Your Say

 |  May 27, 2009

[right]Your say is an open forum for you the reader to express your opinions. Write to:, subject: Your say. Letters can be on any subject and priority will be given to letters under 200 words.Letters may be edited for clarity or conciseness. Name and contact details must be supplied.[/right]

June, 2009.

Tips in Thailand

We had the great opportunity to visit your beautiful city in April. The people of your fair land are some of the kindest and warmest folks we have ever had the good fortune to meet. However, we were at a loss to find trash and litter cans anywhere. We were left to ask store owners and vendors if they would take our garbage. What on earth do people do? It seems like a little thing, but travelling around Thailand we found the lack of trash containers widespread.

Cheryl and Louie Van Duzer

The Cops are Coming Part II

I read with interest your interview with the new police chief, who was threatening to take off the road all unregistered motorbikes (this would include most of the bigger bikes which foreigners prefer). It has long been the belief that they can confiscate the bike, but is this legal? Can Citylife clarify this perhaps? As far as I can tell there is no law making it illegal to own an unregistered vehicle (for example for your own private use on your farm) and the maximum fine for driving one on public roads is 400 baht. This would apply to ATVs, buggies, even e-tarns. He says they will be turned over to customs for the full duty to be paid, but since these bikes were never imported as complete articles, then no duty is due. For as long as anyone can remember these ‘rebuilt’ bikes have existed by skirting the law, but since no bike over 250 cc is manufactured in Thailand it can also be argued that the import duty on big bikes is an irrelevant law.

It seems to me just another opportunity for our law enforcers to create gratuity, it’s got nothing to do with actually enforcing the law.


Two-Tiered Determination

In the March issue of Citylife a lawyer was quoted (whom I believe is the lawyer used by Citylife) as saying in regards to pricing discrimination “It’s illegal according to Thai law; there is an Act to protect the consumer that states that prices have to be fair.”

In our fight to bring about equality we have TAT Chiang Mai on side. It would be of great assistance if the said lawyer would qualify his statements in reference to Thai law by giving us the specific information. Could the lawyer please advise precisely where in Thai constitutional law it is said that pricing discrimination is illegal? I would really appreciate being able to continue this battle by being able to refer to numbered clauses in the law.

Then we may have a chance to bring about change.

Ron Lister
[Ed. Consumer Protection Act, B.E. 2522 (1979)

TAT, whom Ron is on familiar terms with, sent him this letter which they had sent to various organisations throughout Chiang Mai.

‘TAT received letters of complaint and request from foreigners who are residents of Thailand who disagree with the policy of double pricing for entrance into various locations between Thais and foreigners such as Chiang Mai Zoo, Doi Suthep temple, national parks, etc. Their belief is that this system is not just and fair.

TAT Chiang Mai feels that these are opinions and advice which foreign tourists or residents have a right to bring to our attention and to ask for your consideration, we therefore feel that we need to inform you of this and ask you to consider the matter.

We therefore ask you to consider this and if you have any development on this matter would be most grateful if you informed our office.

Thank you in advance.’

Chalermsak Surannant
(Director TAT region 1)

Literally Brilliant

I am writing to inform you that Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn, your chosen winner of the Northern Chapter of the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award for Thailand, has been awarded the Freeman Asian Scholarship to study English Literature at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA. This is awarded to only one student from Thailand per year and only eleven students from Asia as a whole. The scholarship is worth over USD 40,000 per year.

Congratulations on your prescient judgment of Kanyakrit’s ability, and congratulations from all of us in the NIS faculty to Kanyakrit herself for an excellent conclusion to her high school career!

Aidan Tolhurst
Head of Literature
Nakornpayap International School


Citylife is a good travel magazine. By and large it provides very useful information for travellers, defends the rights of animals, such as elephants and helps to protect the environment by campaigning for clean air.

However, there have been many times when I wondered why Citylife includes the monthly strained and pointless editorials. None have been worse than April 09. If there is nothing to write then why waste time and paper? Take a month off and write again when you have something worth printing.

With that said, what could be more thoughtless and horrifying than the story of the house servant Pi Sibud? [sic. Ed. Sibud is servant to no one] From the beginning the editor shows an incredible lack of sense by making light of and as if to agree with Pi Sibud’s grotesque recommendation of ‘SNIP-SNIP’ genital mutilation. Pi Sibud seems to be full of just silly HIGGLEDY-PIGGLEDY phrases. Oh yeah, real cute, all the way to the hospital. Absolutely sickening…

Okay, it was all just a joke and don’t take it so seriously right? In fact: Countless females in Islamic countries and elsewhere, as well as scores of males have suffered from genital mutilation. ‘SNIP SNIP’ Ha Ha. Hey Pim and Sibud! Wake up! There is nothing cute, nor HIGGLEDY-PIGGLEDY-WIGGLEDY about it! Citylife is usually better than this. Cityife often opposes and educates it’s readers about abuse, rather than suggesting it as a form of spousal control even in jest.

Here are few ideas for the great and wise Pi Sibud and her owner Pi Pim: If you don’t like a show on TV change the channel. If you don’t like your spouse don’t stay with them. If you don’t like stepping and fetching for the great white family who are too lazy to wash their own dishes and do their own laundry then stop wasting your life and go find your own family.

This is still Lanna culture, not the Taliban-Sibud yet. In this country you are still free to choose your life while you still can.

The north is full of uneducated and exploited house servants like Pi Sibud and unfortunately many mutilated spouses as well. So, let’s all turn off the lakorn, and clean your own house you decadent westerners and promote and provide universal education rather than providing servitude as a great opportunity and gift for the people of Lanna! Citylife is still a good magazine.

James Jest