A Christmas Carol
The Christmas and New Year’s holiday are coming upon us and is obviously the
time for giving in Chiang Mai. There are so many needy people in this area
that it should be difficult to decide where us more fortunate could help
Unfortunately some seem to feel that the best way to spread the holiday
spirit is to buy a ticket to one of the special holiday events being
sponsored by the struggling owners of more exclusive hotels and resorts. The
notices that run as a “public service” in the Chiang Mai Mail and elsewhere
offer special festivities for up to 12,000 baht per person.
Consider would most of the Thai workers at these establishments be making a
salary of less than 8000 baht for a month of hard work?
Not to begrudge anyone a holiday meal, but if you would insist on spending
5-12,000 baht it might be in keeping with the holiday to find a charitable
organization that would accept an equal amount from you to help your
Shooting yourself in the foot
The Government must realise they are shooting themselves
in the foot – with this ridiculous alcohol ban. There must be thousands of
voters who cannot earn money during one of the busiest weeks of the year,
for 6 days prior to the election. Some will probably lose their business.
Does the Government think that those people, or their families will vote for
the Government? Congratulations!
Then on top of that, I wonder how many people were planning parties, only to
be told, “oh sorry – no alcohol.” Will they vote for the government?
Tourists and expats do not count – they do not vote – however the Thai
businesses will feel the pinch at the end of the month.
Heed the words of wisdom
As an American I can hop on a plane, crawl through immigration, get my
passport stamped and enter Thailand. As a Thai I can pay $100 to the
American embassy to be interviewed to go to America. And if I don’t get the
visa I don’t get the money back.
So if you, as a farang, are asked to pay a bit more at a national park,
please note that discrimination is not just a Thai issue. Just move on and
enjoy the warm smiles of the person who is explaining the policy that he or
she has no control over. As a wise Buddhist teacher says: “You can’t control
the circumstances, but you can control your response.”
Alcohol ban driving
away the tourists
I live in Chiang Mai, an expat. I love living here – but sometimes it is
crazy. My friends are visiting here for the first time – arrived last
Thursday – and leave a week on Sunday.
They like to drink socially – have a nice bottle of wine with their meal, go
out to the bars a little bit, like I do.
Now it has just been announced 3 days ban on selling alcohol this weekend,
followed by the same next week-end. This affects more than half their
Like me, when travelling; they respect the various cultures they meet.
However to ban alcohol for 6 days for everyone because of an election – it
Thailand is spending millions on promoting the country as a tourist
destination. My friends are now trying to get a flight tomorrow – to
Malaysia. I wonder how other tourists feel.
Also think of the bar owners, one whole week in one of the busiest months of
the high season – and they loose money – might as well close. It is ok for
these big hotels – but what about the little guy!
I still love it here and want to stay – however…