I read with great interest two articles in your Friday, June 1, 2012 Mailbag.
The first was the very informative letter from “Robin Hood”. I was shocked to see how illegally I have been treated by an old, but major condo development on Jomtien Road 2. I had owned another condo on Central Pattaya on Pattaya Tai Road. This was my first experience in Pattaya and I learned quickly that the condo was run by (a group from the military). Members of the Owner’s Committee had been beaten and there was no question that the Thais ran the show. However, as long as I kept my month shut and maintained a low profile, it wasn’t too bad. Later I purchased a rai of land and built a home near Horse Shoe Point which injected 12 million THB to the Thai economy. I made friends with the head man through golf and had no problems with Thai racism.
Two years ago I purchased a beautiful 3 unit condo at the Jomtien condo which I cannot mention in fear of being sued for liable or put in jail for some other law aimed at Falangs. My first surprise was when I hired a crew to repair the walls of my bedroom and paint with a special process which provided a texture. When the workers arrived, they were held hostage at reception. I was ordered to proceed to the condo office where I was forced to pay a 5000 THB deposit for this minor work. Plus I was informed that I would pay 100 THB per day for their use of the elevator. Frankly, I considered this over the top. There was no structural work involved and there was a miniscule chance that painting a bedroom would damage the common area to the tune of 5000 THB. Nevertheless, I complied with this insanity, but wrote a 2 page letter of objections to the Management Committee. No acknowledgement. No reply.
Recently, I decided to move two electrical fixtures within one of the three rooms of my condo. First, I spoke with an Australian member of the committee to make sure I did not run afoul of the draconian regulations of this particular condo complex. I was careful to insure that the fee due the workers would be the only charge. He advised in no uncertain terms that the condo office DID NOT access a charge for using condo staff.
I then phoned the condo office to request a worker visit my condo on Sunday, May 20th. He spent 15 minutes in my condo and assured me the work would be no problem. Knowing the Thai mentality, I gave him 100 THB for coming to my condo quickly. He wanted to do the work on Monday, but I told him to schedule for Tuesday because I had to purchase a new light fixture. The appointment was set for 10.00 hrs. Tuesday. Good by Thai standards, he showed up at 10.30 with a helper. Nothing had been said about two men. To shorten the story, the work was substandard, the helper was worthless and did nothing but hold the ladder. At 11.30 the helper asked for 200 THB, to buy a chain for the light fixture. He disappeared for 2 hours and returned without a chain, but with a bill (in Thai of course). He used a chain from the ceiling fan they had removed. It was obvious that I was dealing with con men. Due to their total incompetence they did not complete the cleanup until almost 16.00 hrs. What amounted to a 2 hour job they managed to stretch into full day undertaking.
I planned to give the young man who did all the work 1000 THB and the worthless helper 300 THB. However, to my surprise, the helper demanded 1,500 THB – 1000 for the workers and 500 for the condo office. Since I had already received the assurance from a falang committee member that there was no charge to be paid to the condo office, I refused. I went to the elevator to make my way to the office. But coincidentally, a Thai joined us and he invited the lying worker to accompany us on the elevator which is supposedly off-limits to workers. I then asked him whether he would pay the fine for this violation. No response. Then I asked him whether he was on the committee. He nodded yes. Then I told him that a fellow committee member told me that there was no charge due the condo office. He ordered me to pay 1500 THB to the condo office. I know better than to confront a Thai because the Thai is always right and the Falang is always wrong. Thai racialism!
Now for Mr Williscroft’s letter about a racially motivated attack. I first came to Asia in 1966. I have spent most of the years since in virtually every country in Asia. Nowhere do I experience the degree of racial bias more than I do in Thailand. There is a right way, a wrong way and a Thai way. As a falang you are at the bottom of feeding chain. Accept it or get out.
Thailand has two drawing cards. 1) Cheap golf; 2) very good medical care. That is why I put up with this racial bias. But I am seriously considering liquidation of my holdings in Thailand and moving to another more welcoming Asian country. I do have many other choices than moving home to socialist Europe.
The Thais believe a new sucker will replace those who escape Thai bias. They are probably correct.
I sign this letter,
Not a mark to the Thai Con