Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 35
Friday September 2 - September 8, 2005

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Updated every Friday
by Saichon Paewsoongnern


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Is the education system failing us!

Water shortages?

What should he do?

Copy vs Real

Ooen will be grieved by many

Re “Thank you trespasser”

No water for PATA convention?

Busy doing nothing

Brian the Pieman

Is the education system failing us!


Much has been written about the Thai education system, teachers’ qualifications, etc.

I have 2 children in senior secondary in a so-called prestigious international school in the Pattaya area.

This recent holiday we went on a long car trip. To pass time while driving, we sometimes played guessing games involving naming different movies, movie stars, models, songs, singers, etc. I don’t know much about models and movie stars, but was quite impressed with the children’s knowledge of these subjects.

Once I suggested we played a math game. I would give them a very simple fraction, which they should convert it into percentage. Some simple, single digit multiplications and some just very simple arithmetic. I soon, sadly realized, that 1/5 was impossible to convert into percentage, 8 multiplied by 7 took a lot of guessing, and the answer to 15% of 320 was to be found on the moon. It took 20 minutes, 2 calculators and several sheets of papers for both of them to give me the same, wrong answer, as to how many percent interest they would have to pay for buying a mobile phone on installments instead of cash.

My eldest child, who “graduated” with honors from the same “prestigious” school some years ago, and now home on holiday from university overseas, showed great enthusiasm participating in the above math game, but sadly also drew only blanks.

My wife, who graduated from a temple school in Nakorn Nowhere, managed to get it all right. However, she became dizzy when trying to calculate how much money we have paid in school fees over the years. Probably enough to buy a fancy red Italian car was her best guess.

My children were adamant that they are on par with the rest of their class, which in my book puts their class and most probably the whole school and maybe many of the international schools well below par.

Disappointed Parent

Water shortages?


Am I missing the point? On page three of this week’s Mail, a petition is being organised against the water shortages, and there have been many articles and letters over the past weeks on the same subject, and yet on the front page is an article about cleaning out South Pattaya klong, and I quote, “ Once cleaned, water will flow easily to the Bali Hai water treatment facility before being released to the sea.”

Why? If it has been cleaned surely it can be used, if only for street watering, etc.

Thanks for a great paper; I am a regular reader, pity we cannot get it on Fridays here.

With best wishes,
Jim MacDonald

What should he do?

Dear Editor,

In reply to Gary T. Bruton, Aug 26th Vol X111 No 34: He asks, ‘’What can I do?” Well my advice would be get out of there. We did! I lived in Nong Prue with my Thai wife for over 5 years. We had the same experience as him, not once but twice, one week apart, same local guy, not a lot taken but left behind fear.

If the police had even tried to help ... but although we had his name, address and a witness that saw him, they as usual did nothing.

As the editor said himself, ‘’Be thankful you weren’t hurt’’. My feelings are that if you had have jumped up, things would have been different, and nobody would do anything.

If your life is worth to you more than it is to them, get out. We sold our house cheap and quick and returned to England, and both my wife and I know we are better respected here. If Mr Bruton has been there all those years, he should be well aware you can die for the price of a tablet (ya ba).

Now we can both sleep at nights, again! Unlike Mr Bruton.

Tony Ball

Copy vs Real


Local media reports of the arrest of fake-goods vendors have recently been accompanied by condescending comments about purchasers ponderings the wisdom of buying such items. I wonder, however, how many of Pattaya’s visitors are daft enough to spend good money on hyped ‘real’ brand names.

Multi-national companies used not to be concerned about ‘cheap copies’ and the phrase trotted out was: ‘Copying is the sincerest form of flattery’. These days, however, vast sums of money are spent in attempts to stem the supply of those cheap copies. Authentication methods, which often lend nothing to the actual appearance of a garment, have become an industry in itself. Why? Fakes are often of such good quality and style that they expose the over-pricing of many branded goods.

Fact is, copying has served the general public by forcing down the retail price of such items as CDs, DVDs and football shirts. The pretentious ‘must have genuine’ crew were dealt a blow when a world-famous footballer caused much consternation when seen on TV wearing a pair of copy jeans he bought in Bangkok. UK retail price of these jeans was around $160 (11,000 baht approx). Bangkok/Pattaya price for excellent copies - 500 baht.

