Life in Chiang Mai may be right about the lack of road safety in the city
but missed a significant point, which was illustrated to me on Tuesday
evening around 10pm as I drove home past Kad Suan Kaew in Huay Kaew Road,
where a police road block was in force.
Many motor cyclists saw it and managed to make dangerous
u turns in front of oncoming traffic but naturally others were caught. The
police concentrated on young men, ignoring farangs and all the women, who
were often two or three on a bike, riding side saddle without helmets. They
were patently middle class Thais, smartly dressed and on new machines. The
guys were a target, with I guess the hopes of finding non Thais who get
My Thai companion put it succinctly: ‘The police don’t
care about safety or helmets they only want to make sure they have enough
money in their pockets tonight’. Did I hear someone say, This is Thailand?
Sincerely a Chiang Mai Observer.
Two old buffalo; a true story
A while ago a farmer was bringing 2 old buffalo to Chiang
Mai to sell at the markets. They were old and so were destined for the
The 2 buffalo escaped from the farmer and made their way
to the nearest Buddhist Temple. The monks refused to give the 2 buffalo back
to the farmer as the 2 buffalo had claimed sanctuary at the temple. The
monks said that the 2 buffalo could be Buddhists from a former life.
Anyway, the monks agreed to give the 2 buffalo back to
the farmer if the monks couldn’t pay the farmer THB 30,000 within 7 days.
The farmer could sell the 2 buffalo for THB 20,000 each at the market. A
public appeal raised the THB 30,000 in four days. The 2 buffalo will now
enjoy their old age thanks to the generousity of many people.
In response to poisonous mushrooms letter
I read with interest last issue’s letter regarding the
fatal white mushroom. I have never heard of a mushroom toxin that would kill
instantly. Also, birds rarely eat mushrooms, unless searching for larvae
inside the mushrooms. I think the observation is a coincidence, but since we
know so little I should be grateful for a picture of the mushroom which
actually grew next to the dead birds.
Please remember that there are 5-6 times more fungi than
plants, and Thailand with its 12000 plant species should therefore host some
60 000 fungal species. It is impossible to make a determination solely on a
vague description. There are hundreds of white mushroom species, some
delicious, some poisonous, some decomposers, some tree symbionts.
A general warning is that you have to know what mushroom
you eat. Do not trust the salesmen at the market either. I just returned
from Yunnan where 300 people died from mushroom poisoning in September. The
culprit was a Trogia, hitherto unknown as a deadly poisonous mushroom.