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Pattaya’s cinemas: cheap, comfortable - and adventuresome

How many days outside the UK

Whinging Westerners

Pattaya, Prohibition and Pairat

Insulted by Nazi flag

Not all Australians the same

Motorcycle Passenger Safety

Pattaya’s cinemas: cheap, comfortable - and adventuresome


Pattaya is blessed with two enjoyable and comfortable movie cinemas, located at the Royal Garden (2 screens) and the Big “C” Mall (4 screens). I offer some simple observations to compliment your movie choice. Please note the following:

1. Pre-viewing Music: If you can call it ‘music’. Be prepared for European Techno-pop. Thus labeled as it is guaranteed to ‘pop’ your eardrums at a decimal level previously only noted at Hiroshima in the mid-40’s and Who concerts in the 60’s. Memorizing the words is no challenge, as the maximum word choice of 4 to 5 will be repeated in your sleep for the following week.

2. AC Alert: After a day in the unrelenting sun of Pattaya, your skin will demonstrate ‘goose pimples’, a term that will ensure hours of explanation to your local maiden date. With the current shortage on female garment fabrics - highly visible on Walking Street, it will be advantageous to bring along something short of an Alaskan parka.

3. Seating Arrangements: I once chose my seat based on my viewing pleasure. Ignore that. If you choose to sit in the front 5 rows of either theater, consider viewing the world though a Nikon fish lenses attachment. Same effect. Should you prefer an aisle seat, be prepared to be catapulted into the first 5 rows when a patron in the aisle behind you exits early. A stabilizing clutch on your seat back creates a slingshot effect. Then we’re back to the fish lens analogy. If you choose to exit early or visit the food service while the film is being fixed for your continual viewing, please exit via the back row. This seems a simple procedure but most patrons seated in seat #25 will traverse the entire row.... “excuse me, excuse me, excuse me”.

4. No Pets: Fear not, vacationing Ex-Pats and weekend warriors. This is not a morality call against the behavior of you and your new girlfriend. The epidemic enormity of small rats disguised as dogs in Thailand is upon us. Malls, supermarkets, all forms of transport are victims of these rabid rabbits. They do not enjoy the movies nor do they understand the dialogue. Even the written translation is of no regard.

5. No Mobiles: It is congratulatory and even recommended etiquette that after two rings of a mobile phone in the theater, all patrons must launch a handful of popcorn in the direction of the annoyance. A second offense welcomes the projectile of a handful of ice. Should you prefer a dry hand in this matter, simply throw the entire cup and graciously acknowledge the applause.

6. Murmurings: Whereas English may be the common dominator for most of the couples in the theater, expect these moments of exchange. Either one is asking for explanation or offering explanation - or in the recent case of “Unbreakable”, the silence is generally regarded as no one’s ability to explain what’s going on!

7. Children: The aisles seem to be designated playground areas if the parent prefers to view the movie in quiet tranquility, you know: out of sight, out of mind. Simply seek and identify the parents and proceed with the proper etiquette described for mobile interruptions.

The theaters are clean, comfortable and quite affordable. In America, the general ticket is $6-7.00, or Baht 300+. If the movie is shown in its entirety without a break, feel thankful rather than voice your anger for the breakdown. Mai pen rai. And starting times? Do not be fooled. Sometimes the 20:00 starting time does include the previews. Sometimes not.

One quick warning: the steps to and from your seats are designed to literally keep you on your toes. Improper lighting and matching carpet patterns - call it the perfect camouflage or protective adaptation to preserve the species - may fool your eyes for the time needed for visible adjustment but for your further amusement, the length and width of the steps are also varied.

So now sit back and enjoy.

Note to the Kingdom - it is possible to have English subtitles for Thai movies?

Scott D. Miller

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How many days outside the UK

Dear Sirs,

I read with interest your letters. I have recently looked into being a UK non-resident. The following is taken from tax booklet IR 20 (you can find a copy of this booklet on the net): “...have totalled less than 183 days in any tax year and have averaged less than 91 days in a tax year, the average is the total over 4 tax years...”

