Vol. XI No. 37
Friday September 12 - September 18 , 2003

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Family Money

Snap Shots

Modern Medicine

Heart to Heart with Hillary

A Slice of Thai History

Personal Directions

Social Commentary by Khai Khem

Women’s World

Family Money: Know Thy Client

By Leslie Wright,
Managing director of Westminster Portfolio Services (Thailand) Ltd.

Each investor is an individual, and no two are ever quite the same. That’s one of the factors that make the financial services industry so fascinating.

Fundamentally, the financial services business is founded upon relationships. Even those investors who do it all themselves may still have to deal with a disembodied voice on the telephone 10,000 miles away, or someone on the other end of a computer network.

Many investors prefer the personal approach, and want to deal with a personal financial adviser, or portfolio manager. But before that client will do business with him, the adviser will have had to establish a certain level of trust and rapport with the client.

Get-rich-quick merchants

Sadly, many financial advisers are concerned not with giving their clients “best advice”, but only how much money they can make for themselves in the immediate short term. Also, many financial advisers try to sell ‘one-size-fits-all’ investments, which may be inappropriate to that particular client’s needs & circumstances.

Similarly, few IFA’s are prepared to put in the time and effort necessary to building a long-term relationship with their clients once the initial sale is made, and provide the level of service required to keep a client “loyal”.

In the initial stages, and in order to provide ongoing best advice, a financial adviser has to understand as much as he can about his clients’ circumstances and financial aspirations. So a detailed fact-find should be conducted in their first meeting, from which the adviser should formulate appropriate recommendations.

These would typically be presented to the client in a second meeting, rather than pulling out a glossy brochure and “selling” the client during the first meeting what might turn out to be an inappropriate investment. All too often in such instances the client has not understood the investment product and how it works, the charges that will be levied, and any penalties that will be applied should he stop it early. He is sold the benefits without being made aware of the downside.

The newly affluent

In the financial trade press there has been much discussion of the opportunity the mass affluent represent to the IFA community, but most IFA’s are poorly prepared to address those opportunities.

When a new kind of client emerges, they often do not fit neatly into the IFA’s existing business model. Not so long ago, affluence was primarily a function of birth: the baby-boomer generation changed all that. Having redefined what growing up was all about in the 60s, they then moved on to begin a revolution in the workplace in the 70s. The importance of intellectual property meant they could demand a link between their value to their employers and the remuneration they received for it. In the 80s, the UK was awash with ‘yuppies’ and Mrs. Thatcher’s ‘trickle-down’ theory accelerated the distribution of relative wealth.

So the mass affluent have typically made their money themselves and usually through employment. And that is why they won’t adapt themselves to supplier behaviour. The more successful they are, the more confident they become, and as their confidence grows they are increasingly demanding of good value products and high quality service.

They share another characteristic: they are promiscuous. Their loyalty to any particular financial adviser is directly related to the value that IFA delivers. And if the IFA fails them, they’ll leave.

The reason any of this matters is that there is little point in recognising the mass affluent as an important market if we in the financial services industry aren’t able to woo you and keep you satisfied. We have to invest time in understanding how our clients behave and what drives that behaviour.

Research into a number of focus groups, supported by quantitative input from the MORI Financial Services continuous tracking survey, uncovered three key factors:

Understanding: If consumers have a grasp of the products available to solve a given financial requirement then it’s easier for them to act.

Interest: Interested consumers will invest time and effort in keeping on top of their finances.

Organisation: Consumers who are poorly organised will procrastinate.

By allocating high or low scores to each of these we find several different types.

A person who scores high on all three will display particular and predictable behavioural characteristics as a result. High organisation will force him to get things done, high understanding will give him the confidence to do it, and high interest will mean he knows how to go about it. This person reads the personal finance press or uses the internet. He is likely to buy direct, believing that if he had the time he could do as well as any professional. He expects high performance and plenty of contact.

Alternatively, someone who scores low on both understanding and interest but high on organisation requires completely different handling. His bewilderment makes him unsure and slow to commit to any investment program, but he’s driven by the need to get things done. In the discussion stage the IFA will need to earn his trust. After the program is up and running he will be content if his IFA’s administration is efficient and he’s given a call every six months.

