Vol. VI No. 44 - Tuesday
December 25, - December 31, 2007



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


MAILBAG
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

A Christmas Carol

Shooting yourself in the foot

Heed the words of wisdom

Alcohol ban driving away the tourists

 

A Christmas Carol

Dear Editor,
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 most.
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 struggling neighbors.
John Richard

 

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.
Well done.
Non-voting farang


Heed the words of wisdom

Dear Editor,
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.”
Steve Bahadur


Alcohol ban driving away the tourists

Dear Editor
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 holiday.
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 is crazy.
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…



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