothing. Why stress? All this is because of… to want to! And that’s why, now I’m sicker, I don’t want anything. I don’t want anything anymore. [Laughs] Can I smoke?

[i] And what kind of work did you do?

[r] Jeweler Bah.

[i] Ah, too.

Well, I quit school at the age of 6, because I don’t know anything, I came here at the age of 10. Directly, I was put in a “CLIN”. You know what “CLIN” is? This is a preparatory class[of initiation]. It’s like, yeah, yeah, I was in a guy’s class, let’s say, 10 years, 12 years, 14 years, 15 years, 16 years, in those classes. And that is to say, these preparatory classes are to know your level.  It was Auguste Perret’s, right there, right there. We were all refugees. What were we learning? “Cake,” “boat,” “castle.” Stuff like that, I wouldn’t forget. But I didn’t understand anything. I don’t even know the A, and they… they already do me to Z, I don’t even know the A. And what did they do to me? The preparatory class finished, the year, and that’s it, they put us in what class, what’s-his-name, all that. I’m going straight to the door, I fell in the fifth grade. I don’t even know A, and they’re putting me in the fifth grade. I went to see the director, I said, “I don’t know anything, it’s no use putting myself so far away. Me, give me A first, after B, after C.”  Then the director, she says, that I’m too old. Too old to be in first grade. I say, well… maybe CP, that I know the A, then maybe I can go to Z. There you go. Then she told me, at the most, I can go to third grade. Okay, I went back to third grade. So for the… for the school, I say, it’s really catastrophic, it’s always zero. All zeros. There was no material, there was nothing. There was nothing. School sucks. And Daddy sees that I’m really catastrophic. Me and my little brother, well, both of them, both of them, it’s always both of them, all of them. Well, he sees that it’s catastrophic, it’s not even worth it, he says to me, “Well, if you want…. You know, every job deserves a salary?” We stay here, we make the little trinket, we try to… He gave me ten francs at the beginning, after 50 francs. And…. as time goes by, we love money there, we start to love money. Because we see… because we’re starting to know how to work. Making the bracelets, connecting the bracelets, all that. So on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, my father works seven out of seven, 24 out of 24. This one’s… there’s no problem, huh. As long as there’s work to be done. So, we Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday, Sunday, me and my little brother, we go to the workshop all the time, we do things. We used to take 100 francs, 200 francs all the time. And…. School for us, me for me frankly, truthfully, at the age of 14, I don’t even want to go to school anymore, nothing at all. In sixth grade, I went twice sixth, twice fifth grade, I did everything. Everything in duplicate, everything. Everything, everything, everything, everything, everything. And until the school they told me, the principal said to me: “Mr.[name of witness], it’s okay! You have all your diplomas, now it’s okay, everything’s double.” There you go. Even Mom, huh, she has… she can afford it, she even tried to put us in private school. Among the nuns. No, we only stayed a week, didn’t we? That’s all, that’s all. We only stayed a week, me and my little brother. We can’t do that. School is not for us. It’s like yesterday, I met a girlfriend, she says to me “You know[witness’s first name], my daughter there, she has 18, but she tells me, she tells me that, Mom, how do you have to do to get 20? I like having 20.” I say, well… You know it’s like Donald Trump. Donald Trump, he has a million, he wants ten million. Ten million, he wants 100 million. That’s the way people are. There you go. And you’re super good already, 18 is great already. I ask that 1, I don’t even have one. 1 point out of 20. I haven’t even had any, I’ve always had… zeros. And to say, that well…. After that, I totally quit school, and then they’re juvenile judges, I don’t know what, now they caught us. It was forbidden until I was 16 or 17 years old or I don’t know what, studying there, school, compulsory. And then…. We went to the judges, me and my little brother, and then I explained to the judge that I don’t like school, that’s all. I like to make money. Well, I’ve always liked… it’s not… Yes, I’ve been in the working life since I was very young. Is that true or not? I already know how to make money. Since I was 8 years old, I have been able to pick up cans, I know what it’s like to earn money on my own. And now I’m fine with myself, when I go somewhere, I always have money in my pocket, nobody says anything. And the judge, she says, “No, you have to go to school until 16, 17”, I don’t know until what age, and I say, “If I don’t like school…” She says… after, well… Over time afterwards, she said, “Well, I have an idea. You stay with your dad, but try to go to school anyway. And then I’ll find you a training center, okay?”  Training centre. You have to be a certain age to enter. This is a CCI. And then…. Well, I say, “Okay.” I told her, “Your Honor, what is a training centre?”. She says, “Well, if you like this job, you’re already in…. with your dad, in the jewelry store, and I’m going to put you in a b training course. I say, “Okay. Okay, but I don’t want school, though, do I? Jewelry, it’s jewelry! It’s not mathematics, technology, I don’t know what, natural sciences, the cool thing. I don’t want it!” I said that to her, didn’t I? Then she said, “Don’t worry.” All right. Then two years has passed, I am registered at the training centre in Saumur. Do you know Saumur? There you go. Near Angers, Tours there. I arrive by train, everything, with my backpack, tac tac tac tac. At school, on the first day, I see “mathematics”. Direct, I’m going back to my… we have the… what do you call it? The buildings for schoolchildren there? The stuff here.

