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Sir or Ma’am
It was with great dismay I read the U.K.’s travel warning
to avoid Chiang Mai. While Wednesday certainly did not go well for Chiang
Mai, to issue a travel warning like this after one afternoon and evening of
disruption is not only hasty, but thoughtless and damaging to Chiang Mai.
They waited quite some time before issuing one for Bangkok, did not issue
one at all for the Isaan provinces that saw City Halls burned down, and yet
issued an immediate “No go” travel warning for Chiang Mai.
I notice the U.S. Embassy issued its usual precautionary
warning but certainly nothing as dire sounding as the British one. I wonder
if they consulted with their Honourary Consulate before they issued their
warning? Or the police? Or even the Chiang Mai Mail? Or was it simply issued
out of panic and a lack of real information?
Rather surprised at the overreaction.
Sir or Ma’am
In these times of trouble, there are bigger things to
worry about than my inquiry. However, I decided to write to you anyway, even
if for just a lightweight diversion from the weight on all our minds. I wish
to bring up the matter of being called “Sir”. Not an issue, of course, if
you are of the male gender. However, being called “Sir” when you are female,
is a tad off-putting. I am young, petite, and feminine. There is absolutely
nothing masculine in my manner or dress, and, I am not short of dates
either. So, I can only then assume it has something to do with Thai English
education. Did teachers forget that women need to be addressed appropriately
too? Do they just not realise that “Sir” is not a generic term for both
sexes? The first time it happened to me, I did not correct the speaker. I
didn’t want to offend him. But, at the same time, I was cringing each time
he said “Sir”. In hindsight, I should have corrected him. Now, if it happens,
I do. So, the onus is on us, Ladies. We really should politely and
discreetly correct the speaker. If not, we have no right to complain, for
how is the speaker to know? Maybe they will feel a tad embarrassed at their
incorrect use of the word, but hopefully that will be outweighed by the
improvement of their English. Oh, and for the record, I can speak Thai. I do
not expect Thai people to have perfect English, or for conversations to be
conducted only in English. Some Thai people enjoy the opportunity to
practice (show off, even) their English ability. For me, I am always
grateful for those kind people who correct my mistakes in Thai So, I think
we should make the concerted effort to correct very obvious mistakes, such
as being incorrectly called “Sir”.
“Miss”, “Ma’am”, or “Madam”. Preferably “Miss”, but never, never, never ever,
Given the recent events in Bangkok and Chiang Mai I do
understand the government’s reasoning behind the curfew but seeing as how it
seems rather peaceful it seems strange they can’t lift it early. Vendors are
suffering; small restaurants and bars already reeling from the lack of
tourists are now being hit even harder. Why can’t the government review
these things on a case by case basis and take some pity on the (hopefully
permanently) now peaceful Chiang Mai?
Concerned in Chiang Mai
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