I am a German and I am reading the Pattaya Mail since ever and just because of your column. I do not live in Pattaya and I am thinking some of your advices should be printed in a small brochure and to be handed over to passengers whilst final approach on Suvarnabhumi. Your answers always give me a good laugh Fridays.
Anyhow, now living here permanently since many years, this letter to you is just in ref. to the German fellow named Helmut, who wrote about missing mail from Germany.
You are absolutely right that someone should put the banknotes between some other folded papers but he should also in any case mail the letter as registered mail. Sending registered letters from Germany means that in case of loss the sender is able to claim the loss in fulfilling a certain formula. Be sure that a registered letter can be followed up to the final point and be sure that there is a certain department at the Post Headquarters in Bangkok and they are damn serious in that cases. What ever the result will be, the sender will receive his money back in meaning of the fees only. It is on his risk to send money.
So I just had two losses. In one case an ambush and robbery on such a van in Germany. In the other case it has been stolen from the safe inside the Post-Office in Thailand, which has been open and not been over watched just for a very short period. Not only did I get the money back, but I had to prepare a letter to be sent to the Headquarter in Bangkok describing that I forgive the man in charge who made it possible that the thief could grab the letter, which I have done.
If the sender is using bi-lingual address labels there will be less problems. Handwritten address and not in capital block letters can be a problem and will cause delays for sure.
I am receiving registered small parcels from Germany regularly and the valuable content of it is mentioned outside on the tax declaration. I have never lost such a parcel. So due to my experience there are more stolen letters within Germany itself. Special the letters containing credit cards like Amex which are coming by normal Mail from Brighton U.K. and any idiot knows what’s inside. I have cancelled my membership after 25 years for that reason even if the cards are worthless for the thief due to security things.
So finally in case that Mr. Helmut was sending a registered letter, he can claim it as lost. It is free of charges and he will get his postage fee back for sure and he will find out if the girl was lying. A registered letter has to be signed on receipt, so the girl can’t lie without having problems (she would have for sure if I would be the postman).
For me it seems that Mr. Helmut is not so much in love based on the amount he did send to his bar-girl. Hard times for the water-buffalos are in sight.
Looking forward in reading more of your advices to the inexperienced rookies my best regards and all good wishes to you.
Ronald from Rayong
Dear Ronald from Rayong,
Thank you very much for all your advice, Petal (but I did have to shorten you letter a little, sorry). However, with electronic transfer of funds these days, the easiest way is to do a bank transfer from your (German or wherever) account, to an ATM based account here. Of course, as you say, if you are running a ‘funny money’ account, then you have to be careful! Put a ceiling on the amount that can be withdrawn as a daily amount too.