[i] Boarding school?

[r] That’s it, our internship. But you have to take the bus, right? Directly, I got out of class, I went back to my room, I took my bag, I took my train ticket, I arrived in Paris. Yeah.

[i] So, back to the 13th district?

[r] Yeah! Yeah! No, at first, there were already a few little manuals there. A few things to start with. But then I saw the math, all that, I don’t want it. And that’s why I went back. And… to this day, I say frankly, I thank who, I thank Mr.[name of the director], is the director of training. In Saumur. He called me, he made me, “You know[witness’s name]”, – he called the shop on purpose, huh – he said “You know[witness’s name], listen, you’re good, in that area, practice”. He explained everything to me, huh, he tries to… gently, gently, gently, and it is from these words that I taught my children the same thing. All right? I’ll explain later. And he explained to me that, “Practice recovers for theory. Even if the theory, that you have 0.5 points, you don’t have to make a zero, that’s all. Because I’m sure that in practice you can have 19, 18 or 20, it’s a factor of 100”, something like that. I say, “Know nothing, I have your nice thing thing coefficient. I don’t know anything, your grade, all that, I don’t want math, I don’t want French. I keep saying that. Then he said, “No. Listen to me[name of witness], I can guarantee you that… the most important thing is that you have 10 out of 20, you have your degree.” I say, “If I have 10 out of 20, and the others, I have zero everywhere?” “Well, don’t do zero, just put your name and date. When you take your exam, anything you can’t do, you don’t do. But the most important thing is the manual. You’re very, very good at… in the manual.” I say… I say, “Well, well, Sir[name of the director], I’m going to see I don’t even know what you’re telling me, I’m going to waste my time with you. Because school I don’t like, I work at my dad’s, I earn the money, it’s no use going to school. It’s no use at all.” He said, “Try to get your degree, then do what you want. You’ll see later.” There you go. I thought about it the next week. So the sessions are alternating, right? A week with the boss, a week at school. I stayed with my father for a week. On reflection, well, I decided, I said “Dad, I’m going”[in teochew]. I say, “Well, I go to school”. He said, “Well, go ahead, go ahead.” I’m going, all right. Little by little, I’m starting to understand a little better about these coefficients, and it makes me want even more, to hit even harder in practice there. In the manual. Manuel, right? Practical. Manuel. There you go. The theory, I say frankly, I didn’t care, completely. And even the teachers, they know very well, eh, the technology, all that, every time when I came to class, I was at the bottom, I do something else. Yeah. Well, to say that, thanks to this[name of the director], all he explained to me, and I always had…. I had, then, the jewellery, the jewellery, I had… I had, I had quite a few diplomas thanks to him, better worker… apprentice of France, all that. This is all thanks to him. I’ve always had the average. That is, all right. 10 out of 20. [Laughs] All right? Well, 10 out of 20 is about practice, that’s all. And then, the rest of the 10 points is just zeros, that’s all. There you go. And…. I still had a year to go. I asked Dad, I do, “Dad, I have one last year left, I would like to do it. Because at first, I only had a silver medal once. Second time, silver medal, I don’t want to. I do “Dad, I’m doing another year to get the gold medal”. I got the gold medal, and then he said, “All right, that’s enough.” But I asked him for another year to get the BMA. It’s the patent for fine crafts. He says, “That’s it, that’s enough, who cares about these diplomas, you work for me, then you work for yourself, you’ll be a boss”, he told me that.
Yeah, well, I’ve been thinking, I say OK. Well, that’s right, he’s right on one hand, huh. We work on our own account, that’s better.  But to say that… we are… To say it’s really fate like… Look at this. For example, Mr.[name of director], he has never seen me in the manual, in practice. But I don’t know why, he calls me to explain the coefficient thing. Otherwise, I would never have graduated, that’s all.

