Grapevine: Jan 15, 2021


Food now abolished

So, domestic flights in Thailand will no longer serve meals or drinks as an anti-Covid precaution. However, the rule may be waived in an emergency whatever that proves to be. If anyone is desperate for a stale sandwich, he or she would need to eat it in a non-passenger area. Captain’s cabin perhaps? (Editor’s note: Bangkok Air just announced passengers will still receive a snacks bag (to take home) on board all their flights.)

Newspapers gone too

Airline authorities have announced that it’s no longer possible to hand out reading material, such as magazines and newspapers, to passengers flying into Bangkok. You will have to make do with reading and rereading the safety card which, incidentally, is often grubby anyway. Anyway, it’s been many years since anyone we know was given a newspaper on a Thai flight.

No need to send passport

In answer to a reader’s query, those abroad applying for a 30 days visa exempt need not send their passport to the local Thai embassy. They can apply for the certificate of entry on-line. The documents needed to accompany the application are listed on embassy websites. The extension, if required, is 45 days (not 30) to compensate for the compulsory quarantine.

Water meter removed

A farang, recently returned from Norway, found that his water supply had been turned off and his meter removed. He says he lives in an isolated spot and isn’t sure what to do next. Well, what happened is standard procedure. He will need to pay the arrears before any progress is made. Presumably he can look at an old bill to ascertain where and who to pay.

Validity of a driving license

An expat claims British driving license are valid in Thailand after he showed one to a traffic cop recently. He says no point in applying for a Thai one. The explanation is different – the cop did not recognize the difference between an international licence and an overseas domestic one. Thai law requires either a Thai-issued licence or a valid international one.

New technology complaint

A robot is now in use on the ground floor of the Bangkok Pattaya Hospital to clean the main area floors. But a customer complained that he collided with it (not looking where he was going) and caused a mini-incident though without any injuries. His main point was that he expected the robot to apologize to him. Mind you, his first language was Serbo-Croat.

News from Ali Baba

Pattaya’s favourite restaurant Ali Baba in Central Road has announced it will extend its 30 percent discount offer until at least the end of January. This applies to take-out orders as well as dine-in meals – assuming the latter are permitted by the powers-that-be. What distinguishes Ali Baba from its rivals is the variety and quality of the food. Superb.

Latest conspiracy theory

Thailand expects to roll out a preferred coronavirus vaccine in the next couple of months. But the war of words has already started. A Pattaya blogger on social media is advising against any injections as the pandemic is a fake and the vaccines will make you sterile. He’s likely watched the old movie A Christmas Carol as Scrooge wanted to decrease the surplus population.

Paperwork for retirement extension

From the rumour mill only. Discussions taking place about needing to provide an authorized vaccination certificate if you are applying for a one year Thai visa or extension, here and abroad. Starting in 2022. One good thing would be to get rid of conspiracy theorists who refuse vaccination because Bill Gates invented the disease to make another fortune.

No tourists in other countries

In answer to several Pattaya Mail readers, no tourist visas or visas on arrival are being granted in any neighboring country, plus the Philippines, any time soon. Thai land borders are closed to everyone except a limited number of guest workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia who must quarantine for two weeks like anyone arriving by air.