Welcome to this week’s FeMail, although we’re not even sure we
should keep that name! It is so difficult to find subjects which
appeal specifically to women, as most of the women we meet here are
definitely not the old-fashioned “housewife” type, and have
interests ranging across a very broad spectrum. In other words,
we’re all far too intelligent and individualistic to be categorised!
As a result of this absolute fact, the writers of this page have
headaches each and every week wondering what will please our
readers. So, please, let us know what you’d like to read, and we’ll
promise to provide it. Within reason, that is, personal interviews
with the likes of George Clooney or even Barack Obama are simply not
possible! We wish. Letters to the Editor, also, are very helpful to
us on the paper, we want and need to know if we’re getting it right,
and we also want to know if we’re getting it wrong so that we can
put it right! Chiang Mai needs and deserves a really informative,
friendly, and useful local English language paper; right now we’re
all doing our best to give you one, BUT, we do need your input,
guys! Please write, either to FeMail, or to Mailbag, or to anyone
you know who’s working with CM Mail.
Blair, Brown and Bush, please note!
It was announced recently that the newly elected Thai Prime
Minister, Samak Sundaravej, was to launch a weekly “chat show” on Thai
state-run TV and radio. He was quoted as saying that the show would be an
“off the cuff commentary on relevant topics and news”, direct to the Thai
viewing and listening public. Our immediate reaction was, “How brave”; our
second reaction was “why didn’t our Prime Minister, (previous or present),
think of that?” This second reaction was, to put it mildly, foolish, as
neither Gordon Brown nor George Bush, not to mention Tony Blair, would have
been caught dead in that situation. Our third reaction was “Wish I’d taken
Thai language classes sooner….”, but that’s neither here nor there. So-how
is “The Samak Show” going down with the public?
In the first programme, Samak seemed to spend a fair amount of time
reiterating that the government’s plans to expand Bangkok’s mass transport
system, plus improving rail lines around the country were a very good idea.
Don’t know about the majority of Thais, but, here in Chiang Mai, the train
line stops dead at the station, and if one wishes to travel further one has
to go by bus. And that line is only single track anywhere near this, the
second city of Thailand! So, Khun Samak, you have our 100% approval on that
one. During the same programme, Samak also took questions from viewers - can
you imagine our lot doing that? From journalists, yes, but from viewers, not
A member of his audience apparently posed a question concerning gambling;
Samak’s response was that he would like to legalise it as police would not
then have to act on the mainly small illegal gambling dens, and could
control the types of criminal activity usually associated with that pastime.
Sounds sensible to us, even although this is Thailand we’re talking about,
particularly as, to take but one example, Tony Blair and his cohorts enraged
most of the UK by talking up the dubious economic benefits of establishing a
very large number of huge Las Vegas style casinos all over the UK, (where
gambling is legal), but totally ignoring the possible social consequences.
Probably not many expats are aware that Samak is, in fact, a seasoned
broadcaster, claiming amongst his successes a cookery show which ran for 7
years, and a daily political talk show which aired during the Thaksin
administration. He has also written several columns which have appeared in
Thai newspapers. A “man of the people”, it would seem, or at least a man who
realises the necessity of acknowledging the people. Watch that space.
Bagels and Apple Pie
On Saturday, March 15 the Raintree Resource Centre will be sponsoring a
cookery class at which interested parties can learn to make bagels and
different kinds of apple pie. Although this Women’s Page did not intend to
include cooking, cleaning etc, we thought this one sounded just too
delicious to miss! After the actual cooking is completed, the general idea
is to fill the bagels, get the ice cream and fresh cream out of the freezer,
relax, and enjoy a well-deserved lunch! Carolyn Piet is kindly providing the
venue for the cook-in - her own kitchen. The address is 2/2 Naa Wat Kate
Road, which is in the Bain compound not far from the Riverside Restaurant.
Class size is limited to 15, so, don’t delay, call Janet Greenleaf on
087-180-8040, or sign up on 053-244-820 between 9 am and 12 am. The cost
will be approximately 150 baht, and the class will be held between 10 am and
Anyone for Lawn Bowls?
Many of us might well remember lazy summer Sundays in the park in our
home countries listening to the “clack” of wood against wood as the
local Lawn Bowls league held a match on their nearby green. That
relaxing sound may well be heard again at the Chieng Mai Gymkhana Club
fairly soon, as the Club is currently considering constructing a Lawn
Bowls Green, together with related facilities. To this end, the Club is
trying to asses the market potential for such a valuable sports amenity,
which has proved to be highly welcome to communities in other parts of
Thailand. The Club would very much appreciate it if anyone who is
interested in either playing Lawn Bowls, or forming a league, would
contact Chris Simmonds on 081 288 6784. Both Club members and non-member
are very welcome.
