Prostitutes on Beach Road
Police say that an anti-prostitute sweep on Beach Road is overdue after “coconut ghosts” were spotted several nights in succession. The name derives from the belief that standing under the trees is a dangerous habit as you might be hit on the head by falling fruit and expire shortly thereafter. Those prostitutes who survive any mishap are usually fined 100 baht and sent on their way.
Inflation on the march
With economy diesel at around 34 baht per liter and premium grade touching 50, food and other essentials are rising in price. A major reason is that most goods in Thailand are dispatched on lorries and other transport guzzling that fuel. Just out of interest, a diesel liter in 1995 would set you back 8 baht and a haircut 30 baht.
The current midnight ban on alcohol sales needs to be abandoned by the government if Pattaya is to get back on track. It’s noteworthy so far that many gogo clubs – specializing in dancers wearing a smile – are still closed. Some say the problem is the midnight ban, others that new registration under the Covid rules is complicated with police peering over your shoulder.
Importance of insurance
Not much will happen in Thai hospitals until the authorities have cleared your insurance or received a cash basis to start treatment. Most insurance policies bought by foreigners to enter Thailand cover you for some Covid care, but not for accidents, heart attacks or other miseries. Hospitals in Cambodia and Vietnam actually carry notices, “Please produce evidence of ability to pay.”
Pattaya road chaos
Daily traffic buildups are now serious. The worst appear to be on Second Road (near Villa and the also the junction with South Road) and on Thepprasit Road. City Hall promises to speed things up which sounds like a Herculean task. The entrance to Walking Street is a total dug-up mess, but the intention is to be spick and span by the beginning of July. We live in hope.
Foreign police volunteers
There are two operational groups in Pattaya: FTPA (Foreign Tourist Police Assistants based on Walking Street) and FPV (Foreign Police Volunteers based in the main police station). They hate being mixed up by the way. Both provide special ID cards and work permits are not required. Much of the work is translating or explaining, but the volunteers are not police officers and should act only under the authority of a regular Thai cop.
A reader asks how many Pattaya people in the past three months have been fined for not wearing a face mask outside which is technically required. We haven’t heard of any. The latest regulation is that bar staff must wear a mask when talking (and so on) to customers. We will have to wait and see if this rule is actually enforced by police or health authorities. Cops call this kind of instruction a “reserve power”.
Nestle opens new factory
The news that consumer goods maker Nestle in Thailand has launched a new factory in Rayong has led to some hoping that cheap chocolate bars would soon be flooding the market. No, no. This is simply another milestone for the company to produce high quality pet food for the domestic and international markets. Commerce is more complicated now than 30 years ago.
Petrol border hunters
Thousands of Laotians and Cambodians are pouring across the newly-opened borders on short passes. They drive cars and trucks but always ensure that they fill up with petrol on the Thai side. This is because the cost of fuel here is cheaper than in either of the neighboring countries. Not everybody knows that, so best to keep it a secret.
A likely story
A Thai lady has been arrested after stealing her husband’s credit card, jewelry, car keys and several items of clothing. Police said she had become angry after he had accused her of infidelity which she denied strongly. The husband said he had become suspicious because two pairs of underpants he found on the washing line did not belong to him.