Your Say: August 2018
Congratulations on the June 2018 issue of Citylife!!! Wow!
Snatched a copy of it from Movenpick Suriwongse Hotel’s fairly new coffee/fruit juice/cookies arcade outside under fans, found stories very useful, and wondered if you have extra copies of it, as it would be useful to Kachins, Burmese in Yangon/Mandalay, Karens in Yangon & Thailand, and a whole host of people…also a fascinating story on bamboo! [June 2018: Curse of the Blood Jade, What’s So Fascinating about Bamboo?]
Princess Ying Sita
[Never-ending] Pit Stop
I’m an avid reader of Citylife magazine and would like to thank you for all the fantastic editorial work you do. I’m emailing you in the hope that you and your team could change, or at least have some kind of positive impact, on the concerning rising levels of police corruption I’m witnessing on a daily basis.
I’m talking about the police check point that position themselves opposite Maya Mall (on Huay Kaew Road — the side of the road that leads up to CMU). Right now, 4 hours after first pulling over their first victim, they are still swiping 500 baht notes from foreigner tourists. Their greed is growing. Their 2 hour shifts of corruption have doubled to 4 and sometimes even 5 hours. They now set up at the same spot almost every day (last year it was 2 – 3 times per week) and show no signs of easing. This is so fundamentally and ethically wrong. These supposed-law-enforcing-people have gone beyond a joke.
I have my own bike, taxed, green book and have a Thai license. These police are now asking for everything. If you don’t have the full works, they want between 200-500 baht on the spot. I spoke with several tourists who all said basically the same thing: ‘I only paid them 500 baht. The police officer said if I get stopped again I can show them my receipt, which is valid for 3 days. This means I don’t need to pay another 500 baht fine which is great!’ Having lived here for four and half years, those words sent shivers down my body. Tourists are not only being ripped off, they’re being manipulated by corruption and worse still, accepting it with a smile.
If there’s anything you can do, by taking photographs of these events / broadcasting this information to the masses via your website and magazines, I’d be extremely grateful. I really don’t know where to turn to voice my concerns. Things are getting much worse and will continue to do so until someone, somewhere high up in the land of corruption, starts to look over their shoulder.
Covering the Cave
Amazing coverage Citylife of the Wild Boars. Thank you for your efforts in keeping us up to date on all news coming out of the cave, so to speak.
Warm and Fuzzy
Was most impressed to read about the Shafers of Warm Heart Foundation in your magazine recently. [The Heart Warming Story of Warm Heart Foundation: July 2018]
I knew that they did all the work with bio char and that they took care of some orphans, but had no idea of the wide reach and scope of work which they have dedicated their lives towards. It is important that these people are recognised and supported. I have since learnt more about the couple and can only be impressed at the positive effects someone can have on our planet. Something to aspire to.
I have long enjoyed the editor’s fiery editorials. Having met her a few times, it sounds like how she speaks, and that is a genuine quality I like in a writer. This does not mean that I agree with her. She is far more liberal than I think Thailand is, and while her intentions may not be bad, I don’t think she speaks for Thai people.
Recently she talks about our apathy towards activism and this is when I finally feel I have to myself speak up. Thai people are very civic minded and have a long history of activism. We used to live in communities which centred around a temple, the heart of any village. It was here that we would come together to help each other, to feed those who were hungry, to offer shelter to the homeless and to support one another and join voices to fight for things. It may not be farang style activism, but it is a community support system which we have had for a long time. I also disagreed with her other editorials. But I always enjoy reading them!