Between these extremes we might consider the group who, though high on understanding and organisation, score low on interest. They can’t be bothered to deal with it themselves because it doesn’t interest them – although, being organised, they recognise the need to deal with it; but the confidence they derive from understanding means they’re delighted to give their financial adviser the problem.

This research reveals that the mass affluent represent many different segments, rather than just one group. The research explains not just how these segments behave but gives an insight into why.

It’s not enough simply to announce one’s interest in the mass affluent and expect them to form a queue. Success is reserved for those financial advisers who are prepared to take the time to segment them into smaller groups and understand how each behaves and why. And then find them the investment vehicle that most closely matches their particular needs, aspirations, and investor profile.

Snap Shots: Cartophily for amateurs, or collecting naughty postcards!

by Harry Flashman

Little Egypt

The new social order is upon us, and there are mutterings that nipples are going to be a no-no in the go-go chrome pole palaces. That made me think of cartophiles. A new perversion? Of course it was! After the Victorian era, Prince Edward VII took the throne of England in 1901 and a new age of permissiveness took hold in the photographic industry, and the naughty postcard was born.

One could have easily predicted the new lewd, or perhaps that should have been the lewd nude, was coming, as towards the end of the 1800’s relaxing of the previously strict laws regarding the showing of female anatomy was becoming evident. Take for example, the Chicago Fair of 1893. Photographs and reports of Fahreda Mahzar Spyropolos’s naked navel still exist today. In fact, her anatomical bit managed to change the fair from downright flop to financial success. She was the famous “Little Egypt” who did her belly dance in front of amazed (and outraged) clerics, whose reports of the lewd behaviour brought the crowds in their thousands flocking to the fair. Ms Spyropolos certainly knew that sex sells, even if it were only a belly button.

The newspaper business also knew that a bit of female anatomy helped an otherwise staid selection of newsprint to become wanted items. This was not something that Rupert Murdoch and his page 3 girls started, no matter how much the Murdoch publicity machine would have you think. The New York Police Gazette (now there’s a catchy title for a paper - sorry about the pun!) began publishing illustrated supplements of actresses and dancers in the 1890’s and even offered “cabinet-sized finished photographs” described as the snappiest of all girl pictures.

And then there was “Photo Bits” - an English magazine started in 1898, which became Photo Fun in 1908 to run double page pin-ups, copies of which could be purchased for nine pence (including postage) and were advertised as being suitable for billiard or smoking rooms.

However, it was the “feelthy postcards” that really brought the pin-up to pride of place on the locker room wall. Once again it was the French who did all the running. Seeing the success of postcard pictures of the Eiffel Tower, enterprising photographers began in earnest that most noble of artistic pursuits - persuading young ladies to pose in their pink one-buttons.

They were successful too. In 1910, more than 100 million were printed in France alone, and by that stage the rest of the world was producing theirs as well. The cartophiles were being very well catered for!

The large postcard had only one problem - it was difficult to carry around. Enter the cigarette card. These so-called “stiffeners” of soft cigarette packets very quickly realized the collectible value of continental actresses and others eager to return to nature in return for cash that could allow themselves to purchase expensive dresses to cover up again.

But beauty lay in the eye of the beholder, and the Edwardian cartophile beholders were fleshy (fleshly?) fat persons, who consumed large dinners and showed their wealth through an excess of avoirdupois. Their ideal female was then the same - big hunks of women with large bellies and legs that looked as if they would hold up billiard tables. However, although the modesty was starting to disappear, the neck to knee flesh coloured “tights” were still de rigeur for anything other than the true ‘nude study’ which was paraded under the title of ‘art’. A bit of chiffon and a rose was all that was needed to elevate the naughty nude to an artistic study, incidentally, both being props still in use today!

It did not stop there, of course, and post WWII, the photographic industry pushed the boundaries even further and the bits of chiffon and the appropriately placed rose were also discarded by many. A quick glance at a Pirelli calendar will show you that.

