Round eyes and
long noses must pay more
It would appear that Roland Stockton is rightfully concerned and upset about
the blatant and cruel attitude often encountered by farangs in Thailand. It
surely is long overdue that this “mai phen lai” attitude is corrected.
Most Thais just seem to think that the “farang” is in Thailand to be taken
advantage of and “ripped off” when ever possible. This is such blatant race
discrimination that would never be tolerated in non-Asian countries.
It is high time that many Thais should grow out of this attitude and realise
that we farangs are living here because we love the country and the people
and have the utmost respect for the Buddhist faith and the wonderful Royal
Family. We prefer Thailand over our country of birth. Most of us are on
modest incomes from retirement schemes and bring into Thailand a welcome
flow of funds. Most of my friends are certainly not wealthy but because of
the good standard of service and low costs we get by well enough.
Personally I saved for many years and bought our home in a Thai moo-baan
where there are mainly hundreds of Thai families all with better homes and
cars than us. We are probably in the least wealthy segment of all families
in this moo-baan.
If I may give an example of what is happening? I was with a group waiting to
enter a waterfall area, the group consisted of 4 Japanese 2 Chinese and 3
Thais, all of whom paid the normal entry fee until it was my turn and a fee
500% higher was demanded for me!!!
Our questioning revealed that because of my ‘round eyes’ and ‘long nose’ I
was ‘different’ and thus had to pay the higher fee. This was so insulting
that the whole group got their money back and we left. But I do not think it
is illegal...just disgusting.
I have heard many hundreds of times over the last 40 years since first
coming to Thailand of tourists and others who just refuse to visit places
where discrimination is practised and increased fees applied. I close by
complimenting you on your welcome newspaper and wish you continued
success... this farang enjoys it.
A burning issue
To the Editor,
His Majesty the King was quoted in your December 11th issue as saying, “Now
that the baht is exceedingly strong and the government has plenty of cash,
it should spend more”. The same issue of the Chiang Mai Mail quoted the
Public Health Office of Mae Hong Son as reporting “150,000 people are
suffering from respiratory diseases caused by smoke and cold weather”.
Where I live in an area of T. Nam Phrae, just off the canal road, there is
no council, or other organized refuse collection. Therefore many families in
the local community have little choice but to burn their household refuse.
When not affected by large fires lit by farmers you can be sure that one of
your neighbours will decide to dispose of some of their refuse by burning.
This plays a big part in the unacceptably large number of citizens in the
local community who suffer from respiratory diseases.
The government has plenty of cash, so improving refuse collection throughout
the Kingdom would be an admirable project to spend some of this money on.
Burning of refuse by necessity would be reduced and this in turn would help
lower the prevalence of respiratory diseases.
With money available, isn’t this a good time a good time, for the government
to really get to grips with this important social and health issue. Many
people living in more rural areas would be sure to agree.