[i] And you, you are of Teochew origin?

[r] I say frankly, I don’t really know. Even my daughter, right now, she just asked the question. Shame, I don’t even know what to say to him. I was born in Cambodia. My father, once, he tells me that he’s… that he’s Vietnamese Teochew or something. Mommy too is…. everything is mixed up. Good for me, the best thing is, I say I’m Asian, that’s all. And frankly, I don’t know what. I was born in Cambodia, yes. Well, I… it’s like, I had a conversation with my daughter. Last week. “But Dad, if you were born in Cambodia, then you’re Cambodian!” I say, “Yeah, but I don’t have Cambodian blood!” I was born in Cambodia. For example, I said, “Look, honey, if you’re flying, and you’re just on the border of Mexico and the thing, what are you from? This is not the land where you were born, that you are what…” What’s it like? What’s it like? What’s it like? What are we from? Me? Example? It depends on the grandfathers, the backs, backs, backs, backs, backs. Well, we have to find them! We don’t have the technology from… here, to find our chain of ancestors. We don’t have any.

[i] And what languages do you speak then?

r] So, I speak fluently, fluently, fluently, fluently, it’s the… the two languages I speak a lot, it’s Cambodian, and Teochew, that’s it. Cambodian, really, frankly, I… I speak Cambodian really a lot. I practice, yeah.

[i] And you found out?

[r] Here. But the teochew, a lot with Mom and Dad.

[i] Do you feel French too?

[r] French? Well, to say that….

[i] Or Parisian?

[r] If I feel French? Well, it’s…. It’s our adopted country, I don’t have any other country. It’s like I say, huh, like I had gotten into…. into a network of… for my work. He said, “Hey, we’ll have to, foreign criminal record… uh no, uh… refugee”. After that, I asked from everywhere. There is no such thing. There you go. After that, I went to see the secretary. I say, “Excuse me, there is no such document, criminal record refugee.” She says, “If it exists.” I say, “No, there is no such thing, I asked everyone. I asked the Cambodian Embassy. I even asked my father to ask his friend who is a high-ranking officer in Cambodia, he says, “No, there isn’t”. I asked OFPRA, there’s no one, I asked everywhere! But the chick, she does it on purpose, because she doesn’t like “lemon peels”, that’s all! That’s it! That’s it! But I told him I have… I, my country has no more! I was adopted by France! My adopted country. If, one day, France wants to fire me, my adopted country wants to fire me, but it even knows where it should fire me! This is my home! And even I don’t even know where to go! Because I’m not even allowed to go to Cambodia. I can’t do that. Do you know that? There you go. Even if, even if I want to go there, I can’t go there. If I go there, if France… well, let’s say, a little jealousy, I go back to my daddy. And now, there, the French daddy, he’s going to be angry! He says, “You don’t come back to foster dad anymore! You’re going back to your daddy…” But where? He’s not here, my dad… uh, the country, huh, I’m talking. I’m talking about the country. There you go. I’m not going to risk going there that I know… I have nothing there… Me, all my life, it’s here, let’s say. But I’d like to, later. And for that, I keep asking for French nationality, don’t I?

[i] Have you done anything yet?

