MAIL BAG [email protected]
Thank goodness for the rain!
The smoke this year was very bad, regardless of what our Governor seemed to
think from the report I read in the last issue. I must admit, his attitude
was quite a shock, to think that the awful smoke we had was “not too bad”.
It was bad. My son had terrible headaches and developed a respiratory
infection from the smoke; if the rains hadn’t started when they did I was
planning on taking him out of school and leaving the area.
I bought heavy duty masks for all of my family to wear but honestly, it
didn’t really help that much and my young son cried when we put it on, he
didn’t like the feeling of wearing it but then he developed the infection
and we had to make him wear it more. If the governor had seen my young son
crying and coughing – or any one of the many children that fell ill then, he
would have not made such a callous and unthinking comment to the reporter to
take his mask off because it didn’t look good!
I hope that if our governor is still around next year (they don’t seem to
last very long here) that he will reconsider his policy on reporting on the
smoke. To try and sweep it under the rug is a very bad sign to me, it makes
me think the government is not serious about solving this very big problem
in Chiang Mai.
Coughing in Chiang Mai
I am looking for a really good hardware store, not Home Pro which seems to be a
lot of décor and bathroom fixtures but a proper hardware store with nuts and
bolts, screws and washers, all the miscellaneous things that seem so hard to
find. I would also like to buy blackboard paint for my daughter’s bedroom so she
can have a chalkboard she can write on. Someone suggested black matte paint but
that is not the same thing and requires washing. It is not what I am looking
Can anyone suggest the best place for these things or do I really have to drive
all over Chiang Mai to find everything I need at every little shop?
Need some advice
Dear Need some advice,
I understand there is a big hardware store out on the second ring road named
Global House that many have recommended but I have not been there myself so
can’t say either way. Perhaps our readers would be willing to write in for good
suggestions to let you know. [email protected] as always.
Unlike many other long term expats that live here I don’t actually hate
Songkran. I even go out and play for a day but for me, one day is enough.
However I don’t begrudge everyone else their water splashing fun but this year
some people started throwing water at Tha Pae Gate on the 10th, the Thursday
before. As I ride a motorbike, this put going to the other side of town out for
me. People, especially tourists, don’t seem to be aware that throwing water in
the face of someone riding a motorbike is very dangerous for that person, even
worse, ice water.
It would be nice if the police did something about this for the safety of all
involved but I guess they don’t do that kind of enforcing. The only thing I ever
see them enforcing are the regular helmet checks and license checks when they
set up checkpoints.
Anyway, I think Songkran is fun but it is sad to see a bunch of drunken bullies
take it over and ruin it for everyone else.
My song about Chiang Mai
This song was composed by me, an expat farang who resides and works in Chiang
Mai PatRick Kennedy. The song is performed by local ex pats and vision is of
The song has already been featured on TV in Bangkok and has many hits on YouTube
since its release a few months ago.
Too much Songkran
Songkran this year was quite odd. Firstly people were throwing water well after
dark and parties took place at night. I do not think much of this trend, when I
go out at night I want to stay dry. In years past, including as recently as last
year, this was not the case and it was safe to go out after dark. This year I
was on Nimmanhaemin at 6:30 and it was filled with cars and trucks, presumably
headed home, but with people in the back still throwing water at people on the
streets. Indeed there were people on the streets throwing water back. A simple
“Mai ow” would suffice when walking past those on the street but of course those
in the trucks were simply too far away or perhaps too far gone to hear or care
and so they would spray passersby, even dry ones, with water. Really, all quite
too much for my taste.
Then there are the people, tourists usually, who delight in spraying people in
the face. I had my camera out and one took specific aim at my camera to get it
wet. I cannot imagine that if the shoe were on the other foot that this person
would be thrilled to have someone try to destroy their camera. Luckily my camera
was well protected but it is a far cry from the Thai people who see the camera
and try to avoid it. Or if they don’t see the camera and splash it then
apologize once they realize what they have done. As for those who delight in
spraying others in the face, often with high powered guns and/or ice water,
whilst playing in the water is fine, this is really quite rude and someone can
easily get hurt. I have no idea why it is always the tourists who behave this
way, and I must add I saw no Chinese tourists behaving this way. Although a few
were far too scantily clad for local tastes and some Western men strolling
around Tha Pae in their swimming suits (bikinis at that) were also a bit too
much, this to me is simply ignorance whilst spraying people in the eyes is just
Finally, what happened to the Huay Kaew area? I have to wonder if the police
cracked down on the big stages at Kad Suan Kaew and Discovery night club since
there was no stage present at Kad Suan Kaew and the stage at Discovery was half
the size of usual. Additionally, the road remained fully open to through
traffic, unlike in years past when it was filled with dancing, wet people. I can
only assume this is a new policy to keep traffic moving somewhat and that the
Huay Kaew area will no longer be allowed to be closed off. I wandered down the
Maya and whilst it was quite fun to go stand in the fountain, and they did have
a nice stage, it was still not on a scale of previous years at KSK and
Discovery. Actually, it was a little disappointing. I refuse to attend the
festivities at Tha Pae Gate, too many drunken louts for my taste, so perhaps
next year I will search around for some place new.
Enough with night time Songkran