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Mr Pattaya was the first really true farang environmentalist
To be stupid is not smart…
Re: Anti farang
Mr Pattaya was the first really true
In reply to the letter “Farangs should know better” in the July 27th issue:
Firstly, in response to Mr. Koto’s opening statement, I am a non smoker. I
regarded the targeting of cigarette butts as unrealistic as their presence
on the shoreline is limited compared with the other garbage, such as plastic
and styrofoam. For the most part the discarded butts are mostly beyond the
high water mark on the beach and as such are more readily dealt with in
regard to disposal by the beach vendors and the city clean up workers.
Louis X Fassbind.
Secondly, I do not understand why I must use the “spell check” and read all
of his posters. In my letter of the July 20th issue I quoted only a portion
of one of the posters as at that point in time I considered it to be
impolite or inconsiderate towards Mr. Koto to quote the entire text as in…
“and we here at pollution solution, along with all living thving things
thank you, there are trillions of cigartts smoked every year…” However, as
he brought it to my attention, and I would also like to point out that it is
his text not mine. Did he confuse a spell check with a lexicon per chance?
Mr. Koto’s letter is also a contradiction of his letter of June 29th whereby
he stated “I am ashamed of all of the farangs that live and visit Thailand.
I now understand why they are changing the visa rules. You bring in baht,
but you also bring your garbage and bad habits with you.” I sometimes wonder
if the village and the people who he is threatening to wake up are not in
fact educating him.
Thirdly, Mr. Koto posed the question “Roger? What have you done?” In
response I would like to say that I like so many other people also pick up
litter in the Pattaya beach area, which is where I reside. In my case I have
been doing so over the past thirty years. I concur that it is an ongoing and
seemingly endless task. Unlike Mr. Koto we do not devote the amount of time
to it as he has over the past five years as we have other interests.
However, that is his choice, and I for one do most certainly commend him for
his devotion, but the difference between us and Mr. Koto is that we do not
seek recognition or strive to promote ourselves because of it, we simply
just do it as a normal reaction in an attempt to keep the environment alive.
To digress slightly, this seems to be an appropriate opportunity to recall a
person who was perhaps Pattaya’s first really true farang environmentalist,
namely Louis X Fassbind, the past executive vice president of the Royal
Cliff Beach Resort, and also known, and quite rightly so as “Mr. Pattaya”.
As well as being an avid environmentalist he was also a great philanthropist
and visionary, who tirelessly promoted Pattaya as a tourist venue, and
attracting events of all categories to Pattaya, and was without doubt an
integral part of the development of the city. He was also a great
benefactor, using his own personal funds to establish the medical center at
the Banglamung Home for the Elderly, and making provision for its
continuance in his last will and testament. “Charity” should have been his
I recall when we used to pick up along the beach and sometimes with much
difficulty traverse the rocky outlet at the point (where the lighthouse is
now situated) and deposit our garbage bags in the bins at the Royal Cliff,
and then sneaking (as in trespass, and avoiding the security staff) through
the complex making our way to the outside baht bus area, and invariably to
be greeted in the lobby by a smiling waitress with a welcome tray of cold
drinks “compliments of the manager”.
His interests in the environment was far reaching too the extent that he
“adopted” Koh Pai (Bamboo Island). Guests of the Royal Cliff would be
transported there as a part of a day trip, and be greeted upon arrival with
a glass of champagne, presented with a garbage bag, and invited to assist in
cleaning the beach.
I took the time to digress as an opportunity of remembrance as he was
unexpectedly taken from us nine years ago today, Friday August 3rd. He left
behind a lifetime legacy as a truly genuine person, who did not “talk the
talk, but always walked the walk”, and as such is entitled to command much
respect as a true pioneer of Pattaya.
To be stupid is not smart…
After 90,000 km in my car here in Thailand, I think I have seen almost every
kind of accident, but the latest (please observe that I did not use the word
“last” here) could be what we these days may be called “The Mother of all
The reason is that this one had all the classic ingredients: She was a very
young school girl, maybe even too young, crash helmet in the basket, no
lights and going with too much speed. He was a young man, helmet in the
basket, no lights and speeding! I could see him in my mirror 200 yards
behind me doing those sweeping long curves, crossing the “double yellow” to
He passed me and the car in front of me and coming in over the double
yellow, he decided to pass the girl on the inside (left), but in that same
moment she made a left turn into a soi without giving any signal (why should
she, she knew where she would like to go).
Afterwards we had “One man down” as they say in the movies. She was jumping
around on one leg and the scar on the other one would remind her later in
life that she had come very close to meeting “The Ferryman” and thereafter
being reborn as a soi-dog.
The “funny” part was 2 helmets on the street and in the middle a broken
water melon, maybe the part of the company with most brains.
All these accidents have a very strange and I guess for many readers an
unknown implication. In all western countries and in Thailand the numbers of
boys born are 105 compared to 100 girls. In the western part of the world
that number stays more or less up to the age of 65 and then the ladies take
the lead. However, in Thailand the population estimate for 2007 shows that
around 800,000 men are missing in the age between 15 and 65. The numbers
from 0-14 are normal. (When you see how the men here drive motor bikes that
is not a very big surprise, even if not all of those 800,000 do the “big
leap” in motorbike accidents).
Could any kind of education help? Of course not! Remember that all babies in
this country start learning how not to behave in traffic two days after
birth when brought home on a motorbike from the hospital and for the next 14
years they are daily on motorbikes being imprinted with all the bad habits.
In my opinion only one thing could help: Make a list with the 5 worst
offences. That could be running a red light, driving without a helmet, no
lights after dark, driving in the wrong direction and crossing double yellow
in order to pass normal traffic.
And what is the penalty? Simple, the motor bike is impounded for 3 months!
And who is going to pay for having the bike stacked up some place? Simple
again, the owner pays all expenses when the bike is released. In addition,
with repeated offences, the number of months is doubled every time.
Do not tell me this cannot be done. Any quick thinking person could have
that system up and running in no time.
“Tired of stupid people”
Re: Anti farang
Hi - firstly I love your paper and read it every Friday - it brightens my
week especially in the cold and dark of Norway’s winter period.
With regard to Anti Farang’s banking charge of 50 baht a month on an account
of 700 baht. The originator is leaving Thailand over a 50 baht a month bank
charge - is this serious? If you want to see bank charges then come to
Norway. Actually charges apply in most European countries so why the big
surprise in Thailand? 50 baht a month for overheads and administering a
regular account in Thailand seems very fair to me.
With regard to the small print Thai language difficulty - many international
banks have web sites in both Thai and English but I doubt (without meaning
any offence) that any serious international bank would even have opened an
account for 700 baht, they are, after all, a business and have costs to pay
the same as the rest of us.
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