How was it known the footballer’s jeans were fake? They were of a style that was not made by the particular label. I often wonder if this firm copied the copy. A phrase that now often applies to fashion goods is: The real thing is for fake people.

Tony Crossley

Ooen will be grieved by many


Sir, your reporting of the death of Miss Narisa Noochuay at the hands of a Boys Town bar worker, along with her being employed in a South Pattaya bar would tend to leave readers with the impression that she moved in that grey employment area of “girl for hire”. Nothing could be further from the truth. She had worked for many years in a well respected restaurant along Soi Diana, known more for being the centre of the PSC golf fraternity, and certainly no girlie bar. “Ooen”, as her family and friends knew her, was a hard working, respectable young lady, very sweet and charming and will be grieved by many.

Geoffrey Couch.

Re “Thank you trespasser”


I am writing about the letter in (last week’s) paper, titled “Thank you trespasser” asking advice from readers.

I had a similar problem about ten years ago, while living in a house on the seaside, near the Milford Hotel in Ban Chang. Two nights before I was suppose to go work offshore for a month, the power went off in our home. Worrying that when the power returned it would be low voltage, as it usually was, damaging our water pump and refrigerator, I went downstairs to turn them off. The downstairs cellar room had a door that opened onto the beach. Someone had broken through the burglar door and was about to enter when I came downstairs. (Luckily) he fled.

I repaired the door the next day, but my wife was scared to be left alone. Not having enough time to install a proper alarm system, I bought the largest external alarm bell I could find and mounted it high above our outside bedroom window. I connected an electrical cord to it and ran it into the bedroom to the electrical outlet next to the bed. The bell worked great, loud enough to wake the dead. I instructed my wife to sleep with the bedroom door locked and if she heard any noises in the house to plug in the alarm bell. She never had to use it but gave her great piece of mind. She knew that the alarm would wake all the neighbors, could be heard throughout the house, and would frighten off any kamoy.

If your letter writer does not have the finances to invest in an elaborate security system, for less than 500 baht he can buy a very loud alarm bell that will scare away most any intruder.

I wish him the best of luck.
Art Savacool

No water for PATA convention?


I have been reading about the upcoming tourist organization events in Oct. and the award of the PATA convention, and what a lucky thing it is to have it here, and all I can think of is: what are all these representatives going to think and write about when they spend a week or two without any basic reliable water service?


Busy doing nothing

Dear Editor;

I must admit I failed miserably in my efforts to get anyone to show any interest in addressing the problem of, or at least hiding it from the tourists (whom I thought provided a large slice of Pattaya City’s finances) the not so “Quaint rural workmen’s village” as Peter Lloyd described it, at the entrance to Dongtan Beach.

However, my Thai friend came up with an acceptable solution: “You don’t have to look.” So there you go, a bit like the driving code here in Pattaya - “Don’t look, what you don’t see ain’t there” till it actually is, by then its too late, a bit like the already with us water crisis here on the Eastern Seaboard.

Now I know the headmaster in Bangkok said, “Water crisis, what water crisis?”, but the poor soul has been misinformed. The deputy headmaster seems to have a better grip on reality because he said if we don’t have rain equal in quantity to that which floated the Ark, by the end of September, the Eastern Seaboard will have to add “Desert” to the end of that title!

I know it’s a wild flight of imagination, but would it be possible for the headmaster or his deputy to obtain retribution for the crisis that anyone with a grain of intelligence could see looming years ago, by staking out the local water authority chiefs, red Indian style, on the banks of any empty reservoir to perish slowly in the burning sun? What a lovely thought!

A little ditty has been floating around in my mind of late which would seem to apply to many officials in Thailand:

“We’re busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do;

“We’re busy going nowhere, isn’t it such a crime, we’d like to be unhappy but we never do have the time!”

I thought it was from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but apparently not, they sung “Hey Ho, He Ho it’s off to work we go”, diligent little fellas they were, not like the “Busy doing nothing” brigade we have here!

The tired old “Shower with a friend” will have to be replaced by “Shower with as many friends as you can, when you can.”

So perhaps some fun at least could come out of this!
Best wishes as ever,
Richard Walton

Brian the Pieman

It is with great sadness that we have recently been informed of the death of Brian “The Pieman” in the UK. He was a familiar Pattaya character for many years, well-liked and respected by his many friends. He will be sadly missed. Heartfelt condolences from all at Jack Tar Bar.

The management, staff & friends at the Jack Tar Bar

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