[r] Oh, at the age of 18, huh! I ran into a racist, but it’s my fault. I’m too nervous when I was younger. It’s my fault… I ran into a racist. Every time, all my papers, something is always missing. And, it’s all due to bad luck. Frankly, the counters, the counters, there are five, five people working. Every time, we have to take a number. All right? I take the number, I say, “Oh no, not her, please, not her, not her, not her”, I wait for that number, all right. The appointment is six months, right? I take this number, I keep praying. “Not her, eh?” She was a black girl. And every time, she says to me, “There’s a paper missing”. One day, third date, that is 18 months later, I was 18 years old, huh. That is, I’m almost 20 years old right now, 18 months later, okay? I’m almost 20 years old already. At the age of 18, I already asked. And…. And, third date, I go, “Madam, excuse me, could you… All right. There, I brought back all my papers, there. All my papers are here. The very last time, six months ago…” Can you imagine, three times in a row, three times, I ran into this lady. “Can you tell me, if, please, I beg you, because it’s six months the appointment, and I have to come back for a little piece of paper, and you say it’s missing. Every time, he’s missing, I’ll bring him to you. But, make me a whole list, I’ll be very careful that nothing is missing.” And I don’t know what she said to me. She told me something, that I didn’t like it. But I’m sure she’s a… I don’t know, she’s not French! She’s a black girl. She’s a foreigner like me. She’s a stranger. But she said something that, it’s really, it’s really racism not possible. What did I do? I took the file, slapped him twice in the face, and threw it in his head. And I ran away. I say, “Fuck you!” I ran into her, and now I regret what I did. But I don’t regret what I did to her! I’m just sorry about my papers, that’s all. On her, because she, she is… she sucks! She does it on purpose, once, where is it from? I’ve never been to school in Nancy! Nancy, it was in a home! She said, “The first day when you arrived! Where have you been?” I say, “Well, I was in Nancy. “At what school?” I say, “I didn’t… I didn’t go to school!” It was school in the home! “Well, go ask for the… the school certificate in your school, at home!” I say, “But it’s not a school!” “Well, find it for me!” I say, “How do I find it, but what if there isn’t?” Well, then I went to Nancy, asked for everything. And the home, it doesn’t exist anymore, does it?! It doesn’t exist anymore, does it? And I had to find someone to find the gentleman but who died, and that I still have to find someone else, the gentleman[name] by making a letter that it was not a school! There you go.

[i] And it worked?

[r] But then something else is missing! Something is always missing with her! All the time six months, six months, six months, six months, she waits until I am 60 years old to have my French nationality! Me, after…. Well, I threw that file away. A few years later, I applied again. After that, it says “Case number 5”. I know what it is. “Case number five”, I don’t know what it is. I can’t apply for French citizenship. For the time being. I, in my opinion, thought maybe it was because… I threw the file on his face. And that, she’s not dead yet, the lady. Well, I’ll wait! And then, now, now, I tried to do it again. But, since I’ve been sick, I haven’t had time to do all this. There’s the hospital, there’s something. There are… there’s a lot of things. But now I’m going to relaunch my case again. I was told it was easy to do. But well, in my opinion, she’s dead already, the lady. It’s over, isn’t it?! That’s right, isn’t it?! Well, yeah, she was old… But hey.

[i] You hope… Once you have this French nationality, what do you hope to do with it?

[r] Well, see the earth again! The land of my country! That is, when we left the little cabin there… Well, my daddy calls me by phone, he said “There’s more, all that, there’s more, there’s more this place”, all that, everything has changed, all that. Well, that’s normal. It’s been 30 years. 33 years old.  No, when we left, I remember my father planting a banana tree, a very small banana tree. And to say that…. In my head, I still have the image of that house, made of straw. There you go.  And it’s going to be full of memories.

[i] Are you looking forward to it?

[r] Yeah, honestly. Yeah, I’m gonna….. And that’s why I go to Thailand all the time, because it’s the border. I go there all the time, every year I go to Thailand. And I mainly go to Koh Samet. They only speak Cambodian. I feel like I’m in Cambodia. I’m kind of like being in Cambodia. We can stop for a moment, I have a serious craving for a cigarette.

[i] And so, in the… in the… in the… in the 13th?

