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Vol. XI No.4 - Sunday August 5 - Saturday August 18, 2012


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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern
 
 
 

ASK EMMA

 

Dear Emma,
I am relatively new to town and really enjoy a bottle of wine every now and then but find they can be so expensive, or if cheap almost undrinkable. Where can I go for a good bottle of wine for a reasonable price?
Yours,
Not plonk
Dear Plonk,
It is possible to find reasonably affordable wine for a decent price in Chiang Mai. Rimping Supermarket has their famous baskets of wine where you can buy 3 bottles for 900 Baht. Another option is the reasonably priced Wine Shoppe next to Tops Supermarket off Chang Puak Road. They have a decent selection of wines in a range of prices there as well.
Yours,
Emma

Dear Emma,
I am an American transplant to beautiful Chiang Mai and while I can generally manage to satisfy most cravings, or avoid them to save money and keep my weight down, I really miss a good peanut butter cookie. Alas I live in a small condo with no oven so making my own isn’t an option right now. I really miss a moist and peanut buttery peanut butter cookie.
Signed,
Help this poor American
Dear American,
Three words; Bake and Bite. The Bake and Bite on Nimmanhaemin has, according to all reports, excellent peanut butter cookies. However you must satisfy your cravings before Wednesdays as they are closed that day. I have not yet given their cookies a try but I will have to now that I have suggested them!
Yours,
Emma


Dear Emma,
I am thinking of taking the big step, no, not marriage, but the purchase of a motorbike! However, I have heard many horror stories of accidents and injuries of those riding motorbikes. I know that in the crowded streets of Chiang Mai a motorbike makes a lot of sense, I remain concerned about accidents.
Emma, is there a certain type of bike I should buy or helmet? Any tips from Chiang Mai drivers?
Signed
Motorbike rider
Dear Motorbike,
Well, Emma must tell you that you do have reason for concern, nearly everyone has an accident at one time or another on their motorbike and sometimes, the outcome will depend on you. Sadly, sometimes it will not and there is nothing you can do about other drivers on the road except keep your eyes peeled as much as possible.
First off, in town a smaller bike such as a Wave or other bike probably makes more sense, a heavy bike is hard to ride in the stop and go traffic. The Honda Wave is pretty cheap to repair too while bikes such as the Fino and Scoopy are not only expensive to fix but popular with thieves. The next bit of advice I will give you is helmet, helmet, helmet. Always wear a helmet. Buy a really good helmet, preferably one that covers your entire face and goes around your jaw. While they are hot and often it can feel like your head is boiling in there like an egg in the cooker, it’s a better feeling than eating one’s meals through a straw after breaking a jaw in an accident, or worse, wearing no helmet at all and never eating again.
Finally, you must keep your eyes on the traffic at all times, and be aware that sometimes, there is just nothing you can do. A good accident insurance policy is always a good idea, just in case.
Yours,
Emma

Dear Emma,
I have a job! Now I need to get that medical test required for it. Where can I go? And do I really need to get tested for syphilis and elephantiasis? Elephantiasis, seriously?
Signed
Baffled and in need of a medical checkup
Dear Baffled,
Yes indeed you must get a blood test for syphilis. As I understand it, it is not an issue if you test positive for stage 1 syphilis but if you have stage 3 then forget it! My own doctor explained to me about the other rather more obscure diseases listed on the form telling me that they were added many years ago and in bureaucracy you never take anything OFF the list you just put it ON. So, there you go, if your feet aren’t swollen you should be fine.
A friend of mine recommends using the Nakornping Hospital on the Mae Rim road past City Hall. The same check that costs 200 Baht at Ram is only 50 baht there. However, the blood test will be extra.

Dear Emma,
I met a girl and she needs to borrow money from me. She does have a good job and the reasons behind the loan are good (no it is not a sick buffalo). We aren’t actually dating, she is just a good friend. Will she be offended if I require her to sign a legal loan agreement?
Signed,
Loan shy
Dear Shy,
There is no reason she should take offense, does she have any collateral? There is a simple loan agreement that the Thai government prints out and you can purchase for a pittance that is used by many Thai people when loaning to other Thai people. You cannot charge more than the standard interest rate and if the loan is defaulted upon this document is valid in a Thai court for seizing the assets listed on it.
I know an older Thai gentleman who loans out money frequently, albeit very large sums with the land as collateral, and he always uses this form. He never charges extortionate rates and is very fair with the repayments. He turns down people who want money for things he cannot support and will not loan if there is no collateral. He is highly respected for his honesty and many of his neighbors go to him for loans. Why should you be expected to be any different?
Yours,
Emma


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