Some of you may have noticed through the media that there was an
earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale in the UK last week,
centred in the town of Market Raisen, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
The following, sent to us by a UK friend, may not even be vaguely
comprehensible to non-UK readers, for which we apologise, but,
particularly for those from North Yorkshire, it should be hilarious!
Even more apologies, however, to those readers who actually do come from
South Yorkshire. Read on...
News of the disaster caused by the earthquake was swiftly carried abroad
by the town’s 35,000 racing pigeons, as victims and residents were seen
wandering around aimlessly muttering “fookinell” and “choffin-norah”.
The earthquake decimated the town, causing £30’s worth of damage, ($60).
Several collections of mementos from the Balearic Isles and the Spanish
Costa del Sol were damaged beyond repair. Three areas of historical
burnt-out cars were disturbed.
Many locals were woken up well before their Giros, (social security
checks), arrived. Radio Barnsley reported that hundreds of residents
were confused and bewildered, and were still trying to come to terms
with the fact that something interesting had actually happened in
One resident, 15 year-old mother of three, Tracy Sharon Braithwaite,
said, “It was such a shock, my little Chardonnay-Madonna came running
into my bedroom crying. The twins, Tyler-Morgan and Megan-Storm, slept
through it all. I was still shaking when I was watching Kilroy on the
telly the next morning.”
Locals were determined not to be cowed as lootings, muggings and car
crime carried on as normal. So far, as the British Red Cross has managed
to ship 4,000 crates of Sunny Delight to the area to relieve the
suffering of stricken locals, and rescue workers searching through the
rubble have found large quantities of personal belongings including
benefit books, jewellery from Elizabeth Duke at Argos, and bone china
CAN YOU HELP? Please respond generously for food and clothing for the
poor victims of this disaster. Clothing is needed most of all,
especially Fila or Burberry baseball caps, Kappa tracksuit tops, Shell
suits, white sports socks, Rock-Fort boots or any other product sold in
Primark. Ethnically sensitive food parcels are harder to put together,
but your efforts will make a difference. Microwave meals, tinned baked
beans, cans of custard, Colt 45, or Carlsberg Special Brew are ideal.
Please remember: 22p buys a biro for filling in compensation claims, £2
buys chips, crisps and a blue fizzy drink for a family of 9 and £5 will
pay for a packet of cigarettes and a lighter to calm a child’s nerves.
URGENTLY REQUIRED: Tinned Whippet food and bones for Jack Russell
terriers. Pleas do not send tents or shelters, as the sight of such posh
housing will cause discontent in the surrounding South Yorkshire
News in briefs
Dogs are in the news again, this time in the West, as apparently
at least 2 million of “woman’s best friends” in the UK qualify as obese!
Apparently their owners believe their pets are healthier if they are
fat. Wonder if the owners themselves have jumped on the scales lately?
More focus on fat, but this time, apparently, it’s the German
Army, 40% of whom are overweight these days! And they’re also
chainsmokers! 27% of soldiers admitted to “never engaging in sports or
other physical activities”. NO other physical activities? Too busy
stuffing their faces and smoking, maybe…
Concerned about global warming? American Airlines don’t seem to
be. Having cancelled one of their 4 daily services from Chicago to
London, and having been left with 5 passengers who could not be
accommodated on the other flights, they dug up a spare Boeing 777,
loaded the 5 lucky guys on board, having first upgraded them to business
class, and sent the plane happily on its way across the Atlantic, using
22,000 gallons of fuel! WHY does this never happen to us?? Answers on a
Another shaggy dog story - UK bookmakers William Hill have
stopped taking bets on possible “best of show” winners at Crufts, the
world’s most famous dog show, because of vicious rumours circulating in
the doggy world that a secret “super dog” was about to surface and win
the coveted prize. No surprise there then, at a contest which, when
being described by a long-term exhibitor recently, attracted such
comments as “There are more bitches outside the show rings than inside!”
We often wonder what our furry friends think of us…
As the updated anti-smoking laws hit Chiang Mai, a Minnesota bar
owner has come up with a novel ruse to circumvent his local laws.
Apparently, there exists an exemption for performers in plays, etc, who
are allowed to smoke on stage if the part demands it. 30 bar owners have
now set their premises up as stages, and invited customers to come in
costume, declaring them all to be actors! Has anyone checked to see if
there are similar laws here… That’s it for this week!