HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

The best mode of public transport

Simply the best

What’s the drug war about?

Surprise! Surprise!

Looking for bagpipe player

The best mode of public transport

As I read everybody’s complaints regarding the red minibuses, let me also add something, but for a change something positive.

I’m really happy with the number 10 bus line which runs from Kwan Wiang Village to the city and back again and I’m really thankful that this option of mass transport is available.

It’s much better than those red taxis. I’m 15 years old and I really depend on public transportation to get around the city. It really helps me to get around town or to friends’ houses.

I can easily get to Central Airport Plaza, Worarot Market and the Night Bazaar. With its rate of 10 baht for wherever you’d like to go, it’s very cheap for me as I don’t get much money to spend on those tuk-tuks which sometimes completely overcharge foreigners.

It is also very comfortable to ride in the bus because of the big seats and the air conditioning. The only downside is that I sometimes have to wait over half an hour to actually be able to get on one.

But other than that it’s the best mode of public transport. It really helps me.
Felix, Bus Loving Teen

Simply the best

I might be an exception, but I have only experienced good things on my visits to Thailand. I have found the people to be so generous, even if they have very little themselves.

My latest was when I rode my motorbike into a service station, and like most farangs I cannot read Thai, I had diesel fuel instead of petrol put in the tank!

The service station looked a bit odd, as it only had two pumps, both painted white with writing in Thai on them.

After riding about 5 kilometers the bike began to cough and sputter and eventually stopped, as luck would have it, outside a large service station. The four young people working there were so helpful; one young man drained the diesel fuel out, put a little petrol in and tried to start the bike. No luck, so all four youngsters tried push starting it, still no luck.

At this time the garage owner arrived, he phoned a mechanic who said he could clean out the carburetor for me. The garage owner drove me in his car the kilometer to the mechanic, while his son pushed the bike for me. On leaving me at the mechanics’ they refused money I offered them for their trouble.

The mechanic then spent half an hour on the bike and got it running perfectly. I asked him how much? Free! He said. I rode back to the service station to fill up with “petrol”. Buying them all soft drinks and leaving a tip, I also bought some cans of beer which I took back to the mechanic. He was surprised to see me again, and promptly invited me to share his lunch with a beer!

I have since been back to the garage, which is a “CTS” Service Station on highway 1317 that runs from Chiang Mai to a place called Pong Din. The people who helped me were Iah, Put, New, Pompoon, and the mechanic’s name was Oh. They were all simply “The Best”.

I guess that’s another reason I would like to call Thailand my home.

What’s the drug war about?

In response to: “Americans train Thai troops to combat drug trade” by Autsadaporn Kamthai (31 Jul 2004) - This is a marvelous letter/article giving insight to those who aren’t sure whether America is a promoter of death and violence. I’m an American, perhaps I can help. If drugs were legal and regulated the black market and police would not be killing people over drugs. “Why” you ask? Well, because if drugs were legal they wouldn’t be worth a fraction of their current value. Therefore you can thank the US government for promoting senseless violence throughout the world in their over-zealous war on drugs. The drug war is nothing other than a growing excuse to imprison and mistreat people.
Eric Knudsen,

Surprise! Surprise!

The Editor,
Surprise! Surprise! What comes without fail in the wake of major road construction? You guessed it - major traffic disruption!

Living here in Chiang Mai, my home for the last 7 years, I was, to say the least, very anxious on seeing the heavy equipment moving in on the Khuang Sing and San Dek intersections.

Both intersections are known to be quite congested during rush hours and one spends a long time waiting for the light to change, sometimes it takes several light changes to get past those crossings.

Now comes the big surprise. Ever since Khuang Sing crossing was closed for through traffic in the Chang Phruek - Mae Rim direction and vice versa, and all traffic has to travel about 100 meters down the superhighway to do a U-turn; miraculously there is no more waiting, and traffic flows steadily and without interruption in and from all four directions even during the dreaded rush hours!

Is there not a valuable lesson to be learnt here? The possible solution to a problem, one that costs millions of baht (not to mention time, etc) in unnecessary construction, money that could be better spent in making Chiang Mai the beautiful city it once was and that it deserves to be. Definitely worth a study in my humble opinion!

Nikolaus E. Prachensky
Siamese Traders

Looking for bagpipe player

I will be marrying in Chiang Mai soon and I am looking for a local Chiang Mai bagpipe player to play at my wedding, as I am half Irish.
Any idea who I can contact or if there is one available?

Thank you,
email: jason.koon.seng.lim @intel.com