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  1. I am trying to secure legal representation for my friend in Bangkok who has been arrested for a visa overstay and non payment of hotel bill. He is currently being held in custody. His is an American passport holder. In relation to the visa overstay he had a 30 day visa that expired in September. He believed he was able to stay in Thailand as he has a medical issue and was seeking medical treatment in Thailand. He did not try to extend his visa due to this. He has plead not guilty to the visa overstay. He believes he originally received bad advice based in relation to the visa based on the medical treatment. I am willing to pay his fine for visa overstay (although I am unclear on the process for paying this) and his unpaid hotel bill however I am seeking legal counsel to understand if he has any grounds for a not guilty plea and what would be the process. In addition to this I am not in a position to pay his deportation flight however if he had access to his own laptop he would be able to book his flight using airmiles. I also want to understand how likely this is to be possible. I would like to get my friend out of prison as quickly as possible however I understand his not guilty plea may slow this down, please can you advise?
  2. Without question, the pollution factor is THE single biggest drawback for me as a parent in being here. There are for sure other annoyances, but overall our family really does love living here. But the pollution issue cannot be denied. I will say, we have lived here for going on 5 years and my daughter (7yrs old, so most of her life has been lived here) is healthy as an ox. Almost never gets sick, I can count the number of colds she has had in her life on one hand, has never had an ear infection, chest infection, etc etc (knock on wood.) Now, this certainly does not mean there is no problem with the conditions here, and of course it is always in my mind what the overall longer term effect may be. And I'd be lying if I said we weren't totally open to other transfer options that might take us out of here, to someplace a bit greener and cleaner. But, we do like it here. It's been a brilliant adventure. There are moments that are just so wonderfully absurd and hilarious, I fell like I never want to leave. Oh but then there are the other moments when it's like, dear god get me the hell out of here. What can I tell you, it is a thrilling, terrible, wonderful, mad place.
  3. I dunno, what is there to do there? We contemplated a move to Abu Dhabi just before the Shanghai offer came in, and in researching it it all seemed so dull. Go from your air conditioned apartment to the air conditioned mall, to the air conditioned club, whatever. It seemed safe, yeah, but very sterile. Mind you I haven't been, this was all based on conversations I had with people in London who'd lived there, and from internet research, but I couldn't find any compelling thing to make me want to go, like, no adventure, no grit, nothing to really get excited about. Shanghai may be many things, not all of them good to be sure, but I can honestly say it's never boring, and being here has been a huge growth experience for all of us. I get that it's all relative. I grew up in NYC in the 70's and 80's, the bad old good old days, so my tick list for what 'good for families' means is maybe a bit different.
  4. You'd have no issues apart from the air quality question. And, it's a big question. Talk to your doctor about it. Other than that, Shanghai would be fine for your kids. For the dog, there are ways around quarantine, assuming you have the money to grease the wheels. Pudong is a very big place but I am assuming you will be in someplace like Jinqiao ro Kangqiao where the schools are, in which case yes you will need to have a driver as it's not really 'the city', it is very suburban and difficult to manage otherwise.
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