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Vol. XIII No.16 - Sunday August 10, 2014 - Saturday August 23, 2014


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MAIL BAG  [email protected]
 

Crackdown on intersections

Dear Editor,
Well, I hate to admit it, but I was probably among the first to get written up at the start of the recent crackdown on traffic violations. With my license in my wallet and always a proper helmet, I had all but ignored the warnings about the crackdown, imagining that it hardly applied to me. If anything, I was looking forward to others (i.e., car drivers) getting caught and some order being put to the traffic flow of major intersections like San Dek and Rin Kham.
So you can imagine my surprise at being ticketed on Tuesday two weeks ago! I drive a Honda Wave and drove as I normally do, heading up Huay Kaew towards Nimman. It was just after 1 pm on a Tuesday. I wove past the cars stacked up at the light and maneuvered my way to the front as usual to wait for the light to turn green. I had been there at the front of the cars, somewhere about a foot into the crosswalk (which nary a soul ever uses), for only about 30 seconds before being motioned to advance to the corner and have a word with a policeman. Innocently imagining my helmet and license meant I could be found to have committed no wrong, I pulled over to find out what the matter was. It turns out my choice of stopping was in violation of the “behind the white line law” – a violation that I do know exists. So technically I know I can’t gripe about my 400 baht fine, which I was later relieved of at the station over by Warorot Market.
I do, however, have some misgivings. The crackdown, intended to put people into line and ease traffic congestion/unruliness, seems hardly affected by people like me being pulled over. In fact, that line at the intersection is easily 10m back of the actual corner – odd to set the line so far back like that. It’s also quite hard to breathe when waiting in line surrounded by cars on all sides, so it’s quite normal for motorcyclists to crave the “clean” air at the front of the line.
In any case, I was a bit upset to see several other people do just as I and another had done, and not get pulled over and ticketed while I was being written up. I was also sad to see the usual number of cars running the red lights and blocking the flow of the next side’s chance to cross the intersection on their green light. These people who foul up the flow of traffic are quite greedy in my eyes, and no doubt they take it when they can, as everyone else has done it to them before when the other sides had their turn. This is a real place I’d like to see the focus being put on efforts – the red light runners.
As it has now been two weeks since my ticketing now I’ll add two last bits. One, it seems a great revenue generator, as when I went to pay and collect my license at the station around 8 pm that night, there were about 12 rolls of violation receipts rolled up and numbered by case numbers. I conservatively put the rolls at 80 tickets each, though some clearly had over 100 per roll based on the issue numbers. My ticket, not the most expensive at 400B, still gives a quick calculation of 384,000 baht. Sure, I might have seen rolls of tickets from a previous day, but I don’t think so. Anyway, I noted it’s certainly a hefty little cash generator. Second, since the crackdown has been in effect, I do actually notice not just motorcycles stopping behind the lines on all sides, but even cars as well. In fact, I did see a car getting ticketed from the middle island beside Maya last week for being over the line of this often used crosswalk. I was a little happy to see that it’s not just motorcycles being picked on. I’ll be quite curious to see what kind of payoff this has for drivers in the future. For now, we know where the immediate benefits are flowing first.
Signed
Ticketed driver


