++ Grumpy with Songkran ++
Every year I read articles written by foreigners, advising that at Songkran you should let people throw water at you and accept it with good grace. If the water throwers were doing anything remotely resembling the original traditions of the festival, i.e. sprinkling water over the shoulders of family elders, then I could accept this argument. However these louts can rightly be considered as hooligans, where in most law-abiding countries, they would be arrested and prosecuted. Therefore I cannot accept this wimpish argument.
I treat these hooligans in the same manner that they treat everyone else. I stop my motorbike just before I reach them and raise the visor on my crash helmet, so that they can see that I am a foreigner. I then ask them to put the water down. If they do not, I raise my fist and approach them in a threatening manner and this does the trick. I have never once had water thrown at me in fifteen years.
If the police do not want to act, then we must teach these thugs a lesson.
++ Solid Ed ++
All this and more can be applied to your brave editorial in the March issue of Citylife. Thank you for saying what you did.
Thailand’s existing archaic lese majeste laws amount to a disservice to the people of Thailand and do nothing for the world view of Thailand as a democratic country dedicated to free speech.
Yes. Even His Majesty The King has wisely stated that he is of the same human stock as us all and is capable of making mistakes and therefore open to constructive criticism.
What a magnanimous thing for him to have said!
If only those in places of political power would take his sage advice.
Though your editorial is certainly one of the best and most vital you have ever written for the magazine, I am confused by one of your statements: “But, to abolish a law, at a time when the law is being used as a weapon to destabilise the country, is dangerous.” If the enacting of that law causes destabilisation in the country, why not abolish it?
If the law is being abused and used for political gain and suppression of freedom… why not abolish it?
I have made Thailand my home for the last five years. I have watched my adopted country lose traction when compared to other Southeast Asian countries. Slowly but surely, Thailand is losing its position among its competitive neighbours. The lack of progress may be due to the continued embrace of out dated laws and face driven mind sets. It is my fervent wish and hope that the present and future leaders of Thailand acknowledge the growing economic, educational, environmental and societal deficits before it is too late.
++ Staying Relevant ++
Bravo! Great editorial this month, brave, pointed and thoughtful. Citylife continues to address issues relevant to residents in Chiang Mai. I am impressed and a fan.
++ Manning Up ++
I moved to Thailand because of how friendly the people are. But for some reason this doesn’t seem to translate to the dating field, at least not for farang girls. I am not going to bang on about there being few decent farang guys here, I think there are lots of hot Thai guys and I am up for dating them. But I can’t seem to get a Thai man to approach me unless it’s in a nightclub at three in the morning and he’s had a few too many shots of whiskey. Am I really that intimidating? Whether it is the language or culture I don’t know, I just want to say come on ‘man up guys!’
Little Miss Wait and See
++ Enough is Enough ++
When will it ever end?!?! Same old story every year and nothing gets done. We all love Chiang Mai, but the pollution at this time of year is killing us.