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Life in Chiang Mai


Licence to kill

By Mark Whitman
Driving in Thailand has its problems as in most countries and here are a few alphabetically listed observations from which you may recognize.
Alertness and anticipation: bywords for any driver, shared by Thai drivers who are alert to every chance to overtake whilst anticipating how many cars can jump a red light in near safety.
Blame will almost invariably be accorded to the farang driver, unless you have credible and willing witnesses.
Courtesy is the norm in everyday Thai society. It ceases to exist once people are behind a wheel.
Driving lessons are haphazard and the test borders on farce but Thais take to the motorcycle like ducks to water with about the same discipline.
Equality: all drivers are equal but those in the biggest vehicle are more equal than others.
Fear: an emotion seemingly unknown to those on motor-cycles, despite innumerable accidents and the deaths of friends when riding.
Guilty party. That’s you. Not the other person involved in the accident.
Helmets: Hair today but dead and gone tomorrow.
Inroads: defined as an incursion into enemy territory or tailgating.
Jam as in traffic. Gridlock here we come.
Kindergarten: where Thais learn to ride a motorbike.
Longevity – something not widely associated with motorcyclists.
Money : Especially useful if stopped for committing any type of driving offence.
Nonentity: a person of no importance. Otherwise known as a pedestrian.
Overtaking: a national sport played regardless of rules or safety.
Pedestrians: See above.
Queuing is something done under sufferance at traffic lights and deeply resented.
Road rage is not that common in Thailand since it would take up far too much time and energy, although being the subject of it can lead to death.
Seat belts, the greatest aid to saving lives since the discovery of penicillin - regarded as a fashion accessory for wimps.
Telephones are, seemingly, a necessary aid to driving any vehicle regardless of road conditions.
Undertaking: more common than overtaking.
Vespas: the hi-so means of two wheel transport whilst waiting for mummy and daddy to buy you a Mini Cooper.
Wandering – a common style of transport most especially practiced by girls leaving school premises.
Xenophiles are those with a special fondness for imported cars.
Yokels drive into cities and can be spotted because they actually look at signs.
Zebra crossings are black and white road markings and are valued rather less than the paint used to create them.

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Licence to kill