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Vol. XIII No.17 - Sunday August 24, 2014 - Saturday September 6, 2014


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MAIL BAG  [email protected]
 

So much space between cars

Dear Editor,
I realize that it is not safe for cars to stop bumper to bumper at a traffic light and that a bit of distance between one’s vehicle and the one in front is a good idea. In fact it is one I practice myself. If someone were to hit me from behind then I may not hit the car in front of me or if I do not quite so hard.
However what I fail to fathom is why some drivers stop a full car length behind the car in front. There is no earthly reason for this and by doing so they slow traffic down considerably. It is already difficult enough to get through some junctions as cars are so slow to move forward and the traffic lights seem not quite long enough to actually move traffic. Add into that incredible distances between stopped cars and it is no surprise that sometimes only 6 -7 cars can get through the junction before the light changes.
I am attaching a photo of one such unnecessarily large gap. I hope that drivers will start paying attention to the road and to other drivers around them and realize that this kind of behavior is counterproductive to traffic actually moving along in a reasonable manner.
Signed,
Frustrated at junctions


Songthaews

Dear Editor,
Thank you for your report on the new songthaew routes, I saw one today that had the sign for Central Festival prominently displayed along with the price on the side of the truck. He had people in the back but not many I must confess.
In fact, I was a bit stunned to learn from your report that there were so many songthaews. While they are certainly everywhere I guess I just never realized they were in the thousands! How can any of them make a living wage with so much competition? So often you see them empty just driving aimlessly around the city, not just blocking traffic but putting others in danger with their sudden swerves into the left hand lane in the hopes of snagging customers or even more dangerous sudden stops for customers.
I rarely see more than a 5 or 6 people in a songthaew and more often than not, they are empty. It seems to me that we could do with a big cutback in these polluters. I agree with the routes, I think it is a great idea and think that this could work as a public transport system. I understand that these are people with jobs and livelihoods but again, can’t see how they actually earn very much money given their expenses.
Perhaps the Transportation Department (since I read in your publication , the Mayor has no authority over the) could consider retraining some of the drivers and retiring the old polluting trucks.
Signed
More than enough songthaews


Beware the puddles

Dear Editor,
I would like to remind all drivers to beware the large puddles on the sides of the roads after heavy rains this rainy season. I am often walking, and in fact, prefer to walk finding that it is often faster than traveling in a vehicle at rush hour. However, one downfall to those of us on foot are the large puddles on the sides of the roads that many cars and motorcycles drive through splashing everyone around them.
I am writing in to ask drivers to have a care when they drive, pay attention to the pavements and if there is a pedestrian to slow down enough that you don’t soak the poor soul on the side of the road. It is a small thing and won’t delay your journey that much but will make someone else’s life just that much better.
Signed
Wet trousers are not fun


Questions for the Mayor of Chiang Mai and the current government

Dear Editor,
I read your interview with Mayor Tussanai Buranupakorn with interest and would ask that you forward a few of my own on to him if possible.
In the recent past there were many neon signs that went up all around the city. Many of us foreigners were actually not so happy to see these. We are quite happy with the ancient feel of Lanna/Chiang Mai, the 700-year old Rose of the North. What is being done to help preserve some of the ancient feel and history of the city? I believe many people hope it can retain its quaint character and small-town feel.
Also, in recent years, Chiang Mai had grown to be a city with a reputation that was great for foreigners who were artists, writers, and web developers to come and live, while earning their livings from online overseas sources. This fact was even written up in a New York Times article which gave a very favorable view of Chiang Mai life and the accepting wonderful ways of Thailand.
However, it has recently been announced from central government that old laws governing visas and restrictions on foreigners working in Thailand will start to be strictly enforced. I understand these are the laws and do not wish to break them. What I do wish to say is that I wish there were an easy way for foreigners who freelance and work remotely online – the way of the future for many – could obtain a visa and work permit, pay taxes, and continue making a living here. So many of us love Chiang Mai, and with our foreign incomes you have to imagine that there were probably 500 foreigners in town earning and spending approximately 22 million baht (45,000 baht/ea) per month. This is probably a conservative guess. I know that since the crackdown announcement was made, easily 100+ people have left, with many hundreds more planning to live elsewhere in SE Asia by the end of August. I believe this is a loss for everyone.
Please, if there is a way, do pass along some input of the potential for Chiang Mai and Thailand to update the laws, finding a way for people like this to live here legally, pay their taxes, and contribute to Prathet Thai. Earning a living through online resources is the way of the future, and a way for Thailand to show leadership and benefit from this lifestyle change.
Thank you,
A concerned resident of Chiang Mai


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

So much space between cars

Songthaews

Beware the puddles

Questions for the Mayor of Chiang Mai and the current government

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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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