However, the wheel may now be going full circle. Stock up on chiffon and scoop the market!

Modern Medicine: Dangerous Liaisons! Lots of them!

by Dr Iain Corness, Consultant

Well, that got your interest up, didn’t it? There are (have been) plenty of dangerous liaisons in the world, and we’ve probably all had one (or two)? However, the liaisons I want to discuss today are the interactions between various drugs and how to avoid a fairly explosive situation in the way some drugs can interact with you. This is a topic I discussed a year or so ago, but is still one of the big problem areas in the pharmaceutical world.

What is the commonest drug taken by human beings in the western world? Hands up all of you who said alcohol. Yes, our old friend ethanol, AKA booze, is really a drug. It is a depressant, it dilates arteries and does all kinds of neat things to the body (and the brain). One of the big problems though, is that alcohol can heighten the effects of other drugs. In other words, it is not a simple 1+1 additive effect - the combination multiplies the effects of both the alcohol and the other drug too. For example, the anti-anxiety drug Valium (which I used to call the “Health Food of the Nation” in my younger and more cynical days) plus alcohol make a very nasty cocktail. This combination produces “space” travel without having to go to Cape Canaveral. A most dangerous way to be bombed out of your brain.

Simple cough medicines are another group of drugs that do not combine well with alcohol. A couple of beers and a shot of something for your cough can combine to produce a lethal combination. Lethal in the fact that the interaction can make you fall asleep at the wheel.

Let’s imagine that you have now found out that you have high blood pressure and have gone on a type of medication called Beta Blockers. They do work well at reducing blood pressure. They also stop trembling hands, and many people take them for this - even concert pianists. There are some drawbacks, though. One it can exacerbate asthma, and two, it can make Willy the Wonder Wand not work like it used to. A dangerous way to draw a halt to dangerous liaisons!

Some of you will be on medication to reduce your blood sugar, a condition we sometimes called NIDDM (Non Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus). You may also get indigestion. There is a particularly nasty interaction between certain sugar reducers and some antacids, which can make you go into a hypoglycaemic coma. Again, not the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Now here’s one for all the people who have had a stroke, or a heart attack or a deep vein thrombosis and have been put on a blood thinner, such as warfarin (also known as “rat poison”). Got a headache today? Taken a common old aspirin for it? You have just set the scene for a haemorrhage, as the effects of these two are again multiplied.

So just what is the message I am putting across this week? Well, it is simple. Whilst it is great that you can just wander into a pharmacy and buy all the cheap drugs you want and self-medicate with whatever you think you need, there can be a downside to all this. And it can be a big downside. Letting your doctor prescribe is much safer than doing it yourself. After all, the doctor has been trained to look for the dangerous liaisons!

Heart to Heart with Hillary

Dear Hillary,
This is a very quick note to you explaining where the word spam as used in e-mail jargon comes from. It is from a Monty Python sketch about a cafe serving everything as long as it had spam in it. Monty Python was a great comedy series on the BBC in England. If you didn’t get to see it, you missed some really good TV.

Dear George,
A delightful, but not quite accurate, explanation of the origin of the term “spam”. SPAM (capitals) is a type of corned meat which was famous in the UK during the war years and immediately post war. It is still available on the shelves, both here as well as in the UK, George, and made by Hormel Foods. While “spam” (all lower case) refers to Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE). The following I gleaned from the SPAM people themselves: “Use of the term “spam” was adopted as a result of the Monty Python skit in which our SPAM meat product was featured. In this skit, a group of Vikings sang a chorus of “spam, spam, spam...” in an increasing crescendo, drowning out other conversation. Hence, the analogy applied because UCE was drowning out normal discourse on the Internet.
We do not object to use of this slang term to describe UCE, although we do object to the use of the word “spam” as a trademark and to the use of our product image in association with that term. Also, if the term is to be used, it should be used in all lower-case letters to distinguish it from our trademark SPAM, which should be used with all uppercase letters.
Today’s teens and young adults are more computer savvy than ever, and the next generations will be even more so. Children will be exposed to the slang term “spam” to describe UCE well before being exposed to our famous product SPAM. Ultimately, we are trying to avoid the day when the consuming public asks, “Why would Hormel Foods name its product after junk e-mail?”
Unfortunately, Mr. Hormel, I think that day is here already!
Dear Hillary,
Can YOU tell me whether my girlfriend has to go back to her village to get her driver license, or can she do the license testing anywhere else? Everyone we ask seems to have a different idea. She can drive, but I have told her that it is important that she gets a license as well. Do you have a license? Can you help?

