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XII No.14 - Sunday July 14  - Saturday July 27, 2013

Arts - Entertainment
Ask Emma
Book Review
Bridge in Paradise
Animal Welfare
Care for Dogs
Community Happenings
Doctor's Consultation
Eating Out & Recipes
Life in Chiang Mai
Mail Bag
Mail Opinion
Money Matters
On the Grapevine
Social Scene
Quirky Pics
Travel & Tourism
The Wellness Column
Daily Horoscope
About Us
Advertising Rates
Current Movies in
Chiangmai's Cinemas
Back Issues
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Update by Saichon Paewsoongnern



Friend has awful girlfriend
Dear Emma,
I am not sure what to do, my dear friend has the worst girlfriend. She says awful things not only to his face but behind his back. He seems to think her insults are “endearments” even though he does speak enough Thai to realize that these are not kind words. The things she says behind his back are even worse. Within earshot of me, knowing I understand Thai to some degree, she tells her friends he is stupid, a “kwai” and that she is only with him because she doesn’t have anybody more interesting right now. She doesn’t have many friends, Thai or western, because she is a really spiteful person. For the life of me, I cannot understand what he sees in this woman or why he insists on staying with her. He claims that she doesn’t really mean it and that she loves him.
I doubt that very highly.
I have tried to tell him but he just won’t listen. It is going to all end very badly and everyone can see it but him. Can I do anything?
Dear Flabbergasted,
There are a few old sayings that cover this issue; “love is blind” and “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”. Well, consider him a blind horse. You have had your say and if you feel that you have made yourself clear enough there is nothing else you can do. Any more efforts to change his mind will only sour your friendship and it sounds like he will need it sooner rather than later.
Some people never learn, you must also realize. So he may continue this pattern of abusive relationships. You will need to evaluate just how much you love this person and if you can handle the constant drama and pain in your life if he does so.

How to bargain?
Dear Emma,
I am fairly new to Chiang Mai and I am not really sure how to bargain. I come from a country where the price is the price and yet sometimes I find myself in situations where the shopkeeper is offended if I try to get the price down. Is it allowed in every shop or just some? Please help me to get it right, I don’t want to offend people.
Dear Confused,
Yes it can seem confusing. In the Sunday Walking Street or Saturday night market you may haggle over the prices, it is expected in fact. However, do not go too low, you will tell when you do because the shopkeeper will refuse to even discuss it with you. Fixed price shops are pretty obvious, they have price tags. If the shop has no price tags on their goods, then ask. If it seems high then see if they will go lower.
One thing to remember is to always haggle in a friendly manner. Smile and laugh and keep it lighthearted. If they won’t go down enough for you then don’t be afraid to walk away. You may always find it elsewhere. However, if it is something you have not found in other shops and is something you really want then be prepared to bite the bullet and pay the price if you want it.

Weird phone calls on my girlfriend’s cell phone
Dear Emma,
My girlfriend is Thai and has been receiving strange phone calls claiming to be from banks or insurance companies and wanting her personal details. She never answers them and hangs up but is there something she can do to stop these calls? Can she report them?
Sick of scammers

Dear Sick,
Yes I have heard of people receiving these calls. Apparently they somehow manage to find out enough details of the person to make the calls quite convincing, A friend of mine received one purporting to be from the police and another from an “insurance company”. This is what is called phishing. That is, they are trying to get as much personal information as possible from your girlfriend in order to steal her identity, perhaps open credit cards in her name or obtain loans of some kind. Never give any information out over the phone! If you receive one of these calls call your phone service provider and report the number, it is almost always a mobile number. In fact, call all of them. You may even want to consider calling the company the people are pretending to belong to so they can warn their customers. And never give out information over the phone!

Driver’s Licence
Dear Emma,
I am a licenced driver in my home country and would like to obtain a Thailand driver’s licence. How do I go about doing this? Do I need to take another driving test?

Dear Ron,
First of all, you need to get a simple medical certificate from a doctor, most GP’s can provide this, the fee is 100 baht. Then you need to go to the Immigration Office and obtain a certificate of residence. If they are not issuing them (there were stories they stopped but also that they restarted) then your consulate will issue one. You then take your passport, your home country driver’s licence and the certificate of residence to the Department of Land Transportation, they have an office on the Hang Dong Road past the Tesco.. You will need to take an eye test, a color blindness test and a reaction test. Assuming you pass, they will take your photo and issue you with a one year licence. A year later you will need to come back to renew and then you will be given a five year licence.
Best of luck!



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