Vol. IX No. 21 - Tuesday
May 25 - May 31, 2010



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by Saichon Paewsoongnern


MAILBAG
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chicken little?

Sir or Ma’am

Curfew!

 

Chicken little?

Dear Editor:

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?

Yours,
Rather surprised at the overreaction.

 

Sir or Ma’am

Dear Editor,

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”.

Best regards,
“Miss”, “Ma’am”, or “Madam”. Preferably “Miss”, but never, never, never ever, “Sir”!


Curfew!

Dear Editor;

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?
Regards
Concerned in Chiang Mai



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