Dear Motorman,
What do you think I am running here? The motor vehicle licensing column? Do I have a license? Petal, I have a chauffeur, I wouldn’t dream of driving myself around. After all, when arriving at Hi-So do’s you can’t really ask the man with the red carpet to wait a bit while you park the pickup, now can you? If I can’t get a chauffeur, then I don’t go. Why don’t YOU go to the licensing place and ask there? Or is that too obvious? One thing I do know is that if she has no license then your insurance is also null and void.
Dear Hillary,
A very good friend that I have known for a long time and who works out of the capital is going through a bad patch. He doesn’t know whether he should give up his job and move away, or stay where he is, but where he is not happy. I have told him he would have no trouble getting another job, but he seems reluctant to let go of this one that he has got. What can I do to get him to move up to Bangkok? I would be able to take care of him better if he lived in Bangkok. How do I get him to see what is best for him? Even his friends say it would be better for him to move. What suggestions do you have, Hillary. We all want the best for him, so it is sometimes so frustrating when he does not see what to do himself. Probably can’t see the way out of the wood for the trees I suppose. Anyway if you could answer this quickly it would be good as then I can show it to him and get him to come to his senses.

Dear Mima,
There is one person who has not been consulted here. That person is your “very good friend”. Don’t you think that he should have some say in all this? You and his friends (according to you) have decided it is better for him to relocate. Have you stopped to think why does he not think the same way? He is the one with the “bad patch” you tell me - so let him work out what he is happy at doing. All you have to do is be there for him if he needs support with his decisions. That is support, my Petal, not telling him what to do. Unsolicited advice is never appreciated.

A Slice of Thai History: The Dutch presence in Thailand

Part Five: Fluctuating Fortunes 1717-1758

by Duncan steam

In 1717, King Phumintharacha launched a two-pronged invasion of Cambodia in support of Prea Srey Thomea, the ruler who had been ousted three years earlier by his uncle, Keo Fa. The latter, supported by Vietnam, defeated the southern Thai thrust, but the northern division were victorious over the combined Cambodian-Vietnamese forces and reached Udong, the usurper’s capital. Keo Fa offered his allegiance to Thailand, was accepted, and Prea Srey Thomea’s claims were abandoned. The Thais had the good grace to allow the latter to go into splendid exile in Ayutthaya where he accompanied Phumintharacha on fishing trips and elephant hunts.

Phumintharacha, his debts to the VOC still unpaid, died in 1732, initiating a tussle for the succession. His eldest son had entered a monastery in 1716 and showed no interest in the succession. After defeating a number of claimants, Borommakot assumed the throne in January 1733.

Borommakot appointed Chamnan Borirak, the descendant of an Indian Brahmin family, as his minister of foreign affairs and trade after the latter had played a crucial role in capturing the royal palace where the son’s of the late king were ensconced. For the next 20 years, Chamnan Borirak was the most powerful official at court.

Borommakot’s first major crisis came in 1734 when 300 Chinese residents stormed the royal palace while Borommakot was away on a hunting expedition. Loyal troops defeated the Chinese and a large number were later executed.

Relations between the king and the VOC deteriorated to such an extent that the Dutch decided to close their factory in 1741. Borommakot had refused to pay his bills or ratify the treaties Thailand had signed with the VOC, virtually forcing the Dutch to close down. Some 1,400 people (VOC employees, their wives and children) were affected by the decision.

In 1744, the Burmese kingdom of Ava sent a mission to Ayutthaya, thereby establishing the first diplomatic relations between the two regions for more than a century. The rapprochement was destined to last for just 25 years.