I have spoken to the Inland Revenue office at Bootle previously to clarify what I have read, which they did.


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Whinging Westerners

Dear Sir,

I read the “Open Letter to the Mayor of Pattaya” in your 7 to the 11 January 2001 edition and would like to comment as follows:

I, by choice, live and work in Hong Kong, and have done so for over five years.

I, by choice, visit Thailand for my holidays in Bangkok and Pattaya, and have done so for many years because I like the places, the lifestyle, the entertainment, etc.

I, by choice, am considering retiring to Pattaya in a few years time, and if I do, I hope I do not end up as unhappy and impolite as the author of the aforementioned letter, who was obviously forced to leave his own country and made to live in Thailand, with its wonderful weather and cheap cost of living, all against his will.

I have, on this holiday, been absolutely embarrassed and appalled by the arrogance, conceit, patronising attitudes, selfishness, whinging and inconsiderate behaviour shown by so many Westerners towards the Thai people. Yet the Thais still seem to be able to smile - that is AMAZING.

Yours faithfully,
C. Denis Bate

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Pattaya, Prohibition and Pairat

Dear Pairat Sutthithamrongsawat, Mayor of Pattaya,

I am a tourist to Pattaya and I and my brother and sister tourists pay your wages - for without us, Pattaya will revert to the sleepy fishing village it once was. As tourists we come here to enjoy ourselves in your wonderful climate and partake of the famous Thai hospitality. We do not come here to experience 1930’s style prohibition, sneaking from bar to bar looking for an illicit drink. We come here on holidays!

We can (almost) understand your desire to have the voting populace sober on election day, so you close the bars, but we tourists are not entitled to vote in your elections, so why are we penalised? Looking around Shenanigans Pub (when it is allowed to be open) I see many of us tourists, but not many “eligible to vote” local Thai nationals.

Of course, the locals can stock up beforehand on beer, wine and spirits to tide them over the prohibition - or did nobody think of that in the election control committees? But we tourists are not warned to take alcohol to Thailand, just in case the country is having another of its many elections, local as well as national, I am told.

Mr. Mayor, you may choose to ignore this letter (the easy way out), or you can show your real worth to the citizens of Pattaya by standing up and fighting for the rights of the tourists - the people who keep Pattaya’s economy going! The people who financially support your administration. The people who pay your salary so you can go and have a drink - even if we can’t.

Annoyed Aussie

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Insulted by Nazi flag

Dear Editor,

I bring to your attention the photo that I took this afternoon of the Nazi flag taken at the market in Soi Thepprasit, and feel that it is indeed an insult to many people.

Name withheld by request

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Not all Australians the same

Dear Sir/Madam,

Whilst reading your lovely newspaper, Vol. IX No 1, I came across the letter “No protection from robbery for Thai workers” and, with utter disgust found that it was written by an Australian.

In his opening paragraph he states; “After a meal at a major Pattaya hotel, I asked for the bill, and while checking it, made a joke about the 10% service charge to the waiter by saying: ‘Such an amount should double your salary, no?’ and noticed that he seemed embarrassed.”

From reading and noting where the writer comes from I would say he hasn’t had to work for a living. What a way to put an employed person into an embarrassing situation, treating them like a second rate citizen saying how low there wages are to their face like that. I would have unloaded his food into his lap and responded by saying at least I am happy with my life and walked away.

Please don’t associate the rest of us Australians with him.

Jim, Canberra Australia

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Motorcycle Passenger Safety


There are many thousands of motorcycle “taxis” in Pattaya. I notice that all the riders who own these machines wear safety helmets, but I have never seen a paying passenger wearing or being offered one.

For safety reasons the city authorities should legislate to make it compulsory that a paying passenger should also be given a helmet.

On a coach journey to Rayong I noticed on the route that all motorcycle taxis had two helmets.

City authorities - the streets of Pattaya are dangerous enough as they are - please ensure that passengers are properly protected - you are the only authority that can legislate.

An Accident Victim

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