Dog poisonings in Mae Rim

Dear Editor,
I found 3 abandoned dogs near my house in Mae Rim in February of 2012. I would visit them every day to feed them, took them to the vet to get their shots and after a week of nobody claiming them, I took them home and tried to find homes for them.
I ended up keeping all 3 and fell in love with them. It took a lot of doctor’s visits to nurse them back to health as they’d suffered malnutrition from a young age. It also seemed that one had some sort of accident, maybe hit by a car, as her stomach was inflated with water on one occasion requiring emergency care. Anyway, she completely recovered but was always the most delicate of the 3.
Because I found them in my neighbourhood, they always wanted to leave the house to go exploring every afternoon. Our house is fenced in, but they managed to dig their way out and even climb fences. They would always just do a big lap and come home.
On Boxing day 2012, they escaped for one of their usual gallivants, but one walked back into the house and dropped dead, foaming at the mouth with bloodshot eyes. The other 2 were nowhere to be seen, so with all my house guests we went on a search mission. Another casually walked home, but we never found the third. We plastered the neighbourhood with her photo, visited neighbours. It turns out that that week about a dozen dogs were poisoned. I rushed the one dog left to the vet that day to make sure she was fine, and she was. He confirmed that the dog that the symptoms of the dog that had died were result of poisoning. Some neighbours think it was the “Aw-Boh-Taw” (editor’s note: Tambon Administrative Organization) but we have no proof. We can’t imagine it was anyone in the neighbourhood because it’s a very friendly neighbourhood and practically every house has dogs, with most of them being on the streets.
Recently, more dogs have been poisoned, one belonging to a neighbor, a very friendly good natured dog that is well-liked in the area. Another dog was killed the next day in Pongyang.
We are hoping to bring attention to this issue, this is dangerous not only for pets but for children as well and whomever is doing the poisoning is being not only callous but highly irresponsible and everyone in the neighbourhood is calling for an immediate stop to the poisonings.
Signed,
Concerned Mae Rim Resident
 


Stingy Chinese tourists

Dear CMM,
How stingy can you get?
I have been shocked to see many Mainland Chinese tourists here in Chiang Mai take photos in very inappropriate situations. In the walking streets, groups of them crowd round interesting stalls, completely blocking them form potential real customers. They slowly take lots of pictures of the goods on display, buy nothing, then move on to the next one.
Even worse, they often take intrusive close-up photos of the beggers, disabled street performers and so on, but without ever giving a tip. This is the height of meaness.
How sad that such horrible stingy tourists come to Chiang Mai, and in such numbers.
From
Disgusted of CM


Disappointing food choices at the new Maya mall

Dear Editor,
For a year, watched the building of The Maya Lifestyle Center from my condo window, and was so looking forward to some great new places to eat. mean, as the Nimmanhaemin area has so many Condos and Western expats whom I imagine would support local restaurants, instead of having to go to the other side of town, I envisioned this new Lifestyle Center would have a New York Pizza and Pasta, a Mexican Grill, an Au Bon Pain, Irish Exchange, Riverside at the Maya, Outback Steakhouse, Rang Mahal, or even a Whole Earth.
I was so excited when the outside video panel went up in November ’13, but the plaza was postponed until latter January. Now, in my second year of waiting for great food, I’m still waiting. Not a single Western venue, not even pizza. No Italian, Mexican, Indian, American, Austrailian, not even a white meat chicken curry. Great place for Japanese and Fried Thai, but I don’t eat Japanese or fried, and so I don’t go to the theater, or spend any time shopping around, although I occasionally go to the small, after-thought, basement Rim Ping market if I have too. Much prefer the Rim Ping at Mee Chok Plaza.
Nimmanhaemin boasts of being an extraordinary restaurant district; however, in two years, having visited more than twenty in this neighborhood, only found 2 that I would return to.
I’ve heard that Kad Suan Kaew is planning a remodel, and maybe will attract a few lifestyle restaurants for local expats and tourists, so perhaps another year or two, and I won’t have to travel across town for a shopping, theater, eating experience.
My favorite Chiang Mai restaurants: Whole Earth, Riverside, The Teak, The House, Dukes, Taj Mahal, Sizzler. My favorite food: Massaman (white meat) chicken curry.
V Panetta
 


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Crackdown on intersections

Dog poisonings in Mae Rim

Stingy Chinese tourists

Disappointing food choices at the new Maya mall

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Note: Letters printed herein in no way reflect the opinions of the editors or writers for Chiang Mai Mail, but are unsolicited letters from our readers, expressing their own opinions. No anonymous letters or those without genuine addresses are printed, and, whilst we do not object to the use of a nom de plume, preference will be given to those signed.
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