[r] Yes?

[i] Do you like living there, and what do you like doing there?

[r] For me, it’s… always the same. It doesn’t change anything. [Laughs] Nothing has changed! Well, we see people leaving, we see young people growing up, we see… well, well…  It’s…. always the same, always the same.

[i] Is it like a village? A village… Let’s say that….  For me…. With childhood friends, I can say yes. The knowledge… Not really a village…. Everyone knows everyone else. Yeah, all that, but hey. Well… No more than that. I will give you an example. This is really…. Hard to believe, but it’s true. Can you imagine? I remember, I lived on the 10th floor. When the neighbour, the mother, the mother of the neighbour, who died, and we, all the neighbours, all the things, in the 30-storey building, nobody knew that the mother, she died. They did the funeral, the stuff, all that. We, as all the neighbors, don’t even know. See, you can’t say it’s really a village. Because childhood friends, things, all that, yes, friends, customers, all that, yes. This is…. Work is something else, but on the other hand, there is work, the <i>business</i>, childhood friends all that, I don’t know how to say it, because, a village, everything is known. That is, ah yes, who cheated what, who gave birth, who gave birth, who… who’s dead… who has what… That’s it, who does what, who does this, who does that… But hey, this is work, work. What is it? What is it?   It’s nothing. It’s nothing. For me, it’s really… Well as I said before, the example I gave there, when you have the neighbour on the landing that… you don’t even know that his mother, she’s dead. There you go. And throughout the building, and the truth is, I’ve been living there for 10 years. 10 years, huh, in this apartment. Sometimes I see the faces of the neighbors, which I’ve never seen before.

[i] And do you also go outside the neighborhood?

[r] Oh, yes, I do! Well, yes! Well, I’m a traveler, right?

[i] What do you like to do then in Paris?

[r] Excuse me?

[i] What do you like to do in Paris?

[r] In Paris?

[i] What neighbourhoods do you like? What do you like to do there?

r] I when I was young, let’s say when I was young, I almost, let’s say, I almost… You can’t say everything is done, in life, you discover all the time. Well, let’s say I did almost everything. Almost. I’ve seen almost everything, and… To say that, as of today, I don’t even want to go out anymore. I don’t want to go out, I don’t want anything, I want to travel. Just seeing the world, that’s all. There you go. Well, when you… you tell me Lille, Bordeaux, Lyon, Montpellier, all that, I’ve been everywhere. And there, the Parisian suburbs, I have lots of friends in Lognes, Torcy, Bondy, all that, Aulnay. All this in Vitry, Ivry, Villejuif, Kremlin-Bicêtre, all this. I know almost everyone.

[i] I’m talking about Paris itself, are there any neighbourhoods you like more than others?

[r] Paris itself, so I’m going to… I’m going to tell you something that makes you laugh, but serious! I’ve been in France for 33 years, and my aunt, from Australia who came, showed me a lot of pictures of the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and all that. Then I look at her, I say, “Aunt, sorry, I’ve never been there.” [in teochew] Then I told him, I never was. She says, “What! This is serious! How come you’re so stupid, since you’ve been living in France, you haven’t even been there once?” [in teochew][Laughs] Me, never been! Good stuff, museums, things, things, all that. You already know, as I said, I’m not very “monument”, very culture, whatnot, I’m really natural. You saw it or not, I love animals, that’s it. I like it, I like what? Paris, for me, there’s nothing! For me, there’s nothing! But… It’s very pretty, and it’s very very beautiful, their architecture, their thing, their buildings. The old Haussmannites, all that… Oh, it’s so beautiful! Paris is very, very, very, very, very pretty. But well, me for me, that’s all it is. It’s a different way of looking at things. Each one…. his vision… his way of… to see… How can I say this? Luxury, all that, what’s-his-name, all that, it’s very pretty, it’s very beautiful, but what I love most is the countryside. I like the countryside, I love it! For me, Paris is nothing. It’s nothing at all.

[i] Aren’t you attached to Paris?

