Vol. II No. 45 Saturday November 8 - November 14, 2003
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LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Talents could be used better elsewhere

Short-lived identity crisis?

“Sp(l)itting” Headache

Happy Anniversary

CMU host for Nobel Laureates with lectures, workshops and seminars

It’s Loy Krathong this weekend, so beware of pickpockets

Talents could be used better elsewhere

To The Editor:
I am writing in response to the somewhat mean-spirited letter of November 1 by Dave O’Hanlon titled the “The Real Danger Across the Border”. Mr. O’Hanlon lists a veritable litany of evils and sins which exist across the border in Myanmar, none of which I would dispute. He then somewhat sarcastically, however, implies that Ike Burnett is a bit simple minded and even frivolous for not attacking them in his letters to the Chiang Mai Mail.

Mr. Burnett writes a weekly letter from Myanmar that is a delightful comment on one person’s daily life and how much he misses Chiang Mai, somewhat like we would write to friends and relatives back home, wherever home may be. Mr. Burnett’s letters are not intended to be serious social or political commentary on his country of residence. Many columnists write such commentaries, and many politicians speak out against the military junta and the tragedies of life in present-day Myanmar.

I live in Chiang Mai, but I don’t write much about political corruption, paedophiles in the local coffee houses, bar girls who would love to relieve me of my hard-earned cash, trafficking in women and children, or the plight of hill tribe refugees on the border. My family and friends know these exist, but they want to know the details of my daily life, what I miss from home, how I spend my free time.

When I first moved to Chiang Mai years ago, I bemoaned the lack of a proper cup of coffee. Perhaps I, too, am simple minded but I don’t believe so.

Mr. O’Hanlon is obviously a well-read person who writes well and has the time to do so. Perhaps it would be more productive and positive if he put aside personal attacks and put his considerable talents to work writing a weekly political commentary column for the Chiang Mai Mail.
Margaret O’Connor
Chiang Mai


Short-lived identity crisis?

The Westin Chiang Mai Hotel is currently being re-branded to become the Sheraton Chiangmai, and our reader, John Moore, was fast enough to catch the right moment when the hotel had 2 different names at the same time. (Photo by John Moore)


“Sp(l)itting” Headache

Dear Chiang Mai,
If you thought that China is the spitting capital of the world, you have not been in Yangon. Walkways, streets, floors of public transport vehicles, actually everything is covered by dark red sprinkles or plots of saliva, enriched with the bloody red vitamins chewed out of the ‘beetle nut’ and ‘white powder combination’, all wrapped into a neat package with a green beetle nut leave.

If that is not bad enough, here comes the best part. Do you remember Leonard di Capriccio and Kate Winslow standing in the evening sun at the railing of the Titanic, him explaining to her: “You really gonna hawk it back, get some body to it...” before you hear the sound of saliva coming up from the stomach through the food pipe to the inside of his mouth, from where it is being spit out in a high arch into the sea?

That reads already good, but the actual experience is so much better, wherever you walk and look, you see people chewing and others spitting, right and left of you, will you try to avoid to step into the wet patches of dark red liquid, while having to listen to the disgusting sound of something retched up and spit out.

Years of chewing do something good too. Your lips become a bright red, which goes well with a tongue in the same color. What doesn’t fit are the dirty red teeth, which you have to stare at when a habitual chewer smiles or talks to you. I was told that cancer of the palate is at an alarming rate for beetle nut users, while the juice forms an additional protection on top of your teeth, making them more resistant against ‘any disease’ and fall out.

It has now been established that spitting inside hotel lobbies is not a special blessing for hotel cleaners to go after. Big signs say that this habit is not really appreciated.
Your today disgusted reader,
Ike Burnett


Happy Anniversary

Dear Marion & Michael and everyone at Chiangmai Mail,

I’m sorry I missed your first birthday - I’ve just returned from 5 weeks in the UK. I hope the birthday party went off well, and more I hope that you have had real cause to celebrate a success story with Chiangmai Mail. I’m glad to be considered a supporter of the Mail and would like to thank you for the support you too have given to the Cricket Sixes and to CMIS that I have been involved with. Onward and upward!

Best wishes for the future of Chiangmai Mail,
Geoff Thompson


CMU host for Nobel Laureates with lectures, workshops and seminars

Marion Vogt

Thailand has been chosen as the host country for “Bridges - Dialogues towards a Culture of Peace”. H.E. Anand Panyarachun, the former prime minister, is chairman of the Thai Advisory Board for this event. In his opening address in Bangkok he said, “The multidisciplinary and pluralistic approach of the event’s program reflects that peace involves all parts of society. It involves awareness and social responsibility of politicians, the business community, scientists, artists and the media ... Since peace - within ourselves, our families and our environment - starts in our minds and hearts it involves every one of us.”

Chairman of the board of directors of the International Peace Foundation, Uwe Morawetz elaborated on the decision to select Thailand as the host country. “The Thai nation and its people with their self-confidence, open-mindedness and tolerance provide a creative pathway towards peace which could serve as an inspiring role model for the prevention, mediation and solution of conflicts. Under the wisdom and spiritual leadership of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej as the shining example for inner and outer peace a democratic Thailand has the ability to promote peace and the potential to stabilize the region. It has a rich diversified network of national and international organizations including business, diplomatic corps, media and NGOs, which provide the ground for an enhanced intercultural dialogue.”

Chiang Mai will have the honor to welcome, amongst other dignitaries, Prof. Jerome Karle, a Nobel Laureate for Chemistry from Washington, D.C., who will give a keynote speech on Friday, November 28, at Chiang Mai University. He will talk on “The Role of Science and Technology in the Quest for a World at Peace.”

The second keynote speaker, Prof. Paul J. Crutzen, received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995 for his work in the fields of stratospheric and troposphere chemistry and their role in the biochemical cycles and climate. He will be at CMU on Thursday, December 4, with his speech on “Air pollution in Asia and its impact on regional and global climate.”


It’s Loy Krathong this weekend, so beware of pickpockets