By 1747, the VOC had once again decided to resume doing business with Ayutthaya, sending the future local director Nicolaas Bang to purchase merchandise for sale to Japan. Bang, who had been in Ayutthaya since 1723, became VOC director in 1748 and was killed by the Burmese in 1760, leaving behind a Thai wife, five children and four slaves.

The factory in Nakhon Si Thammarat re-opened in 1752, and in 1754 a new treaty was drawn up between Ayutthaya and the VOC by Nicolaas Bang, the first since 1709.

Just a year later, the tin trade collapsed and the VOC deemed it expedient to close down the Nakhon Si Thammarat factory and move operations into the Indonesian archipelago.

A royal crisis arose in 1755 when it was discovered that Prince Senaphithak, the heir to the throne, had been having a secret affair with one of Borommakot’s queens. The king had three queens, two of whom were sisters, but the elder had died in 1737. The third was a granddaughter of King Petraja. The adulterous pair were ceremoniously clubbed to death after the royal fashion.

Borommakot died on 13 April 1758, aged about 75, leaving no less than 126 children, 15 by his three queens and 108 by concubines. He was succeeded by a son, Uthumphon, whose first act was to execute three of his half-brothers. Less than a month later, Uthumphon was persuaded to abdicate in favour of his older brother, Ekkathat (also known as Suriyamarin). He was the 35th ruler of Ayutthaya, and was destined to be the last.

Personal Directions: The Great Secret: Organization

by Christina Dodd

Normally when we hear the term “organization” we think of something rather ordinary and mundane. However, if we look a little closer, we will find that organization is one of the great secrets of life.

We all know that we can organize our lives in better ways; such as by keeping an accurate and up to date to-do list, or keeping up on our bookkeeping, or ordering our priorities in life. When we take such actions we are in essence organizing our consciousness.

There are a number of ways we can organize our consciousness, our being; e.g. by a greater degree of direction in life, through higher skills and knowledge, greater energy, greater strength, more goodness toward others, by implementing personal values in our lives, through positive attitudes, and in many other ways. As we organize our consciousness, we grow and evolve; we achieve and succeed, we find happiness and joy in life.

Organization is not of course just limited to the individual. A business for example can also organize itself. When a company organizes such components as its job positions, activities, systems, and focuses its direction, goals, and values, it is organizing itself to a higher level, which inevitably results in greater revenues, profitability, energy, satisfaction, and success.

Higher organization is also available for any social entity, institution, community, nation, as well as the world itself. Like a business any social entity can evaluate itself and rise to higher levels of organization. What is particularly interesting is that not only can it organize itself internally but it can also learn to organize itself externally, through higher levels of cooperation, coordination, and integration with other related social entities.

Surely the world would be a better place if there was more of such cooperation and integration among the nations of the world. For example, when there is a dearth of food in impoverished nations, it is not because there is not enough food in the world, it is because of lack of cooperation, coordination, and integration - i.e. organization - amongst the nations.

Consider this dictum: “all problems in life are essentially problems of harmony.”

When an individual organizes himself he is creating greater internal harmony. For example, when a social entity organizes itself with other social entities, it creates greater external harmony. In either case, higher organization results in higher harmony, unity, and oneness of purpose. In such an atmosphere, there is an enormous energy built up that inevitably will lead to great achievement, success, and joy in life.

If we examine the world we will see that everywhere there is a movement toward greater, ever-accelerating organization. The Internet is only the latest example. It is the ultimate, dense, multi-system organization; and it is shared by all the world. Such developments of organization in the world are a reflection of the emerging power of the human mind in the world. That power is accelerating in the last several decades, reflecting the evolutionary movement of humanity up from a physical and vital-based consciousness to a more mental based consciousness.

That power of mind in the world is in fact the power of organization. The Internet has come about because of the further emergence of this power of mind in humanity. Whereas the human body gives substance to our being; it is the physical part of us; and the vital is the energizing force in us, mind is the ordering mechanism of life; it serves the purpose of ordering and organizing the world we live in for us.

