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Rubbish dumped on the ring road

Children selling flowers on the road

Takako Kanomi – Setting the record straight!

Disappointed in Life in Chiang Mai- Avatar

 

Rubbish dumped on the ring road

Dear Editor: 
The 121 outer ring roads is not the most picturesque road in Chiang Mai, but what makes it especially unattractive is the huge amount of rubbish that is always strewn along the sides of this road. I wonder if it is known by Thai people as ‘the’ place to throw away all their rubbish. Visitors always comment how disgusting it looks - not to mention so bad for the environment.
Yours with concern, 
Charlotte Broome, Chiang Mai

 

Children selling flowers on the road

Dear Editor:
Every time I go into Chiang Mai city at night time I am quite disturbed by the (usually small) children who try to sell flowers. While it’s a little reassuring to see that there’s often a parent or older person nearby, I feel that these children should not be forced to be out late at night doing this. The other night, in the old city, I saw that there was a healthy looking young man in charge of two small boys who were hassling tourists with their flowers. This young man is little better than a pimp and he should be out working seven days a week if necessary to take care of the children so they can be where small children belong at night, i.e. safely in bed. When I drive up Huay Kaew Road towards the junction of Nimmanhaemin Road and the Super Highway, there is always a small girl hovering dangerously in the middle of the road who comes to the cars when they’re stopped for the traffic lights. She looks exhausted and I’ve also noticed that she must have been encouraged to put extra pressure on foreign drivers to buy her flowers. Is there no social organisation in Thailand that can stop this exploitation of children?
Yours sincerely,
Helen Fox


Takako Kanomi – Setting the record straight!

Dear Editor:
Chiang Mai friends of Takako Kanomi were deeply disappointed by the Chiangmai Mail (Vol VIII, Issue 51 - December 22-28, 2009) article “Japanese woman found dead in a guest house near Night Bazaar” credited to lead reporter Supoj Thiamyoj.
Takako Kanomi was a frequent visitor to Chiang Mai for more than thirty years, a long-standing favorite of Thailand’s Royal Family, and one of the first foreigners to apply her talents as a researcher, writer and photographer to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Thailand’s ethnic minority peoples. In 1991 she published “People Of Myth: Textiles and Crafts of the Golden Triangle” one of the first English language books describing the cultures of the Hill Tribes and bringing them to life with beautiful in situ photographs and numerous examples of their excellent craft skills from her extensive private collection. Queen Sirikit, long-time supporter of Hill Tribe peoples, wrote a glowing recommendation prefacing her book. Takako loved Thailand’s people more than most of us will even pretend.
Thus Takako Kanomi is worthy of considerably more respect than allowed in the Chiangmai Mail’s shallow 120 word article echoing rumors surrounding her death—“dead in her bathtub”, “she might be alcoholic” and “ autopsy to determine cause of death”.  What is the reader likely to think from these casually applied phrases? Your mental picture may apply to some desperate Chiang Mai farang you know, but not Takako Kanomi. Takako was a happy and gracious person with a lust for life.
A Daily News photographer pretended to accompany the police, and when discovered by the guesthouse management he was requested on behalf of Takako’s immediate family to NOT publicize her death. Sensitivity to her dignity and her family’s grief was all that they expected. How would you feel were she your loved one? Yet, the photographer broke his promise and within hours the story was spread ever embellished with speculation throughout the Thai media including the Chiangmai Mail. Is a farang found dead in the privacy of their locked room really news? Pathetic.
Three more issues of the Chiangmai Mail have appeared since then and you have made no effort to set the record straight. You did not manage an apology nor accept any responsibility for your actions; you simply spread more grist from the rumor mill. I see no evidence that you exercised any responsibility in your roles as Managing Editors—overseers of media charged with the responsibility of determining what is fact and what is not. If you want to publish uncorroborated speculations then start another meaningless Thai Web Blog and stop masquerading as a respectable Chiang Mai Newspaper!
Friends of Takako Kanomi


Disappointed in Life in Chiang Mai- Avatar

I write to you in respect of the Jan 26th edition and Mark Whitman’s article on Life in Chiangmai - Love Cinema, Hate Airport Major and Vista.
To me the article really portrays a sour, negative, whinging ‘farang’ type attitude for which there is no need. If we as visitors to the Kingdom cannot fit in with Thai culture and way of doing things) provide constructive criticism when warranted - then we should remain quiet. Articles like this do nothing to help portray farangs in a good light as far as Thais are concerned) do not assist the local business community by likely deterring other farangs from using the venues, iii) give ‘new’ farangs a skewed impression of things at those establishments mentioned and in Thailand in general.
Surely we as guests and you as a local publication should do whatever to support the local community and not deride it and or the Thai way of doing things. 
Personally I find it astounding that a quality newspaper would print such tripe.
In respect of the specific comments in the article I and my family are regular visitors to Airport Plaza Major, we book our tickets in advance, have no problem collecting them, and deal with the cold air-conditioning by taking appropriate clothing. Yes sometimes the queues are a bit long and the service slow, not enough windows open, but Major is not alone in that - how many 7/11’s have we all visited where there are 2 or even 3 cash registers and 8-10 staff but only one register is open with a queue of 7-8 customers waiting.
Well, having been here in Thailand 20 years I can say many things have improved dramatically, some have not changed and never will, - that is what provides the fascination for living in Thailand - and learning the art of “jai yen”.
Thank you for your time.
Chiangmai Supporter - name supplied.