Mortified by 90
A naughty lady in tears walked into
the family bank in Thailand clutching her husband’s will which specified
she would inherit a great deal of cash on his expiry. She explained her
beloved had died in a terrible car accident two weeks ago and thus she
needed access to his cash to dispose humanly of the remains. But the
authorities, on checking local immigration police records, discovered he
had completed his 90 days report in person only the day before.
Cry for Mama and Papa
Hundreds more 24-hour convenience
stores will be opening in Thailand over the next couple of years. When
they were first mooted 20-odd years ago, critics said they should be
banned as they would bankrupt the many corner shops and stores run by
local families. You never hear those arguments put forward these days.
Time waits for no man, not even a Papa or Mama.
News that a Syrian guy was arrested
with a five years’ overstay last month prompted a lot of discussion to
find the longest-known example of this particular crime. Apparently,
that honour belongs to an American guy who was finally discovered with
an overstay of 14 years in the 1990s. The surprise is that when he was
deported, he did not have to pay any fine or suffer any jail time. Mind
you, he was in a pine box.
Pattaya needs government help to
solve the city’s annual struggle to prevent flash flooding. A
comprehensive project would involve dredging, new pipes, many more pumps
and a large reservoir downtown to store 11 cubic meters of water. The
cost would be a miserly 665 million baht. Cynics rule out such a grant,
but others argue that the government’s flagship Eastern Economic
Corridor (EEC) is being seriously compromised by Pattaya’s inability to
keep the water bursts at bay during the rainy season. Money talks, as
Fish and Chips
They are gonna be off the menu real
soon if a group of scientists are to be believed. They say that rising
sea temperatures and global warming are reducing the amount of oxygen in
the water, thus threatening the bigger fish such as cod and haddock.
Incidentally a reader asks what was the first fish and chip shop in
Pattaya. It was called Toby’s and opened in Soi Yamoto, next to Soi Post
Office, in 1995. Lasted about a year.
Points and Prizes
It was announced last year that
driving offences - including drunken driving, illegal parking and
speeding - would carry specified penalty points which would potentially
mean the loss of your licence or refusal by insurers to carry your risk
any more. But, to date, the nitty-gritty detail of such a scheme has not
been sorted out. One of the problems is that foreign drivers in Thailand
often spend only short periods of time here before leaving. This can
make it difficult to contact them.
One year visas issued by Thai
embassies abroad now require health insurance. But one reader points out
that the floor limit of 400,000 baht for in-patient treatment won’t
cover any serious operations or invasive surgery. So, if the total, bill
is 2 million baht, who pays the outstanding 1,600,000 baht? One assumes
the answer is the hospital patient. There is a host of unresolved issues
about medical cover which need addressing if Thai authorities ever
contemplate compulsory insurance for the bulk of the expat population.
A leading Scrabble player in
Thailand has been discovered cheating. Apparently he hid a “P” up his
sleeve and had a high-scoring letter concealed under his foot on the
floor. But the good news is that the word “farang” is now officially
acceptable when you are scratching your head for a six letter word. 15
years ago, Scrabble was popular in the English-speaking bars in South
Pattaya but you would be hard-pressed these days to find a game. Sign of
Here’s the latest scam, or one of
them. A guy sits down for a drink and another guy joins him, claiming to
be the manager or the owner of the club or whatever establishment. They
engage in chat with several more drinks and the first guy prepares to
leave. So the second guy says he will take the first guy’s credit card
and process it “to save you the trouble” as a customer service. Of
course, the victim may never see his card again or, if he does, it will
have been cloned.
Thoughts for the Week
The theme today is War. “War is
God’s way of teaching Americans geography,” (Mrs Barbara Bush). “Our
bombs are smarter than the average high school student. At least, they
can find Baghdad,” (Pentagon official). “War is delightful to those who
have no experience of it,” (Erasmus).