As we know the mind organizes life around us through the functioning of our senses. It also has the capacity to think independent of the senses, as when we think logically or self-conceptualize the world. In either case it is organizing data, information and ideas. The physical brain itself is a vast amalgam of neurons and other parts that organizes pulses as data, and develops them into stored knowledge, and formulates them as ideas. This is interestingly not so different from a company which organizes its activities, or the Internet organizing information and knowledge, or social entities, such as nations, coordinating and integrating with one another, and so forth.

Perhaps we can even say that the universe itself is a vast and complex organization, with its processes and functions that are organized, coordinated, and integrated.

We can also see that higher organization inevitably means higher progress; such as personal growth for the individual, or more development for the business or the social entity. So higher organization is higher growth and development. Perhaps we can also say that higher organization is higher consciousness, because whenever we develop further we are increasing our level of consciousness.

Finally, beyond the powers of mind to organize, there are powers of spirit itself to organize. As we learn to tap into the powers of the spiritual mind we can really learn to organize our consciousness, enabling the greatest power and efficiencies of life. As we organize ourselves as spiritual beings, we open to the infinite potentials, possibilities, and powers of life.

So we are left to ask these questions. What then will we do today to raise our level of organization - for ourselves as individuals, for our companies, or the institutions and social entities we partake of?

If you wish to talk further on matters of personal and self development, or on matters that concern your business, the effectiveness and needs of your staff, then please contact me directly at Asia Training Associates – email: christina. [email protected]

For details on our programs and Asia Training Associates, please visit our website: www.asiatrainingassociates.com

Until next time … Have a Great Week!

Social Commentary by Khai Khem: The social order campaign was not created to annoy tourists

Every civilized society needs social order. Without laws, guidelines and a standard of ethics and rules to follow the resulting effect is chaos. Most people in every society desire and indeed, rely on, a structure which regulates human behavior in the community. Thailand has long been a traditional society with its own culture and age-old customs. There is now great pressure on its people to walk the ‘middle path’ as they try to adapt to the changing world around them and still retain the essence of what it means to be ‘Thai’.

Rapid modernization and industrialization have always caught traditional societies off guard. Dramatic change with little time to adjust creates confusion and people often aren’t sure exactly where they fit into the new pattern of life. It’s the human condition. What nation can we point to that is wholly unaffected by our current globalization?

The campaign introduced by our central government is an attempt to address some social issues that have been neglected for a long time. It was designed to reeducate the local populace on law and order and civic duty. Some of the new regulations currently in effect are aimed at raising the moral ethics of our people. The closing down of entertainment establishments which allow bawdy entertainment and earlier closing hours of bars and nightclubs has annoyed many visitors who have come to Thailand to partake in the very thing for which our nation has rightly earned - a tawdry reputation for sleaze and sex and corruption. The fact that all of this is readily available in many cities of the world makes me think that perhaps there can be some compromise in the making.

Pattaya City is pushing for special dispensations which would allow it to legally provide ‘adult entertainment’ because it is a very famous international tourist city that provides such diversity that the business community feels there is room for this particular form of amusement to be included. The argument has merit. I do have a feeling that there are going to be some very tough hurdles to overcome before we EARN the dispensations.

The petty crime rate perpetrated by young locals in Pattaya has now risen to scandalous proportions. There is a world-wide ‘whispering campaign’ going on that Pattaya is not a safe place to live in or visit anymore. Whether or not there are hundreds of other places in the world that are definitely more dangerous begs the point. Like prostitution, sleaze and corruption, once our city has been tarred with the ‘crime-brush’ it will take a real cleanup to get our name off the blacklist.

Traffic and noise are equally revolting to visitors and residents. What profits a visitor or elderly retiree to come to a city that is so snarled with traffic and polluted with ear-splitting noise that all the rest of its endearing qualities are blotted out by these negative and dangerous downsides?

To Pattaya’s credit, our city is multifaceted, and we can accommodate a wide range of visitors, from all walks of life, incomes and interests. Some tourists will surely come for our famous nightlife scene, and so they should. Lewd entertainment and “play for pay” was not invented in Pattaya and if venues are properly zoned, we could eventually have a corridor which accommodates this target group. The area should be tightly controlled, diligently monitored by law enforcement and safe! Even tourists who legally patronize bawdy stage shows and are charmed by women or men who earn their living by selling sexual favors are entitled to do so without endangering their lives or being robbed of their valuables.

