Answers to past mail
Re: Vegetarian Restaurants: If you want excellent vegetarian food, the good news is that there are literally over a thousand places to get it in Pattaya.
The catch is that you can’t limit yourself to sit-down restaurants, and you need to learn to speak some Thai. Food stands are everywhere. The food is cheap, quick, healthy,
and there are very many delicious vegetarian choices. You need to find a Thai who can help you order; or better yet, find a translation book that lists common Thai food,
because the people who make the food rarely speak English. Every time you get something you like, write it down so you don’t forget how to order it next time. If you
don’t want MSG, say “my ow cho-root”. Sugar is “nahm-tahn”. I mention this only because I know that MSG and sugar are common ingredients in Thai food that hardcore
vegetarians want to avoid. To avoid spicy, say “my phet”. On your first trip to a food stand where you see vegetables in a glass case, order “phat pahk roo-am mit”
(fried mixed vegetables) served over rice (khow). Maybe somebody could write an article listing 20 or so favorite Thai vegetarian dishes and how to order them.
Re: No Alcohol on election day: I can’t believe all the hoopla surrounding this issue. Anyone who feels inconvenienced by a day without an alcoholic
beverage in a bar, the phone numbers for Alcoholics Anonymous are 251-420 and 411-877. On a serious note, AA does have an excellent program, and you will learn more about
yourself, make new friends, and be enriched by the experience. Go to just one meeting, even if you don’t believe you have an alcohol problem. You have nothing to lose, but
I’m not sure if they allow alcoholic beverages in meetings.
Re: Comment by a Thai DJ at a disco that it is better to go with a Thai man than a farang: I forgot the exact Thai expression used, and it was from a
letter to the mailbag several months back from a foreigner who interpreted the comment as animosity by Thais towards foreigners. If I had been at the disco that evening and
heard that comment, I would not have interpreted it as animosity, but as the DJ suggesting to the Thai ladies present in a polite way not to prostitute themselves. Am I
The Thai Language
I am retired and like many other farangs spend about half of the year in Pattaya. My impression is that most of us accommodate well to living here, and
contribute significantly to the town’s prosperity.
In one respect, however, the farangs (in my view) fail somewhat. Among the thirty or so whom I know hardly any would claim anything more than the barest
smattering of the Thai language. Virtually the whole burden of communication falls on the Thais, who must learn English. Of course, English is as difficult for them as Thai
is for us.
I think farangs who live here for long periods should be actively encouraged to acquire the language of the local people. The European Union has made 2001
“The European Year of Languages” in order to promote this kind of initiative: it would be wonderful if the movement found a response in the expatriate community here.
In some countries (the Baltic states, for example), authorisation for some types of long-term stay depends on resident foreigners passing a simple local
language test. I think this practice might usefully be considered here. Another method of promoting Thai might be through mildly differentiated charges for visa extensions,
favouring farangs who have genuinely tried to integrate linguistically into the rich Thai culture.
Something really needs to be done to correct the present imbalance.
Anti gay festival
I hope that all authorities and tourist organizations in Pattaya will ban a gay festival here. In the last 2-3 years Pattaya has been able again to attract
family tourists plus a very significant number of fairs and conventions.
A gay festival can easily be held in Sydney, Paris, etc., but such an event in Pattaya will only be covered by the media to present the worst of this city.
You can be sure to see pictures of an old Australian hand in hand with a Thai boy looking not older than 14, even if he may be 17-18 years old. You will
read about the gay live shows probably with good selling pictures. The very young boys on Beach Road aggressively trying to catch every man without a female companion will be
a big story.
There will be no reason for any newspaper, magazine or television to cover such a festival in Pattaya if they cannot ‘sell’ it. So whatever kind of gay
festival in Pattaya, the media will only focus on events that will turn families with children to look for another destination.
And I am sure that many organizations and companies will think twice before booking conventions or fairs in Pattaya in the future.
It will be a big setback for all the works of profiling Pattaya. Not specific because it is a gay festival - a pornographic fair, etc., would do the same
harm. So please let other cities take care of such festivals in the future.
Having fun in Pattaya
After being recommended to buy your newspaper whilst on my holidays in Pattaya I would like to thank you for providing an excellent read for newcomers. We
stayed in the Royal Garden Resort which was very central and spent our time around the streets and not stretched out by the pool, as many other Brits seem to do. We ate at your
highly recommended Shenanigans (excellent for those I only like English Food Types). The meal was very good but we tried to eat at a different place each morning and evening.
