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Scott Jones says it straight

Scott Jones says it straight

The Editor,

First off let me say how much I love living in Chiang Mai and that I have found the Thai people to be gentle, kind, helpful, and generous. However, Scott is correct about traffic in Chiang Mai (his column of 26 Feb - Think Thai or Die).

I am a hardened veteran driver of the Los Angeles, California, U.S.A Freeway System; with 48 years driving experience (one speeding ticket, no accidents); others consider me to be a careful, safe and considerate driver. But, I must admit that I do not have the courage to drive an auto here in Chiang Mai. (Hard for any red-blooded American male to admit.) With the unpredictability of Thai and inculcated farang motorists and my own lack of “Thai Thinking” regarding motoring on Thai streets and highways, I am afraid that I would be in an accident and kill or injury some Thai lady (beautiful) or Thai man (young) who is weaving in and out of traffic on their motorcycle (without helmet); or a couple of tourists riding in a Sam-lor or Tuk Tuk; or the 75year old farang and his young Thai girl friend driving in his auto; or the twenty people riding in or “attached” to a Red bus; or the family of seven riding on a motorcycle. I now depend on my Thai friends; an unreliable auto taxi system (drivers don’t read maps); a red taxi service (but I do not wish to die with a group of strangers); or the smoky Tuk Tuk (hold on for your life), I am too proud (embarrassed) to wear a crash helmet on these voyages into the valley of death and destruction.

I have looked in the “Vehicles For Sale” section of the Chiangmai Mail for an armored truck with a special “safety netting” bumper (to safely catch colliding motorcyclist). But my search has been in vain. In the meantime, I pray a lot and find myself calling on my holy savior while being transported in Chiang Mai.

I look forward to reading Scott’s column and his new book about traffic in Thailand when it is published. I hope that it will not be published posthumously (for either of us).

Dr. Carl (Not Yet Thai-Thinking-Man)