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Thank you Emma from Lanna Care Net
Dear Emma,
Thank you for publicizing Lanna Care Net in your recent column. Our phone calls have picked up in the past couple days and at first I thought it was because people had simply waited until after the holidays to call — things were very quiet during the holidays. But two had said they’d read about us in the Chiang Mai Mail. Yesterday, I was called to Suan Dok hospital by their social worker to visit an elderly expat who had been hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian on a sidewalk. Suan Dok calls me in often to talk with English speaking people to explain to them what’s happening and also to make sure other parts of their life are OK. Usually I have to start my visit by explaining what Lanna Care Net is and why we were called. The gentleman in the hospital said he’d just read about us in the paper and that little article helped very much in establishing our credibility.
This morning we read the Chiang Mai Mail and saw your column. Ah — that’s it! That’s what everyone is reading. Thanks for spreading the word.
Happy New Year!
Yours,
Nancy
Dear Nancy,
Thank you for your efforts in helping resident expats here! It is often difficult for people who move here and don’t speak Thai and face difficulty in learning the language. Additionally, as you say, things are done differently and having a friendly face to help explain things, especially at such a difficult time, is a godsend. Keep up the good work!
Yours,
Emma


Liquor laws
Dear Emma,
I must say this restriction on purchasing alcohol from 2-5 p.m. is very odd for me. According to a Thai friend of mine the ex-Prime Minister Thaksin started enforcing this old law to curb school children from drinking. Laudable goals surely but wouldn’t it be better to just enforce the drinking age? If someone is going to sell alcohol to a minor what is going to stop them from doing it during a prohibited time period?
And while we are at it, I recall the previous Governor was involved in a local move to crack down on underage drinking in night clubs and bars. Has this continued? I hope so but from the sounds of the news in your paper it may no longer be true. I recall reading about some poor girl who was so drunk she fell off her motorbike driving home from a bar and then was raped by a passerby. Surely this is exactly the kind of thing that should encourage police and officials to make sure that the drinking laws are enforced?
Anyway, I was not able to buy my bottle of wine for dinner with my ladyfriend because the store could not sell it. I wasn’t about to go back either. It’s an entirely redundant law were the law regarding underage drinking strictly enforced.
Signed
Wineless
Dear Wineless,
Yes I know the feeling. I prefer to visit the shops in the afternoon when it is less busy and run into the screened off liquor section at Tops regularly. It is frustrating it is true, but fortunately several of the wine shops deliver if you live locally. So I order a few bottles and then don’t have to worry about carrying them home. Or about time restrictions.
Yours,
Emma


What to bring as a gift?
Dear Emma,
I met this lovely Thai woman last year and we started dating. Well it has gotten a bit more serious recently and she would like to take me home to Phayao to meet her parents and family. She has told me that I don’t need to bring anything but in my country it is customary to bring a small gift so I would feel more comfortable bringing her family something. They are farmers, albeit with rather large land holdings and she has a professional job so I am not really sure what to buy. What is a good gift to bring to meet her family?
Signed
Nervous to meet the family
Dear Nervous,
First of all, don’t be nervous! If she likes you then they most likely will too. You don’t mention if you speak any Thai but if you don’t now is the time to learn some basics, like a polite greeting. Learn to wai, it matters.
As for a gift, a basket of assorted foods is always good, one of those New Year baskets they sell stuffed with different food items; add in some fresh fruit and that should be fine. Do not bring alcohol or anything ostentatious. Avoid bringing Western food items until you know each other better.
Dress nicely but not too flashy, wear pressed trousers and a decent shirt, a nice polo shirt is good if it is out in the country. Wear shoes but ones you can slip off and on. It is better to look nice and respectful than like a slob.
And relax, I am sure you will find it is not a nerve wracking as you expect.
Yours,
Emma