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Do Thais know about ethics?

It makes no sense

Do Thais know about ethics?

Dear Editor;

Being new (5 months) to Thailand and despite having lived abroad for quite some years, always thinking I am culturally sensitive, I have to admit that I do have difficulties in understanding the culture of this country. And I also do know that it is important if I want to conduct business because of its pervasive influence on all my activities. But in a country where a chairman talks about honesty and trustworthiness, about flexibility and personal integrity and about respect I should be able to tolerate my personal frustration or not?

I do not have a full time job at the moment and I do not know if I want. I feel purely frustrated right now! You can not believe your first impression anymore. You can not believe in things like judging people on their dress behave, on their language ability, punctuality, personality or status. It does not help to socialize with associates nor with colleagues.

I came here well prepared (that’s what I thought) but how can I respect people who only respect my money? Who only respect me when I pay for them? Who feel uncomfortable being around me as a farang. Who leave the place next to me on the plane/theatre/movie/train empty if not forced to sit down? Is it their insecurity, their upbringing or pure arrogance. Because that’s what I start believing now as I can expect young people (in their 30s) with university degrees and international education know about the easiest applications of what is ethically appropriate. Thank god to the relatively large foreign community and to your paper who shows us what is going on in Chiang Mai.

Frustrated Female

It makes no sense

Dear Editor:

What is it with the alcohol laws in Thailand? I understand it’s illegal to sell to people under 18, as it should be! But what is happening with these new times? Who can remember what times you are allowed to buy alcohol? And if you’re longing for a beer or a glass of wine for lunch shouldn’t that be your personal decision?

Recently I went to Lotus to buy some beers and a bottle of wine for the weekend, and what do I hear? “Sorry sir, can not. You must buy box.” Excuse me? I’m supposed to buy a 6 bottle carton of beer? What for? I only wanted two bottles and I didn’t have enough cash on me for the whole box! That’s crazy!

How can the Thai government enforce stricter laws on buying and drinking alcohol, yet make you have to buy more in one time? As I explained my outrage the cashier calmly explained to me, that if I was buying outside of the acknowledged ‘lawful’ times, I had to buy in big amounts. Thankfully the Thai lady behind me was also only trying to buy a bottle of Tequila plus another gentleman behind her had a box of beer in his cart, and so the cashier told us that if we combined our purchases, it would be legal for him to sell it to us. We agreed and paid our respective purchases. I nodded a thank you to the cashier and a confused shrug to the other customers and left.

It still doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, especially not after all that “we want the death margin coming down over Songkran talks” and anybody who can explain this please try to make me wiser but, what’s going on with alcohol laws?

Jeffrey Granger