I had a small accident with my motorbike. It was not my
fault at all but I have heard all the cynical stories of foreigners who have
accidents with Thais and yet must take all the blame. Although I guess I
should add that all of these stories are second hand and I have yet to hear
one from someone it has actually happened to.
Anyway, I digress a little. I fell off of my motorbike
swerving to avoid a car who pulled out into the road without looking. The
man stopped, jumped out of his car and ran over to help me up. My Thai is
not so good and his English as not so good either but not only did we manage
to communicate but he drove me to the hospital where they bandaged me up,
paid for that and gave me some cash to fix the broken mirror on my bike.
He was quite worried that I was hurt and treated me
decently and fairly. So, I should say, Dear Emma, that your readers should
not always assume the worst. My experience, although painful and a bit
frightening at first, has been that there are more good people here than
I am delighted to hear your story as well. Indeed,
Emma should add that this is not the first such story of this kind that I
have heard. Although one friend did have an accident with a drunk man on a
scooter who tried to blame my friend even though he, the drunk, had run a
red light, numerous witnesses stepped forward to set the record straight
when the police arrived. The Thai man was carted off to the hospital where
he paid his own bills. He had no insurance and could not pay for the repairs
to my friend’s car but all turned out better than my friend had expected
since, also, had heard these stories.
I don’t know if they are true, perhaps sometimes they
are but Emma has yet to encounter someone that this has happened to first
I met a nice girl
I am an exchange student here in Chiang Mai, at CMU. I
met this really beautiful, sweet girl from Phayao who is going to CMU as
well. We are studying many of the same subjects so I get to see her in class
nearly every day.
I asked her out for coffee and she said yes but then
showed up with a friend! I thought it was a date but perhaps she thinks we
are just friends? I am now a little confused as to how I should proceed.
Maybe she doesn’t like me after all?
Don’t be confused! Many nice young Thai girls would
not dream of going out on a solo date with a man they just met. It is normal
to bring a chaperone of sorts. Additionally, you should also realize that
often dates are a group event with the “couple” joining a group of friends.
This saves the reputation of the girl and allows the couple to get to know
each other better in a friendly and safe environment. So, dear confused, be
heartened that she would go out with you at all for this surely demonstrates
her interest. You will just have to learn how to do things the Thai way if
you want to know her better.
I know I chose to live in a tourist town. I understand
that this is high season and we must be nice to tourists as they are one of
the lifebloods of the Chiang Mai economy. However! Sometimes I am amazed at
the total lack of common sense from some of our city’s tourists! More than
once am I blocked from turning into my soi by tourists who stop in the
middle of the road to look at a map. I realize they are lost but surely they
would not stand in the road in their home countries blocking all traffic?
Then there are the tourists who do step out in front of
traffic without looking. Surely they were taught to look both ways before
crossing the street?
And finally, a small rant at tourists who come to Chiang
Mai dressed as if this were the beach. I want to shout at all of them, “This
is not the beach, put some clothes on! Nobody wants to see that” but I just
can’t seem to muster up the courage to do that.
Thank you for listening to my rant Emma, I promise I will
be nice to the next tourist I see and that I won’t send them on a wild goose
chase when they ask for directions.
I feel your pain, I do. My particular pet peeve are
tourists who insist on walking three and four abreast on our narrow city
streets. This is not limited to western tourists I should add. The Chinese
and Japanese seem particularly wont to do this but even more so, Thai
tourists. Perhaps they have been in Bangkok so long they forget what goes on
in the rest of the world, or perhaps they just don’t care. Emma really
doesn’t understand it either. But she does sympathise with you!
I just returned from a trip to Laos and I must say,
Thailand is a breath of fresh air. Quite literally. Everyone there smokes it
seems. There don’t appear to be regulations on where you can smoke and I am
guessing the concept of no smoking floors in the hotels has not yet reached
Laos since my hotel stank with stale smoke.
Everyone smoked everywhere. As a non-smoker it put me off
my food to have someone puffing heartily away at the table next to me. I
don’t see myself returning any time soon but I have recommended it for my
Thank you for the tip. Emma has not had a cigarette in
years and like many reformed smokers am now rather fanatical. I hope that
Laos can learn sooner rather than later that not everyone likes the smell of