LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Sympathy from South Africa

Enjoyed Christmas and New Year editions

Choral Society deserves more coverage

Who’s on first

Sympathy from South Africa

The Editor,
I am writing to express my great sympathy and love for the Thai people who are victims of the tsunami disaster.

I wanted you to know the enormous regard that the South African survivors hold for the people of Thailand. Story after story in the press tells how the ordinary Thai people who had lost everything: family, house, possessions, yet they turned to give all of their help and energy in assisting the foreign visitors, finding them food and water, leading them to safety, and then looking after them. At great sacrifice to themselves and ignoring their own difficulties and needs.

The Thai people are indeed very, very special people. I can tell you beyond doubt that the sacrifices made by them in helping the tourists, regardless of their own bereavements and losses, has made Thailand a very special place in the hearts of all South Africans. All the interviews with South African victims quote them as saying they can’t wait to return to your lovely country, and how much they want to help in rebuilding the stricken areas.

There are about six funds launched across South Africa to help Thailand and the other affected countries. Let us hope that this will at least be of some help.

You can indeed be proud to be a member of the Thai nation.
Jack Lundin,
Johannesburg


Enjoyed Christmas and New Year editions

Dear Editor,

Thank you, thank you for the fabulous Christmas and New Year edition of the Chiangmai Mail. The center pages were especially delightful, showing people all over town enjoying this most wonderful of celebrations.

I’ve emailed your website to family and friends all over the world so that they can also enjoy this delightful edition. Yesterday I talked to a friend who, with his family, lives and works in Saudi Arabia. The family vacationed here over the holidays and was delighted with the many Christmas activities and parties. They, too, have emailed your website to family and friends to share the excitement and fun to be found in Chiang Mai.

The Chiangmai Mail has truly promoted Chiang Mai with this edition as a city in which people of many nations come together to celebrate.

Mark Tatum


Choral Society deserves more coverage

The Editor,

I have read with great interest the last two issues of Chiangmai Mail. I am sorry to say this but I take issue with your reporting of the concert.

The concert was prepared for several months by the dedicated members of the Choral Society. They attended rehearsals each and every week, and in December they attended several extra rehearsals. They had to learn without the regular director during August, September, October, and part of November. These are dedicated singers who give their all.

Certainly, the program was not the usual uninteresting concert that parents drag children to. The Chorus did a great job, and the selections certainly were interesting and varied. It would seem that in your review the only important factor was a guest artist and his accompanist. They were not at rehearsals week after week as chorus members were, and they only participated in a very small portion of the program.

The Ballet Children were well taught, and they performed well. They added a lot to the evening. Why is all emphasis on the guests and no favorable comments made regarding the Chorus itself? Would the concert have been such an attraction if all that happened that evening was the excellent performance of guest artists?

Music has been a part of my life for over sixty years, and I feel very strongly that the Choral Society, itself, took a very low place in the reporting of this event. Why not give credit where it is due?

Sid Richardson

Santa’s Little Helper replies: Thank you for taking the time to write in with your grievance. I agree that the Choral Society played a paramount role in the concert, but I don’t share your view that we didn’t give this dedicated group adequate coverage, with an added caveat that such a dedicated and wonderfully performing group of singers can never be given enough credit, for, as you wrote, the concert would surely have been much different without them (and you). With this in mind, we plan to continue to promote and cover the Choral Society at future events, as we feel your singing should be shared with as many people as possible.


Who’s on first

Dear Editor,

He still doesn’t get it. I just read Lang Reid’s year end wrap up and he’s still defending his confusion over Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding. It’s time to wake up and smell the roses as an American columnist used to say. He missed the point, period. Many, many thousands of reviewers and fans did not. Don’t blame it on the book or the author, accept a little responsibility here! Helen Fielding’s work is presently playing on the big movie screen as Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reason. It’s not great literature and it’s not an Oscar in the making, but it is a funny social commentary that Lang Reid didn’t get.

Your reviewer considers himself “experienced” as he has read and written about a lot of books. The critical question, pardon the pun, remains is he educated as a critical writer? I think not. If he is stuck on only reviewing books about Bangkok, bargirls and related mysterious non-mysteries, then my writer friends and I will look elsewhere for book reviews. The Nation and Bangkok Post at least offer alternatives to this tiresome theme.

Christopher Thompsen

Lang Reid replies: I believe I explained my reasoning quite adequately and do not have to defend anything. However, I suggest you read the year end wrap up again before intimating that all that is offered are “books about Bangkok, bargirls and related mysterious non-mysteries” as I believe that Ian Quartermaine’s For King and Country, Bill Bryson’s a Short History of Nearly Everything and Steve Van Beek’s Thailand Reflected in a River, three of the four books mentioned, hardly fit into those categories. Enjoy the Nation and the Bangkok Post, which incidentally also review “books about Bangkok, bargirls and related mysterious non-mysteries”.