What it may all boil down to in the end is if Pattaya can get its act together and prove that the city can fulfill its promise of a truly worthy international playground - in every respect - we have a chance to acquire a great many things we have only dreamed about. We might get a gambling casino, a first-class horse racing facility, a legal red-light district, later closing hours for bars and nightclubs, permission for strip clubs to operate, and much more.

One thing we must remember is that Pattaya is no longer solely a tourist trap. We have an ambitious business community that serves hundreds of thousands of residents with a wide range of goods, services and enterprises that contribute to an established international city. Social order is vital for our existence and is fully supported by those of us who have made a real commitment here. Without it we are lost.

Instead of fighting against the rules and regulations, we would be much better off joining hands to help our officials make our city a cleaner, safer place to live. As I once said in another column, if Pattaya were to become a nicer place to live, it would also be a great place to visit.

I agree that ‘Fun City’ should retain some of its color and individuality. I’m not suggesting we eliminate Pattaya’s unique personality and its vibrant essence and replace it with a sterile shadow of the very spirit that makes it such a popular resort town. That’s not going to happen. We do enlist the forbearance of visitors who come here and ask that they understand that our city is a ‘work in progress’. Most of the progress is aimed at enhancing the enjoyment of a holiday in Pattaya, as well as improving the quality of life for all who live here. Well, that’s the idea, anyway.

Woman's World: I want to look like I used to - Part 1

by Lesley Warner

While in England I watched a documentary called “Make Overs from Hell”. This program included cosmetic surgery that had gone wrong. It was quite horrible and some of the so-called ‘most simple’ procedures had totally destroyed lives ... even something as simple as an ear piercing, tattoo, or a perm. It certainly made me think, and I shall be far more choosy where I go for anything that uses chemicals or changes my body in any way.

Don’t rely on advice from one source - do a comprehensive investigation.

For some reason the urge for plastic surgery is becoming a mania world wide in both males and females. All too often we are informed that it is a simple procedure, just a tuck here or there, a couple of weeks hiding away and you will be 10 years younger. Well, this is a word of warning, while I am sure hundreds of cosmetic surgery patients have a straightforward operation, there are hundreds that do not!

Try to get yourself well informed.

Eyelid surgery is supposedly one of the so-called simplest procedures, and uses only a local anesthetic. I asked a friend who I knew had been through this procedure what she could tell me. She said the doctor didn’t ask her any questions regarding medication that she might be taking, smoking or her past health history. But she felt confident that he was a professional and wasn’t aware that there could be any problems, after all it was a simple procedure, he told her. The operation took only 40 minutes; she was told to lie down and rest for 15 minutes and then drove home alone with a packet of painkillers and antibiotics. Shortly after arriving home one side of her face started to bleed profusely and she was rushed to the emergency room. The bleeding was stopped after the eye doctor was called to ascertain that her sight was unimpaired as she could not see properly and she returned home.

The next day she returned to the cosmetic surgeon who informed her that there was no problem, not to be concerned. In fact she said she felt rather silly as if she was making a fuss over nothing. As the days went on the side with the problem did not heal and developed an infection. She returned once again to the surgeon and was given more antibiotics. Eventually the infection cleared but it was obvious that it would not heal without a scar.

When questioned, the surgeon said you always have scars when you have plastic surgery. My friend said yes, but surely one expects an improved appearance not a worse one. He shrugged and suggested she come back after a couple of months. It was sorted out in the end but will always leave a scar, and she said everyone thinks she’s had a fight and was left with the scar.

I shall give you some more tips next week on cosmetic surgery, the ups and the downs, but these are a couple of books that are worth reading:

Cosmetic Surgery Without Fear by Patricia Burgess, or

Welcome to your facelift By Helen Bransford

These books are in understandable language, and explain surgical options, emerging technology, and how to select a physician.

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