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Dear Emma,

I seem to meet an increasingly number of expats who must always be right. It doesn’t matter if they don’t know what they are talking about, it doesn’t matter what I seem to say, they must always be right. They then get quite rude if I disagree or even, god forbid, prove them incorrect. Its getting to the point where I am getting cautious about who I talk to and who I become friends with. This doesn’t seem to be gender based although I encounter it more in men than women, I do find some expat women who live here who have the same bullying attitude. Is it the rainy season making everyone grumpy? Is it something in the water? How do I deal with these people? Sometimes it’s really annoying because they are either giving out entirely false information or because they simply refuse to allow anyone to get a word in edgewise while they pontificate on their “knowledge”.
Fed Up

Dear Fed Up,

Take heart, my dear. While the world is full of know-it-alls and while there can seem to be a preponderance of these in Chiang Mai you can rest assured that there is a very simple way of dealing with them once you find them.

A gracious smile as they blather away and then a simple, “It’s been so nice meeting you but you must excuse me, I see someone that I really must talk to as we have some unfinished business,” should get you started. Then a “Thank you” with another gracious smile and turn and walk away. There is no need to get your blood pressure up listening to these people, and no reason to get into a debate with them because it will be one sided as they ignore every point you have to make. Best to just save yourself from the stress of it all and go talk to someone else.

As for avoiding them in the future, just learn to spot them quickly and leave as soon as possible. Make a mental note that this is a know-it-all and avoid any future discussions with them by excusing yourself as quickly as possible when they show up.

Yours in silence,

Rainy days making me down

Dear Emma

I realize it’s the rainy season and we all have these inevitable complaints but the endless dreary days are getting me down. I don’t have a car and its difficult to get out and about without one in this weather without getting completely soaked. I hate being housebound and I hate imposing on my friends with cars to get lifts. How can I get out of this rainy season funk?

Not feeling funky

Dear Funky,

I hear your pain. It is a long grey rainy season but it is due to end fairly shortly and then we will all be rejoicing in the wonderful cool air and sunny days wondering why we complained so vociferously about the rain. As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.”

As for the transportation issue, well you can spend some money and hire a taxi or tuk tuk, that is what I do when I don’t want to get wet. Head to Central Airport Plaza (preferably on a weekday as its quite crowded on the weekends) and wander the shops. Go sit in a dark theater and get lost in a movie and eat a giant box of popcorn!

Arrange a dinner night out at your favourite restaurant with a group of friends and share a bottle of wine (or not, if you prefer not to drink). There are some very good clubs with great music that are all indoors, so grab that tuk tuk (make sure he has rain protection) and head out to do whatever you want, there is no need to let the rain get you down.

Best fried chicken?

Dear Emma,

I am new to town and I am looking for great fried chicken! I know it sounds clich้ but I am from the South in the United States and we love our fried chicken! Where can I find fabulous fried chicken? I know getting mashed potatoes and gravy is asking for a lot and I am willing to forego that for really good, crispy non-oily fried chicken. (Please don’t recommend KFC!)

Southern boy

Dear Southerner,

Friends in the know recommend the cowboy hat wearing fried chicken lady at the night market on Manee Noparat before Chang Puak Gate. Be prepared to wait!
Yours in chicken,

Sunday Walking Street Market

Dear Emma,

Not a complaint and not even a question but a suggestion! For those who love the Sunday Walking Street Market but have a hard time with seriously crowded conditions, I have a couple of tips!

First off, get there before 5, the crowds really start filling out by 6:30 or so and by that time you can be headed on your way out. Secondly, take a songthaew there, do not drive. If you have a car you won’t find a parking space or will have to pay, if you have a motorbike it’s the same. If you do find what looks like a parking space beware, it may be illegal and you may find yourself chained (I speak from experience) which is then a costly trip to the Police Station on the river to pay your fine and back to get unlocked. Take a songthaew. Its 20 baht there, 20 baht home and no hassle.

And finally, try the Wualai Saturday Market! It is less busy, but still has a lot of great handicrafts and food. Parking is still a major issue there so you may want to again consider a songthaew. But then parking is a perennial issue on the narrow streets of the inner city!


Dear Shopper,

Great tips and thanks for the advice. It would be great to hear from others who have solutions as well, all are welcome to write in, problem, solution or just wanting to vent! Emma can be reached at [email protected], she kindly forwards all correspondence to me.