Driving in Thailand can be hazardous to your health; perhaps you already knew that, but in case you didn’t, this was one of the messages that emerged from the discussion format at the Sunday, May 12 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club. For a change of pace from their usual speaker, the meeting instead featured a general discussion on items in the news and items of general interest.
The discussion was moderated by Tony Heron. Tony is a long-time PCEC member and has previously been the featured speaker at a couple of the Club’s meetings. “Driving in Thailand” was one of three topics discussed that gleaned the most comments and opinions – a topic dear to all expats living here. The other two topics were (1) the recent news about the kidnapping of three women in the US and (2) the 65th anniversary of Israel and the plight of Palestinians.
Today’s speaker (or questioner) was member Tony Heron, with the topic being ‘Current Issues’ – what are the opinions of the members about various issues in the news today?
During the discussion on driving in Thailand, one person said that he moved from the “other” side of Sukhumvit Road back to Pattaya, then he sold his car, and that he will drive here no more. Another person opined that if Thailand made it mandatory to take a driving course before one could get one’s first driving licence, at least people would know the laws related to driving.
Whether they would observe the laws is another matter, he said. Another member said that the real problem is the lack of enforcement of the laws.
A few members said they have gotten so used to driving “badly” in Thailand that when they go back to their home country for a visit, they invariably break all of the rules of road.
The discussion on the US kidnappings was quite lively. Several persons said that there were signs that something was amiss, and that police and social workers should have been more on the ball. Others said that they were incredulous that such a situation could go on for ten years without anyone noticing – or, if they noticed, without anyone doing something about it.
Several persons pointed out that kidnapping and trafficking of young women and children happen all over the world, and is a huge problem in our region.
Member Ren Lexander gives his well considered point of view.
A few people said that if we spot something amiss, we should not just look the other way: we have a duty to report it. Also there was some discussion on the impact on the victims in returning to a normal life. One person related the story of a nine-year old boy in the US who was kidnapped and abused for seven years, and then managed to escape – only to find himself being victimized again by the constant insults, taunts, and teasing of his classmates after he went back to school.
The discussion on Israel and the Palestinians was brief. Perhaps people were reluctant to delve into what is an emotional, complex and intractable issue.
After the discussion, Master of Ceremonies Roy Albiston updated everyone on upcoming events and called on Judith Edmonds to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about expat living in Thailand. During the discussion, some questions were raised concerning international driving permits. This subject, and other matters related to vehicles, insurance and driving in Thailand are covered on the PCEC website in the Living in Thailand section on the topic of Vehicles. One section of this topic comments on the rules of the road or the lack thereof.
For more information about that and the many activities of the Pattaya City Expats Club, visit their website at www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.
MC Roy Albiston opens the 12th of May PCEC meeting by inviting new visitors to introduce themselves.
Following the ‘Inquisition’, MC Roy presented Tony with a Certificate of Appreciation.
New member Peter Banner, the ‘Happy Auctioneer’ and member Donna Westendorf pose with a replica of the European Champions Cup, supporting the upcoming Golf Day & Dinners on the 7th and 9th of June, and the Gala Dinners on the 6th & 8th of June. For more information, contact [email protected]