We ate from the street stalls and seafront cafes and we tried to stick to the local menus. This was great fun. Noodles, rice, green curry soups, crispy duck, etc. Everything we
were served was clean and freshly cooked and we never suffered a hint of tummy troubles. It was great fun and I would recommend a stay in Pattaya to anyone. It was busy yet
tranquil, a great place to people watch.
Positive plug for Pattaya
My elderly but young at heart parents just made their first visit to Pattaya from London to visit me in my new home.
They were a little nervous after some of the bad press Pattaya had received in England’s tabloid ‘gutter’ press, but having been previously enticed to
visit me in Los Angeles amidst rumors of earthquakes, gang shootouts, mudslides, bushfires and riots they were persuaded to come to my new work place to visit their son.
They had a fantastic 10 days. They had nothing but positive memories to take back to London and will in my dads words ‘be back for more’. As my dad said,
Pattaya has something for everyone, and they were pleasantly surprised by what they found.
A special mention should go to the staff at the Amari Orchid Resort who were more than helpful, patient, all in all an excellent hotel and place to stay.
Also Shenanigans, Kim, Robbo and all of the staff treated my mum and dad like royalty. My dad couldn’t believe they all remembered his name as he had trouble
All in all, anybody working here and thinking of inviting family over for a visit, my advice is: go for it, they will be forever in your debt.
I, too, receive magazines through the post, and almost invariably the wrapping has been opened, and in some cases destroyed to a point where the postman places
the magazines in a postal sack to keep then together. My friend who sends the magazines has improved the standard of wrapping, but in vain, as they still arrive “opened”.
If this is the Royal Thai Customs who open the packages to check for contraband, then I would expect a sticker saying “Opened for Customs Inspection”. As
there is no such sticker, then I can only suppose that the postal official opens the package to see if the magazines are worth reading. Before someone at CAT shouts
“defamation”, let me ask what other explanation there is? Perhaps David Richardson’s Aviation and Space magazines have caught someone’s fancy?
I suggest he take the matter up firstly with the magazine supplier, and then with the Post Master, General Post Office, New Road, Bangkok. In my experience they
are very helpful.
Secondly, use a PO Box rather than delivery to a house.
Stand up and be counted
A terrible thing has happened in Pattaya City. An Australian man, Annoyed Aussie, wrote an open letter to the Mayor of Pattaya stating his personal opinion that
alcohol consumption in Pattaya bars should be allowed on election days. Isn’t that awful? How dare he! Then to make matters worse, an expat American, Dennis Bird, got his
feathers ruffled and chirped up, calling him a “shortsighted ugly Aussie” for having the nerve and audacity to state an opinion. There was support for Bird’s view from
Frequent Farang and John D Blyth. Frequent Farang apparently is quite happy to sit at home on election night with his knitting. John D Blyth is content to forego his usual glass of
sweet sherry on election day, and to sip a glass of orange juice instead. For an Australian male, having an ice cold beer is as important as an American having his daily,
nutritious breakfast of bacon, hash browns and pancakes drowning in maple syrup.
For those expats now living in Pattaya, staying at home on election night may well suit your simple needs but for a hot, thirsty Aussie on a short holiday,
sitting in a dry bar is anything but enjoyable. Annoyed Aussie may well have been able to consume alcoholic beverage at any number of bars that flouted the alcohol restriction laws
and served booze on election day. Some bars served alcohol in a number of enterprising ways to try and fool the authorities. For an Aussie to drink beer from a soft drink glass
hidden inside a styrofoam bottle cooler or out of a tea cup is as bad as drinking lukewarm English beer, or flat lifeless American beer. Annoyed Aussie chose instead to voice his
opinion and to perhaps generate enough ground swell to change a ridiculous law.
In a recent edition of the Pattaya Mail “letters to the editor”, Peter A from the UK questioned the justification of Thai laws that regulate the drinking
behaviour for Thai citizens on election day. He obviously has some concern for the rights of the Thai people.
For those expats who are happy to sit in their rocking chairs and say that “this is Thailand” and/or “love it or leave it,” may you rock yourselves into
a happy oblivion. For people like Annoyed Aussie and Peter A, who are prepared to stand up and challenge outdated draconian laws, I salute you.
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