Thank God it’s THAI-day
Friday in Thailand: So I was reading letters to the editor in a local paper
yesterday. Some whiner was complaining about how foreigners were not treated
well here. I thought I’d take inventory in how nice the Thai people are to
me in just one day alone (yesterday):
Thai waitress stops to talk and take a personal interest in all customers at
All cashiers stop and say hello/welcome to everybody who walks in the door
Crazy insane housekeeper who has nothing but smiles and hospitality and even
provides room service when she notices me looking at a menu.
A police officer who took about 5 minutes to give friendly directions when
A lady tossed out my lunch order that she spent five minutes on, and started
all over when she found out I did not like fish sauce. I never had “corn
salad” before, but I am sure that I will never find better.
I ran out of gas out in the countryside on my scooter. Thankfully it was
adjacent to a “gas station” which was a table with whiskey bottles full of
gas. The half dozen people (family) there insisted that I drink some whiskey
with them and begged me to come back again. Strangely the whiskey was the
exact same color as the gas! I did not bother to taste the gas, but do have
A helpful siren from the passing police car to keep me from pulling my
scooter out in front of a bus at a blind intersection.
I am sure that a lot of other nice things happened yesterday too. These are
the first ones that come to mind.
Pricing practice at the zoo is fair
While I understand Ron Lister’s complaint about different
admission charges for foreigners and Thais at places like the zoo, I
disagree with him. Sure, I’d like a cheaper price, but I can afford the
higher price and think it’s fair to discriminate so that Thai citizens who
otherwise couldn’t afford it can go there. Now there are certainly plenty of
Thais who can afford the foreigners’ price (there’s a lot of Thais who have
much more money than I do) there are a great many who simply cannot. It’s
unfair to deny them the opportunity to see the zoo, and especially for them
to take their children.
being gouged at the Chiang Mai zoo? Not everyone thinks so. Photo courtesy
of Chiang Mai resident Alan Foos.
It would be great if we could easily have a way to have all who could afford
a high price pay that while letting those who can’t pay the lower price, but
that would be impractical. Doing it by citizenship seems practical and
fairly fair. Note that this isn’t discriminating on the basis of ethnicity,
as Lister claims; it’s by citizenship. Several American states do this by
offering cheaper prices for their residents, and in fact the USA does this
for seniors at national parks, offering a special rate for seniors, but only
those from the USA.
That said, I do agree that the price differential can be too great, as in
his example of Doi Inthanon National Park. 400 baht vs. 40 is unfair, and I
think is counterproductive in keeping people away. I know we didn’t go last
year and won’t this year because the price difference was so great. I think
if they made it lower, say 100 baht, they’d get more revenue due to more
Thai business logic
To all farangs residing in Thailand - please show respect for the country
you live in, the people you live with and their government, by not laughing
at what follows, because this is not a joke. It has yet again made evident
that the so called “more developed nations” still have much to learn from
Thai logic, especially when it comes to conducting business.
From a report in the business section of the Bangkok Post dated 14th
November 2007: At a meeting to resolve conflicts between retailers and
suppliers, brokered by the Thai Government Commerce Ministry, a spokesman
for the Ministry said, “Retailers must not offer lower prices in an effort
to beat rivals or to benefit consumers. Smaller retailers would be hurt most
from discount sales, and while low prices would benefit the consumer in the
short run, it could lead to overspending.”
Can anyone think of other more valid reasons for shops not to compete with
each other or offer goods at competitive prices?
Apparently the government now intends to pass new laws regulating the retail
sector. With this kind of attitude we shall all eagerly look forward to
seeing what restrictions and safeguards will be included in these
No Longer Amazed