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Vol. XIII No. 12
Friday March 25 - March 31, 2005

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Fun City By The Sea

Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 


LETTERS
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Come on Mr Mayor

Kids outsmart baht bus driver

Round of applause due rescuers

Praise for Howard L. Bloom

What is their problem?

Mott reaching the stars

Come on Mr Mayor

Dear Editor;

Reading the Pattaya Mail every week it is obvious that the issue of Pattaya’s road and transport infrastructure is a major talking point and point of concern for tourists, expats and Thais alike. Having lived here for the last 2 years myself I have noticed dramatic changes with the ongoing road improvement projects.

It cannot be an easy task trying to modernize and improve the city’s roads in a bustling, busy environment and fundamentally flawed city layout such as Pattaya’s. But even so, surely a better job could be done. I cannot count the number of newly laid road surfaces that are crumbling within weeks of completion (after taking far longer than the allotted time to complete), and the amount of major roadways simultaneously upturned causing major traffic problems throughout the city.

Surely the majority of blame levelled in these situations must be aimed at the local government, namely the mayor and his staff, who are allegedly in control of the city’s improvement. Why not concentrate on one job at a time, direct the complete necessary staff and tools needed to complete a job to a high standard (so that ongoing repairs are not continually needed) and on time.

Why not take into account the traffic flow of the city so that road improvements don’t bring the city to a complete standstill, and why not take into account such things as public holidays (which I find a laughable excuse as to the incompletion of current jobs) disrupting work time when planning major upheavals of the city’s busiest roads? These are basic common sense ideas that I’m sure should be on the agenda of any competent city planners and governmental officials.

The issue of baht buses is also a major bone of contention. I personally refuse to ride on them, not because I have to pay 10 baht instead of 5 but because I find the poor standards of driving and blatant excess of baht buses on the road (causing further traffic hold ups) a complete joke. Once again the answers to this problem must lie with the local government. They announce plans for new bus services in the city which incites anger and fear within the baht bus community.

Why not work with the baht bus cooperative and use an asset that already exists, bring some semblance of organization to the baht buses by forming them into an organized bus service? Have set buses (perhaps different colours) to run set routes, in areas such as Beach and Second Roads, confine the buses to one lane leaving room for other traffic to keep moving, although it would be difficult try and set up regular bus stops in locations that don’t do too much damage to traffic flow. And then maybe leave a certain small percentage of buses to roam freely as more of a taxi service.

Of course all this would be useless without the proper advertisement and signage to explain to people the system in place and the proper training and policing of the drivers in question. Some drivers might lose there jobs but I’m convinced a little bit of common sense and understanding by the relevant officials could iron out an efficient and beneficial service for all involved.

I am not trying to demean the mayor or his staff as I’m sure the actual job is a lot more difficult than sitting here and writing a letter, but I think I have a valid point for the mayor to consider if Pattaya’s road infrastructure is to ever get to the level is needs to be.

Yours sincerely,
Nick Ryan


Kids outsmart baht bus driver

Editor;

Two weeks ago you published a letter from Howard Bloom which urged readers to ‘speak up’ and ‘not stand by with your mouth shut’ when confronted by baht bus overcharging.

With Mr. Blooms’ words in mind, I thought you might like to hear this little story:

Last year I was in Pattaya travelling on a baht bus with my two children who are half Thai, half British. Both of them speak Thai and Lao despite being brought up outside of Thailand.

On arriving at our soi, I handed my daughter twenty baht and explained that as a farang I would be charged 10 baht but they should be charged the usual 5 baht.

When my daughter handed the money to the driver, he demanded thirty baht at which point my daughter asked him, in Thai, ‘what did he think he was doing trying to cheat kids’.

On hearing this, the driver handed her back 5 baht change, apologised and I laughed all the way down the soi to our hotel.
Nahkit


Round of applause due rescuers

Editor;

Re: “Drowning fisherman plucked from the sea”. It is only when we need the services of these dedicated and brave people that we recognise them. Petty Officer 1st Class Nopatorn Gerdtawee and his cohorts deserve a great round of applause from all of us for the great job that they do, often above the strict line of “duty”.

A.R. Wainwright

Vancouver Island, BC. Canada


Praise for Howard L. Bloom

Editor;

I think it is proper to give a prize, or at least some praise, to Howard L. Bloom for his letter headlined “Enough of the baht bus nonsense”. Never in all the years I have read the mailbag have I seen such down-to-earth wisdom and good advice on this issue.

But moreover, it would be good to remind that the main and obvious responsibility is that laws, regulations and ethics are implemented and practiced, which falls on the Thai society and its institutions and servants.

For some reason we never ever even see representatives for the company behind the scene - the baht-bus-corporation something - or local politicians in charge answer or comment with any matured responsibility.

The silence is probably very profitable I guess!? Still, as Howard L. Bloom pointed out and I hereby elaborate on - farangs as individuals and their expat organisations could do more to act against crimes directed to tourists and immigrants in this country.

“Fight for Right”


What is their problem?

To Letters;

I have read all the letters from foreigners complaining about the conditions on Beach Road and I wonder what is their problem? Where can you go in the world and live in a place that has the sun, the sea, and 4 months of holidays? How do I know there is four months of holidays? When the city council recently met to discuss the disastrous conditions on Beach Road, a city council member said the reason for the delay was the wrong control boxes but the “real culprit was public holidays”. So now the projected end date has gone from January to March to May (maybe). Perhaps I may be wrong but I therefore concluded that there have been 4 months of holidays in Pattaya and the music festival and Songkran haven’t even happened yet.

Perhaps like limiting the sale of alcoholic beverages during certain hours and limiting the sale of petrol during certain hours, the city council should limit the number of pedestrians on Beach Road during certain hours so that construction could be speeded up. Any foreigner caught trespassing would be given a ticket and fine. Not only would the construction be speeded up but the city could also make some money.

I would also recommend to the city council in order to minimize their credibility lapses rather than to continually change the month of completion, that they just change the year.
Tom Moore
Mark-Land Hotel
Pattaya


Mott reaching the stars

Hi there!

Really enjoyed the Ariel/Luther retrospective. Just to let you know the old boy has put together The Ariel Bender Band and is speaking to promoters right now re a tour of UK and Europe.

I’m the singer in the group and the material is drawn from Spooky Tooth/Widowmaker/Floodgates and of course Mott.

Members of the band have worked with The Christians, Marmalade and members of Guns ‘N’ Roses amongst others.

It’s sounding hot and Luther is very much together and ‘hungry for it’ in his words.

Luther and I recently played at the Greg Ridley Memorial show and went down a storm. There are a couple of reviews on Greg’s site and www. spookytooth.com I believe.

Cheers,

Marc Eden (Ariel Bender Band)



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