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Vol. XV No. 17
Friday April 27 - May 3, 2007

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by Saichon Paewsoongnern

 

 

 

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Dual pricing in England, part 2

Grumpy old expats

Pub noise persist

Why would Big C care?

Gambling vs drunk driving

Dogs, dogs, dogs and more dogs

Dual pricing in England, part 2

Dear Editor,
In response to replies to my letter regarding dual pricing in England, I would be extremely grateful if you would re-print the picture I sent as all your correspondents have totally missed the original point.

You can clearly see in the photo that “residents of Cambridge” receive free entry into the college, and it was merely this point which caught my eye as a form of dual pricing and nothing to do with senior citizens and students.
My Chinese wife also points out that in her home town of Beijing, foreigners are also discriminated against regularly with higher prices to pay, so the one and only reason for my letter was to say that it does not only happen in Thailand.
I am not in any way condoning the blatant higher prices that foreigners pay in Thailand, and during my 3 years living and working in Pattaya I walked away from more than one “offer” of a higher charge due to my race.
I am just simply making the point that it is not just the Thais who adopt forms of this practice.
Regards from Essex, where one price fits all!
Ian Ashenden


Grumpy old expats

Dear Sirs;
I am sure that the big majority of expats living in Pattaya live here because they love being in this very relaxed city and living relatively cheaply in a happy go lucky environment, not to mention having the obligatory pretty girl (half their age) on the end of their arm to help them enjoy the rest of their days.
There is nowhere in Europe, or any other similar country that is like Pattaya for many, many reasons; one reason, and an important one as an example - I was talking to a chap from the north east of England who said that because of his age (70yrs) he felt like a second-class citizen in his own country, an old about forgotten bloke. Now he’s here, enjoying himself with nobody concerned about his age, especially his lovely Thai partner. He said he felt like a new man again.
I have attended two expat clubs meetings since being in Pattaya, and during each meeting I have experienced listening to expats moaning about how things should be done and changed in Pattaya in terms of the law, noise, public transport, hygiene, to name a few. All of these proper systems were, and are available in these expats’ countries that they left behind, so why don’t they think again about why they came here in the first place, and leave Pattaya to simply be Pattaya.
A friend of Pattaya


Pub noise persist

To whom it may concern,
I would like to briefly discuss a very disturbing and potentially devastating situation existing here in Pattaya in the hopes that you may be able to offer us some assistance.
Every year the city of Pattaya receives a great deal of its income from expats, both from those here on vacation and from those who choose to establish a more permanent residence. Already this year Pattaya has experienced a downturn in expected tourist traffic and one has to, or at least should, stop for a moment to consider why this is.
In part it can be explained by the recent political unrest which has likely diminished Thailand’s appeal somewhat, but I believe there is something even more sinister at work here. Much of the tourist industry depends on “word of mouth” to spread the news about its various destinations, and many locations spend a good deal of time and money trying to insure that this “word of mouth” is positive. In Pattaya the same is true but unfortunately our perception is being seriously undermined and damaged by those allowed operate above the law and by those who apathetically choose to turn a blind eye towards such abuses.
Case in point is a local pub which has apparently been operating unchecked for the past couple of months. The music with its driving base which radiates from this pub from late evening until early morning every night has totally disrupted the surrounding community to the point that people are leaving. Many of these frustrated residents feel completely powerless, and they are! Letters have been written to city hall, complaints have been called into the police, the owners of the pub are certainly aware of these concerns, and the situation continues to get worse not better. There are many such establishments operating in this area but none of them are even close to being as disrespectful and inconsiderate to the local community as this pub, and the sad thing is that this abuse is totally unnecessary.
The sinister force at work in Pattaya which I mentioned earlier is the growing disregard of such establishments towards the greater community. We have all chosen to make Pattaya our home and I find it very troubling indeed that the desires of the rich and powerful are routinely being placed above the rights of the average individual, to the point that we are now being driven out of our own homes for heaven’s sake. I fear that if this trend continues, and I have no doubt that it will, Pattaya will cease to be the destination of choice and its demise will be steady, inevitable, and irreversible.
It is profoundly disheartening to me to see the “Land of Smiles” being relentlessly transformed into the “Land of Guile”. I believe it is important for us to remember and appreciate the fact that once the basic respect for one’s neighbor is cast aside so is the community that gave you life, subsistence, and worth.
Thailand is a great country with great people, and it is still the “Land of Smiles”, please, please, don’t sell it all down the river in the pursuit of the all mighty dollar like so many other nations have.
Yours truly,
Gordon Kyfiuk


Why would Big C care?

Dear Mr “Former Family shopper of all BIG C’s”,
Quote: The management of Big C South should have considered that many of these ladies have foreigners for husbands and boyfriends and what impact this could have on their business. From a former family shopper of all BIG Cs - end quote.
Why in heavens sake should Big C’s consider that those ladies have foreign husbands/boyfriends and what impact will that have on their business? Did it ever occur to you that the guy who complained might have 50 friends with wives that will start to shop at Big C? That would beat your 25-30 women who may have farang husbands.
I shop at all the supermarkets in Pattaya, and it looks to me that the majority of the customers are Thais and the customers with the most groceries in the carts are also Thais. So missing out on a few farangs can’t be a big deal. I noticed over the years that remarkably many farang believe that if they and a couple of their farang friends boycott a supermarket, bar or any other business they might spend a few bucks in, will go bankrupt as shortly after their boycott.
I think we (farangs) shall remember that we are a very small minority and many of us are not big spenders, even married ones.
But it is really sad that Big C stopped with the aerobics...
Niclas Andersson
On the Seven Seas


Gambling vs drunk driving

Dear Editor:
As a retired WWII veteran I fought to make this world free. I’ve made Pattaya my retirement home and while I am well into my 90’s now, I still enjoy driving my own vehicle here in Thailand. The most dangerous part of driving here is the drunk driver. I’d rather face the Nazi Hordes any day than a drunk driver in Pattaya; and the newspapers and television decry the gamblers. How can a country spend so much time and resources arresting and investigating gamblers and do so little about the drunks on the road?
How many people have been killed by gambling? Who makes the decision to deploy the police to “crack down” on gamblers? I see them hauling in nitwits who did nothing more than play the equivalent to a Saturday night poker game amongst friends and the police smile and beam as if they just arrested Al Capone after a murder spree.
This place we lovingly call Pattaya has become a safe-haven for drunkards and drug addicts to have a good time until they run over the children. How much will it cost them to buy their way out of killing someone? Maybe we should all be arrested for just walking or driving around Pattaya because it is clear that the good people are taking the biggest risk. We are the biggest gamblers here, we gamble with our lives every day we step out of the house.
Colonel Lloyd Bonafide, USMC Retired
Jomtien


Dogs, dogs, dogs and more dogs

Dear Editor,
Dogs, love them or hate them they are classed as a man’s best friend, they guard us, our property, and if walked keep us healthy!
But my problem is with owners who keep 8 or 10 dogs locked up in the property for 8 to 10 hrs a day with no one to control them and never exercise the animals at any time. After living on my estate now for 5 years and hearing the dogs howl, bark and try to attack anybody who goes past the house every day it is now becoming annoying. Residents have tried to talk to the farang and his Thai wife about the problem but more dogs arrive. Do any of your readers know any Thai laws or bylaws that could force these inconsiderate owners to give people a chance to enjoy their time while living in Pattaya in relative peace and quite?
Thanks,
Steve English



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