When will hypocrisy end?
What a scandal: someone used dirty chemical weapons against soldiers and
civilians. How relieved I feel now that the big world policemen and the UNO
do not condone such a barbaric act! They cry foul, talk about red line and
even about military retaliation - After all they will ask: don’t we already
have enough “clean” weapons for killing our neighbours? We can choose bare
hands, axes, knives, arrows, stones, bombs of all sizes, grenades, high and
low velocity bullets, handguns, rifles, AK-47, M-16, missiles, mortars,
drones and even nuclear bombs on big cities among high technology weapons.
Someone once asked me what is the best proof that other forms of intelligent
being live around us in the universe? Answer: they never contacted us!
Dr Olivier Meyer, Pattaya
A world citizen for peace
In the Vol. XII No.17 - Sunday August 25 - Saturday September 7, 2013 Online
edition of the CM Mail, you have an article about what to do in case you have a
I would like to commend the author and The Mail for this article. The
information contained within is vital for every foreigner whether they are
driving a car or a motorcycle. It was informative, direct and covered most of
the aspects we foreigners living here would worry about. I loved this article so
much I think this should be a regular feature with different aspects of the law
that foreigners and Thai alike should know. Of course it may be already and I
may just need to read The Mail more regularly. But, if not, I would make it one!
Thanks for the feedback, for those who may have missed it, it can be found here:
Annoying sales assistants
Can somebody please teach sales assistants that we really don’t need them to
follow us every step we take, nor do they need to make some comment on every
item looked at. Nor do they need to make “helpful” suggestions on what else we
may like to look at. I end up walking away, so they lose any chance of a sale,
because there is no place to go without a dozen assistants practically in my
I just get frustrated telling 10 or so assistants that I don’t want assistance.
Even when you tell them you do not need help, they still don’t go away and try
to help. I don’t want to be rude, but it is just so annoying.
I recently watched the new stand-up comedy show by “Nose” Udom where he touched
on this subject. I imagine you know who I’m talking about. He was asking why do
shop assistants have to be glued to his hip, and how annoying it is, so he ends
up leaving. With him being so well known and distinctive looking I can’t imagine
they would suspect him of being a shoplifter. Also, the audience was in stitches
nodding in agreement about the scenario.
If most Thai people find it incredibly frustrating to the point of walking away,
why are staff not being trained to ask if assistance is needed (and then step
back when told no need) then keep a watchful eye (for possible shoplifting or
required assistance)? That way they allow shoppers to shop in peace. You would
imagine staff trainers would teach their staff in how to respond to customers in
order to increase sales, not to have the customer walk away.
New in town
I am new in town (and Thailand). Can you suggest any good Thai restaurants and
pubs worth trying out in Chiang Mai? I also have an international driver’s
license. Can I use that to rent a long-term motorbike?
Chiang Mai is full of great Thai restaurants and while we tend to review more
western places in our Eating Out column on Page 13, we love Thai food too! A
really charming place with great Northern food is called Huen Muan Jai and it is
in the Santitham area, turn down the soi next to the Bangkok Bank on Huay Kaew
Road and cross over to the next road and go down a little bit. Pubs are all
over, it depends on what kind of atmosphere you are looking for. Perhaps some of
our regular readers can assist by writing in to [email protected] with
Finally, bike rental places rarely check that you even have a license much less
know how to drive when renting out a motorbike. However, it is best to have an
international motorcycle license when driving, or better yet, apply for a Thai
driver’s license if you have a long term visa. This will help protect you in
case of an accident.
Any readers who would like to offer suggestions please feel free to write in for
our newbie reader.
Beware the wheel clamp!
When Chiang Mai Traffic Police wheel clamped us for incorrect parking, they used
to stick a warning notice on the windscreen as well as the ‘fine form’ on the
Well on the 27th in soi 3, Nimmanhaemin, unwittingly parked on the wrong side
that day, I got the form on the driver’s window but not the warning. I glanced
at the front offside wheel, but seeing no clamp I began to turn to park on the
other side. Crunch crunch!
Happily there was no damage to my car, but the remains of the police padlock
cost 100b on top of the 500b fine. All I can say apart from this warning was the
policeman arrived promptly after calling him, and was smiling and friendly as he
took my cash!
Unfriendly petrol station
I have tended to avoid the Shell petrol station on Huay Kaew road, except when
parking there to use a restaurant across the road. All those restaurants have an
agreement for customers to park there. noToo often when buying petrol there some
years ago I was queue-jumped and got scowls not smiles. But on August 20th at
almost 6.00pm, something odd and interesting happened there.
A few hundred meters earlier in heavy traffic, while slowly passing Kad Suan
Kaew, a modern black 4 door Mazda made a crude attempt to cut me up. I was
having none of it, thanks mainly to my cheap and slightly scratched paint job,
and trundled along slowly ahead of him in the queue. I had not used the horn or
waved any fingers. It was so trivial I didn’t even give my usual slow, tired,
shake of the head.
But I noticed that he followed me, ignoring overtaking opportunities, and when I
indicated left to pull into the Shell station, he suddenly slowed and allowed
other cars to get between us. This was such a change from his previous pushy
style, I stayed alert.
In the forecourt I reversed into a vacant space, facing the pumps. A few seconds
later he did the same, parking 2 vehicles away, almost out of my sight. I stayed
in the car pretending to be on the phone, to watch and maybe learn.
This small, slim young person with a small excuse for a chin-fuzz beard, walked
steadily over to one of the pump attendants, glancing at me as he did so. The
two clearly knew each other as there were no greetings or preamble. Mr. Mazda
nodded in my direction, the pump attendant looked over, nodded his head and Mr.
M steadily returned to his car, looking again at me. He immediately drove out
(yes, I got his number, just in case) without doing any other business there.
To avoid even more scratches (or maybe 2 deflated tyres, or whatever?) I drove
out a few minutes later and found another parking spot nearby. To be fore-warned
is to be fore-armed, as they say.
Anyone else had any real or potential trouble there?