[r] No, not at all. Not at all.  Like all restaurants there, 13th. I know, this restaurant, I go, it’s for one dish. The other restaurant, I go there, it’s only for one dish. 33 years you’ve been here, I’ve already eaten everything, everything… Everything. For example, you ask me, a rice <i>lok lak</i>[Cambdogian dish], I say “No, hey! We have to go there!” A dish <i>Krop mu</i>[Thai dish]? For example, a <i>Krop mu</i>, “Ah you have to walk to the other side”. Here it is, the <i>pho</i>[Vietnamese dish], the best <i>pho</i>, “Oh, just down the street from my house there!” That’s it… Or else the <i>kueh chap</i>[teochew dish], “Hop, over there!”, that’s it! Everything, I know almost everything. Well, that’s to say….

[i] You know how your pocket actually is.

[r] But yes! That’s right, yes! That’s why I don’t want to go out anymore! I’m just going to meet some customers, that’s all. There you go. What is it? What is it? Why? Why? I like nature, it’s picking up… how to say… Look at leaves. Watching insects, animals. Discover nature! There, here, there’s no nature, there’s nothing! There’s nothing there, you only have the concrete. What did we eat? Eat the same thing over and over again.

[i] And your children, were they born in Paris?

[r] In France. Yes, in Paris.

[i] How many children do you have?

[r] Joan of Arc. Two. A boy, a girl. 19 and 17. I asked her to come along as well, my daughter. She says, “No, Daddy”. [Laughs] I asked her to come.

[i] And you tell them your story?

[r] Yeah. I’m saying it’s not easy, before when Dad with Grandpa all this…. You, you’re lucky, enjoy school all this, but Dad….. Why did I explain this to them? Studies are important, I didn’t know that… I thought that… me manually, it’s… we call it our livelihood… our… My hand is my bowl of rice, as a jeweler. I thought, well, I’m going to leave, I’m going where I want, I can live. That is, with this, it’s my master key, it’s my key! Here, I’m making some little trinkets, that’s it, I already have my bowl of rice! There you go. But, I didn’t think that, well, I’m gonna get sick. When I had psoriasis, it was a severe psoriasis. It touched all the joints of my hand. And then the nails would go to hell. I couldn’t even touch anything. I couldn’t even write. And how do you want to set diamonds for customers? Can’t. And that’s why I’m… because of this disease, I lost everything. I have to start all over again. And to start over, what did I find as a solution? I’m not going back to the jewelry store, because I still… I still hurt, I still hurt. I’m still afraid I can’t do what I love when I make a piece of jewelry, it’s like stroking a woman. The material. The thing is, when I touch, when I do, I like shapes. I love it. So when I do something that is not beautiful, I prefer not to do it. So that’s why I changed my field completely. I’m as a real estate consultant right now. We only use the mouth and head. We don’t need to use the hand. There you go. So my mouth, it talks a lot. It’s useful for something. I didn’t go to school with my head, but I’m fine. It’s all right. And for that reason I tell my children, “Study, before you do something manual.” There you go. “Try to get the diplomas.” “Try to go as far as you can, if possible…. Dad, he doesn’t make you do anything. But Dad, he prefers you to have your diplomas.” As a…. Well… Just do your best, that’s all. I hope so. I hope… the best thing for them is what. But manual, I thought it was a lifetime, but no, it’s not true. There’s nothing all life, nothing at all. There you go. Even if you are the best in the world, everything can… everything can change. There you go.

[i] And what do you think of your own career path?

[r] Me? For me, actually, I’m… Let’s say when I’m in…. The older I get, I think, I’m less intelligent than when I was… I was 8 years old, 10 years old, because I was full of… It’s a lot of work, it’s… the poorer you are, the more you… you dare. Do you or do you not understand what I mean? Here…. I’m very sorry, it’s not… France… I say they’re fine. But not well too. Why am I saying this? Because we, in our country, when you have nothing, but you really have nothing. You have no help, you have nothing, nothing, nothing. If you don’t have pants, you don’t wear clothes. If you don’t have food, you starve, you die, that’s all. If you’re sick, you don’t have the money, you die. That’s all, that’s all. But here, as a miner, you steal, you rob, you rob, you kill, you have… You don’t have a prison, you don’t have anything. You don’t work, you wait for unemployment, after unemployment, you get the RSA. We feed you all the time. In France, huh. And notice one thing too. I have… People, for example, the Chinese there, or others, foreigners, who come clandestinely. Who don’t even have any papers at all, who haven’t even… contributed a euro. Well, they’re having a baby now, he’s sick now, all that. Everything is taken care of! I don’t think it’s… something, but I don’t know how to explain how it works. There is good, and there is bad. The bad thing is with us, the ones who work like crazy. As I was saying, well France, it’s great in terms of social security, all that. But we have contributed for ourselves, for our family, for us, for us people, who have contributed together.

