This issue of
Citylife

This is Thailand

 

For those of you with any questions regarding Thailand, Thai culture, history, tourism, laws, rules, food, nightlife, sub-cultures, dating; generally anything as long as it is relevant,
we have a panel of three experts who will respond to your enquiries.
Email: [email protected]

1. What is the chief occupation of the Thais?

Hugh:
I am told, agriculture 38.9%,For those of you with any questions regarding Thailand, Thai culture, history, tourism, laws, rules, food, nightlife, sub-cultures, dating; generally anything as long as it is relevant,

we have a panel of three experts who will respond to your enquiries.

Email: [email protected]

manufacturing 15.1%, wholesale and retail trade 15.1%, other services (financial sector, education, hotels and restaurants, etc.) 28.8%.

2. Ok, what about Valentine’s Day. Where do you three think is the most romantic place in the north to take someone?

James:
It’s a matter of personal taste I am afraid. Citylife has a few recommendations this month.

Hugh:
I have been married for more than 38 years. So, for me, the most romantic place in the world to take my wife is to sit in front of my TV and watch Casablanca for at least the 50th time. A good bowl of ice cream would add that extra perfect touch.

3. If I’m going to be a father to a child in Thailand and I’m in Australia what is my legal obligation with financial support?

James:
If you don’t give her child support the woman can go to the courts and make a claim. That is the law in Thailand although many women don’t take advantage of the law, and sadly the law is rarely enforced. Although, if you were not married by Australian law then she cannot legally demand support. At the end of the day there are so many single mothers in Thailand abandoned by men, Thai and foreign, who the law are unable to force responsibility upon. I would go with your conscience…

4. Hi, I was wondering if you could help. I have a feeling that my son is taking drugs – I’m not sure what, I think some kind of amphetamine or possibly even opiates – he also drinks every day. I am concerned, he’s not really a bad kid. Is there anywhere that can help before it’s too late?

James:
It depends how bad his addiction is. Some people can overcome these things without much help, others can’t. A simple stay at a place where he can’t buy drugs would force him into a withdrawal (cold turkey), but staying clean is another thing altogether. There is a detox clinic/resort in Kantchanaburi, tel: 086 881 0908. Closer to home, but certainly no resort is the Northern Drug Dependence Treatment Center in Mae Rim, tel: 053 297 976, 053 299 392. There are also AA meetings at the YMCA, tel: 084 485 0100 and another at Seven Fountains on Huay Kaew Road, tel: 087 300 4668. Other than that you can learn about all kinds of drug dependencies and kinds of assistance at www.heroin-detox.com. We used to say in England that people on the ‘morning shift’, doing drugs or drinking in the morning, were the ones in real trouble. If your son is waking up to booze or doses of pills or heroin then his addiction is most likely taxing him heavily on his body and wallet. People usually need plenty of support after addiction detox and more often than not a complete lifestyle change. Suan Prung Hospital is a good place to start, doctors there offer counselling for families of addicts as well as for addicts themselves.

Hugh:
Before anything, I would recommend an intervention. Very simply, this means that you, his mom, his siblings, other relatives, friends, anyone who cares about him, sits him down and lets him know how much you care for and love him and how much you think he is hurting himself with these actions, and how you are all there to help him make some changes in his life. But when all is said and done, it is he who must make the choice to change, whether that is going into rehab, going to AA, going to various temples which specialise in getting people sober, or just saying ‘no’. If you are there for support he will have a lot better chance of success. My sincerest best wishes in this difficult time.

5.Regarding public holidays, demographically, how does Thailand compare to, say, USA, UK, other Asian countries? For us Hilton occupants it seems as if every other day is a public holiday for the ‘screws’.

James:
16 days a year: China, Egypt. 15 days: Indonesia, Thailand, India. 14 days: Malaysia. 13 days: South Korea, Chile, Turkey, Austria. Although, to be fair, the Thais generally receive only 13 days holiday a year according to the labour law – this is extremely low as most countries get 25 – 30 days (UK: 28) and around 10 days public holidays. According to OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) South Korea (2390 hours per year) is by far the hardest working country, followed by Poland, Mexico, Czech, Japan, Greece, USA (1777 hours per year).