Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 37
Friday September 16 - September 22, 2005

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Just another day in paradise?

Different side of Thai life

Carelessness at Care For Kids Fair

Pattaya - Out of Control?

Just another day in paradise?

Dear Pattaya Mail,

I would like to commend and applaud our local constabulary of “boys in brown” for the amount of people they are writing tickets to for such crimes as no helmet on a motorcycle, raced up motorcycles and the ‘new’ no seatbelt law they have just discovered and started enforcing!

It makes me wonder what the penalties are for a child with 3 of their school friends on a motorcycle riding home with no crash helmets on. Just drive past the school near Wat Nong Yai on Sukhumvit Road when it finishes, there are plenty to see, or what penalty is it for a pickup truck loaded with people (usually construction workers but not always) in the back, or the question that in my seven years here I have never found the answer to, how old is the legal age of a person riding a motorbike? I know they breed them small over here but I have witnessed children who are at the oldest 9 driving without due care and attention!

After that rant I must say how for the last week I have been lucky to have city water in abundance to my dwelling but upon returning last night where the rains really did come in droves I am now without water? So when it’s dry I get water, but when it rains I am cut off?

Most people reading this are saying “go home if you don’t like it”. Fair enough at your opinion I say, as we are all entitled to one, but when this city is looking for ever more foreign investment, the developers and estate agents are looking to sell houses for equivalent of $500,000 and the Thai government is trying to attract quality foreign tourists and retirees, have a think where I am coming from because I dare say you have had your own moments of moaning.

Have a nice day,

Different side of Thai life

Dear Sir,

My Thai wife and I have spent 3 or 4 years over the past 10 years living, or having extended holidays, in Pattaya. We have been married for almost 11 years and have a 9 years old son. We had thought long and hard over the past 5 years or so if we would/should move permanently from the UK to live in Thailand - with the idea of giving our son the benefit of becoming fluent in both languages and cultures.

This year we took a big step towards moving to Thailand and purchased a lovely house approx. 10 kilo’s outside Pattaya. However, having lived in our new house for a month or so I soon became aware of a Thailand that I was unaware existed - and there was me thinking I knew Thailand warts and all.

I found that there is a definite fear factor in the Thai community when it comes to crime, police, local politicians and petty bureaucrats. Because people have no faith in the police they obviously feel fear-full for life and limb if they were to report local crimes, knowing that the person they are reporting the crime to may well be connected to the perpetrator. This allows locally elected or non-elected local officials and policemen to effectively act as local mafia. I can’t see any solution to this problem as corruption and nepotism are endemic; however, I do understand my wife a lot better now, as for years I couldn’t truly understand why she was so patient when dealing with the petty bureaucracy we have had to endure over the years - her innate sense of fear. You see being British allows us to say what we think to whomsoever without fear of being a victim!

Yours truly,
James Banister

PS We are now living happily and safely in England with our house in Thailand having been designated a holiday retreat.

Carelessness at Care For Kids Fair


The Jesters Children’s Fair was another huge success this year. One big problem right at the end that I would like to bring to everyone’s attention though.

During the dismantling of the stalls, I spotted my 9-year-old son playing in the middle of the grounds with a couple other kids of the same age. They were kicking around an empty water bottle. My son picked up the bottle and it literally exploded in his hands, causing numbness and 3 separate cuts, not to mention shock.

This bottle apparently had ‘dry ice’ put in it with some water, then the cap screwed back on. The reaction between the two causes the ice to change back into C02 gas; it was the expanding gas which caused the bottle to explode.

I would like to know the farang’s name (he was seen playing with the kids moments before) who put together this little bomb, and find out what goes on in a deranged mind like his to introduce something so incredibly dangerous into an environment teeming with innocent children. My son was lucky to have only some cuts to show for encounter, he could have lost his eyes to the plastic shrapnel created by the explosion.

Matt Millar
Concerned Parent

Pattaya - Out of Control?

An open letter to the Mayor of Pattaya and his accomplices;

There are a million things about Pattaya that drive foreigners wild. The terrible state of the roads and pavements. The baht taxis. Stray dogs not on leads. Motorcycle helmets – a real no-brainer in every sense of the word. Kamikaze motorcyclists. Visa price rises. Traffic lights that change less frequently than we see of Haley’s comet. Unofficial speed humps every few yards in the side roads, etc., etc. The absolutely pathetic state of the promenade on Beach Road in Pattaya. The list of ludicrously silly problems grows every week.

The foreigners seem to write to newspapers to let off steam in the hope or expectation that someone in authority will read their letter and then do something to remedy all the problems.

Well, ask yourself this question dear reader. If the local Thai political bureaucracy is bothered in the slightest about what foreigners think. If they do take the time to read an English language newspaper, they still wouldn’t do anything to improve even the very obvious problems. If they did care, they would write a reply to the editor and say something like - “We apologize for all the inconvenience to all our visitors here on holiday and of course to our even more important local Thai electorate. We have looked into the problem relating to Beach Road, and yes it’s a disgrace. We intend to do … A B and C starting right now today.”

If the local Thai political bureaucracy is bothered, it may decide to go onto Beach Road and stop a few visitors and simply ask what the visitors think about the state of Beach Road. Do they think … (A) Beach Road is a wonderful place for a stroll? (B) Beach Road is a little unsightly. (C) Is an absolute disgrace to Pattaya and those responsible. Oh course this won’t happen.

May I suggest the following for starters? Ignore and or delay the multi million baht projects. Go for basics first – those are the projects that should be finished already, long, long ago!

Number 1 Water: guard and conserve what water you’ve got - repair the leaks and cancel the Songkran nonsense this coming April. That will save lives and water. Oh, also stop the water lorries from stealing it from the water reservoirs. Oh, and investigate the water officials who have their own water supply lorries, who are cashing in on the water shortage.

Number 2: Make flat smooth roads to drive on without huge ugly grids and holes. It’s not nuclear physics, it’s easy to do. If the Thai companies don’t know what’s required the falangs will teach them.

Number 3: Flat smooth pavements about a metre wide so people can walk in comfort.

Yours most sincerely,
I. M. Spartacus

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