But you have people who are illegal, who come with… I don’t know, it’s not about jealousy, it’s about the way France works. I’m not jealous, am I? I don’t care, do I? But it’s to say it, what’s all. No, but is that true or not? Is that true or not? No? No? Everyone has their own opinion? Everyone has their own…. There you go. Everyone has their own way of seeing. But well, well for me, that’s to say that… France is too kind. Too much too much too much too kind. There are…. What they do is very good. But there are some, there’s what they’re doing, it’s not right at all, why, because they’re too nice there. If they are less kind, France is very, very rich. And, now, now, I just saw there, that they’re going to attack… they’re going to go…. Normally, France is richer than the other countries still eh. They’re starting to take…. French Guiana, it belongs to France, I already knew for a very long time, they will exploit gold in French Guiana. They’re going to attack there, right now, right now. Now, starting next year, I think. And now it’s going to be a hit in France. France and Guyana. And…. That way, they’ll lose less I don’t know… how to say, how to explain. Look at the people who come to French Guiana to steal silver for gold, the Brazilians, the Colombians, all that. They come to steal, they have nothing, they have no problem. They don’t have a prison, nothing at all, do they? Look at the prison from here. Prison from here, you are, you have Canalplus, the phone, gym. It’s better than the five-star hotel. That’s why you have so many delinquents, so many little kids who do anything. But it’s true, isn’t it? Look in China. You fly there, you have… you have no arms. You’re raping now, you got a bullet in your head. Yeah. That’s the way it is. France, it’s too nice. Much too kind.

[i] So on your own path? That’s the question I was asking earlier, are you proud of your career path? How do you…

[r] Oh, I didn’t answer the[question], I was in a spin there… How do I feel?

[i] In relation to yourself?

[r] My own journey?

[i] Are you happy?

[r] Well no no no, as I was already saying, I preferred it when I was 6 years old. Oh yes, I answered! I prefer it when I was 6, 10 years old, and I’m looking for myself… And now I’m coming back again. We work like crazy here. Why, it’s so that little delinquents there… That’s all. That’s all. Well, I’ll be right back. That’s it, I’ve already answered. I prefer it there, and we live there. We live, that is to say that…. Well… If you got nothing, you don’t have pants to wear… well, you’re naked, that’s all, you’re naked. If you don’t have food, well, you’re… you’re just starving, that’s all. But here, you have everything. So I prefer it there. I’d rather do it on my own. But here, to say that I what is… I say, I repeat again, that France is great in relation to… For us, for us, for us, the people who deserve it. All those who deserve it. For example, people, pensioners there, the poor there, right now. Compared to Macron there. I don’t know much about politics, but that’s what I hear, right? Okay, I’m not much of a politician. Retirees, on the other hand, contribute until the end, to stay how long to live? Well, you have out of 100 people, you have one that’s a hundred years old, okay? Even, less, okay? You retire at age 65. Is that it? Is that it? Is it 65 or 70?  In short… Well, people, they contributed until that age to be able to live quietly, and there they still tax them. They’re going to tax them again. Did you see or not, that they’re on strike there, that’s it. It’s not because it’s because of Macron’s pensioners’ law right now, is it? I think it sucks, don’t you? But you have to leave the old people alone. Well, yes.

i] We’re going to reach the end of the interview, do you have anything to add?

[r] No, nothing.

[i] Okay, well, thank you!

[r] I’m thirsty, and I want to smoke!

[i] Thank you very much!