Noise in Chiang Mai
I have just come back from a small holiday on the ocean. It was lovely. No
sounds of traffic, just waves lapping on the beach. No sounds of obnoxious
advertising trucks driving around blaring ear shattering music, just the
soft ocean breezes. No second hand junk truck driving around asking if I
have an old fan or refrigerator I want to get rid of. No sirens, no horns,
and no screeching brakes. It was bliss.
I must admit, I can generally take the big city noise, traffic sounds can
blur into the background, the fighter jets passing overhead to do get
noticed but they are gone so quickly its hardly a nuisance. But, and this is
a very big one, those awful trucks driving around town advertising all sorts
of various things, blocking traffic and blaring out the most awful screeches
can certainly never be ignored or fade into the background.
Surely there must be some kind of law about these trucks? If not against the
noise, what about the obstruction of traffic? Why won’t anyone get rid of
these eye and earsores? I doubt anyone is really truly affected by them
except with annoyance.
Deaf in Chiang Mai
Vandalism of nature
Why do people feel they need to
damage beautiful places?
I am just back for the summer and was visiting all of my favorite spots We were
hiking and exploring one of our favorite national parks and sadly came across
this vandalism We’ve been coming here every year for years. The people in charge
seem to take especially good care of this place and it saddens me to see
foreigners deface such pristine nature. The Christian fish symbol among others,
is carved into a rock along a waterfall and there were names such as Sarah
carved into a nearby tree. I’m obviously upset about it, why do you people
deface nature in such a way?
The fearful look on the faces of we pedestrians as we scurry across the
pedestrian crosswalk, with a green walk light, is not unfounded. Some vehicles
will slow down waiting for me to run, while some, very few, wait patiently until
I pass, revving their engines in anticipation and then start up as soon as there
is more than a centimetre to spare. Then there are those who refuse to
acknowledge my presence and practically run me down as if my very existence is
an affront to their vehicle.
I am fearful of the day when some driver who is too busy texting or talking on
the phone or just plain doesn’t care strikes me down as I cross on the green
light for the cross walk. The police could make a nice little money earner
patrolling the crosswalks on busy streets such as Suthep and then fining
everyone who didn’t wait until the light was no longer red. I am not convinced
it would help long term but it would certainly be better than the nothing at all
that they do now.
For those who are fairly fit and not too lazy, an overpass or two wouldn’t go
amiss either. Especially at the very dangerous Tha Pae Gate area, as cars and
motorbikes come whipping around that curve, foolhardy tourists dash madly to get
to the Gate.
Elections in Chiang Mai
It seems to local businesses and to those of us who like a tipple every now and
then that there have been a plethora of elections lately. And more than a few
complaints from my business owning friends who must shutter their doors on a
weekend. Apparently, the thinking behind the regulation is that this way no
candidates can hold parties to sway voters by offering them unlimited alcohol
and also so that people then won’t be voting drunk.
Commendable reasons for sure but are they really effective? Has the government
done any studies on the efficacy of this policy versus the economic costs? I
wonder if the government would consider setting aside funds for those businesses
such as liquor stores and nightclubs that must close down entirely on an
election night to help them cover their costs such as wages. Or perhaps they
might want to consider the idea one Thai woman friend of mine suggested, to
avoid candidates bribing voters with free drinks at parties simply ban those
kinds of parties but allow restaurants and bars to sell alcohol. As she pointed
out, a drunk is always going to be drunk but it is always possible to stop
Not a drunk
Floods and fires
As we come into the rainy season and fears of landslides and floods increase, I
wonder do the people who burn the forests see the connection between that and
this? Do they not know that by destroying the watershed, they increase the
likelihood of severe mudslides and flooding? Does the province or the country
offer education on these things or just the carrot and the stick? Is there even
a stick? Or a carrot?
Those of us who live here often wonder if anything goes on other than the annual
“we will start a project” campaign? One solution to the burning/flooding cycle
is to offer both a carrot and a stick to the adults and increasing education to
the children. When the adults get rewarded for the right behavior and see
serious punishment for the bad, their behavior will change out of fear of paying
huge fines or whatever other punishment comes up. As you educate the children
they will learn to not burn because it is wrong, not because they are scared.
This kind of policy can work with fires, littering, dog poo in the parks, and
many other destructive behaviors.
Fed up with floods and fires
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