This is Thailand

 |  September 29, 2011

1. I know that it’s not safe to drink tap water here, but are there any places that can install filters into our taps so that we can use the water straight from there instead of using bottled water all the time.

Pim (intern):
HomePro is a great big DIY centre that sells just about anything house-related. Don’t let the DIY part scare you away, because when it comes to installing things they’ll come right over to your house and do it all for you. HomePro has a selection of water purifiers that range somewhere above 10,000 baht. Some of them are not made to install right into your plumbing system, so be sure to check exactly how they work first before you buy the wrong one, and trust me, it’s hard to get things refunded here.

2. I’ve noticed that most of the girls I’ve dated wear those big looking contact lenses. Are they supposed to help with your vision? And do they have to wear them all the time because honestly it scares me.

Pim (intern):
The circle contact lenses, also commonly referred to as ‘big eye,’ lenses, are popular among the younger Thai generation. There are many reasons as to why someone would want to wear them. One could be to simply make Asian eyes look bigger. Asians generally have small shaped eyes and single fold lids, therefore contact lenses that can manipulate the ratio between the iris and the eye can give the appearance of bigger, doll-like eyes. Of course another reason could be that the contacts are prescribed and do indeed improve your vision. Think of contact lenses as glasses – you don’t necessarily need to wear them all the time.

3. I’m really passionate in designing clothes at the moment and I have just purchased one of those Singer sewing machines that you see around a lot. The problem is, I don’t know how to use it properly, and the instructions that came with it are pretty much useless. I would love to be able to make dresses and proper clothes, but I don’t know where to go to learn how to do that.

Pim (intern):
Try applying for Uangdoi Design Dressmaking School if you want to enhance your designing skills and learn the proper methods to successfully sew pieces of cloth together. The dressmaking teacher is fluent in both English and French and has taught many foreigners over the past years, so communicating won’t be a problem at all. They have many different courses offering to teach a variety of skills. Visit their website to see all the course details and the schools location at www.uangdoidesignschool. com or call them at 053 278 349 for more application information.

4. Do you know of any book clubs I can join?

Pim (intern):
The Chiang Mai International Women’s book club. Once a member, you will be contacted regularly about the upcoming meetings and locations of the meetings, so be sure to check your inbox. Every six or so months everyone will be able to make suggestions on the books that they want to read, and then a final vote will be held to determine the six books that will become the reading list for the next six months. I recommend you send off an email to where you’ll receive a reply from the coordinator who will give you all the details you need to get started.

5. My next-door neighbour keeps cooking these horrendous smelling Thai dishes all the time, and the smoke keeps floating over to my house. I don’t want to shout at them from the other side of the garden wall, but I don’t want to offend them by telling that that their food stinks.

Pim (intern):
Instead of shouting out insults about their food, you should consider going over to their house and explaining to them that the place where they are cooking causes a lot of smoke to go into your house and nose. Of course don’t be too straightforward with them as that will just automatically offend them; break it to your neighbours slowly that you can’t take that awful stench anymore. If it’s your first time actually talking to them, then take a plate of fruit or sweets with you to break the tension. However, if that still doesn’t improve your situation, try shutting the windows.