- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
And still another way to look at things local
Visa application refused
Build bridges, not landmarks
Mom Tri’s Boathouse Second Short Fiction Contest 2008
Criminal Neglect - The junctions along the new railway roads will
become black spots very soon, without traffic control. There are six two way
traffic roads entering the junctions with a train running through the centre
and no signs or traffic lights. Are the responsible city departments waiting
for a serious accident, with possible deaths of women and children to occur,
before they do their job? Too late!
I suggest the seaside road be one-way traffic South to North and other side
one-way traffic North to South to relieve some pressure on the junctions.
Then install traffic signs & lights, ASAP. To allow this dangerous situation
to persist, is nothing less than criminal negligence.
Resident Siam Country Club Road Traffic Light Frustration - Drivers
traveling South on Sukhumvit wishing to turn right into Centre Pattaya Road,
face a bewildering set of traffic lights, which change from red to green
straight ahead, then sometimes a green to turn right. More other than not,
they change back to red and drivers do not know what to do. Please
synchronize the lights correctly before serious accidents occur.
We were sorry to see the letter from Alan (last week’s mailbag). A friend of
ours lost 20,000 baht in what seems like an identical scam in January while
we were in Pattaya. No surprise that Alan was still able to drink his fill
in Cheers bar on “tick” (as we Geordies call it). Colin and Stan would show
him every sympathy. Colin was probably thinking of how many bounties and
curly wurlys could have been bought with the 1500 baht!
Cheer up Alan, King Kev might not be able to stop you getting pick-pocketed
but hopefully he will sort out the last part of your letter (no more 6-0
defeats). Best wishes to Colin, Stan, the staff and all the good people we
have met in Cheers.
And still another way
to look at things local
My response to the letter: Thinking of coming to Thailand?, Bill Turner, Los
Angeles, USA: I always pay in LA twice the taxi fare they ask me for. They
are poor people. At any fast food restaurant in LA I always pay at least
twice the price and so on. And people not doing this should never come to
Is this you want to tell us? Nobody is talking about the 5 baht, everybody
is talking about the different pricing. Hard to understand for you? The
education level of tourist here in Pattaya gets worse and worse... The
quality tourist should have a bit of education - or stay at home. The lack
of education of tourists causes many problems here... other tourists have to
suffer because of those billionaires.
I studied, had a big company and retired with 40 - and pay only what the
locals pay. It is not the money... It is about using the brain.
My response to letter: Stray dogs, Robert P Splaine: Dear Robert, I am very
grateful that you want to take the responsibility for stray dogs. In my time
here in Asia I got bitten several times by them. Afterwards I had high
expenses for the rabies treatment. In any case it was always very scary to
meet those animals without any social behavior.
Please let me know your email address. I hope so much that you try to help
me too and not only those creatures. All those hospital bills were not
cheap. I do not ask for a compensation for all the fear and pain I suffered
- just for the hospital bills. Have to admit - I am not a dog. Don’t let me
down because of this!
Visa application refused
Some time ago, there were many complaints about obtaining visas from the
British Embassy, but not recently. Does this mean everyone is now satisfied
with the system? Or has apathy set in and they cannot be bothered to
I recently applied for a Swiss visa for my wife’s 16 year old niece. She has
been living with us for 3 years, and I thought it would be a good idea for
her to go to live for the allotted 90 days with my son and his young family
in Zurich, with a view to mental stimulation, and developing a somewhat shy
personality. I think it would be an inestimable advantage to have some
English and German.
In spite of there being no financial problems, an ultra safe haven in that
she would be living with her putative step brother and family, a confirmed
and paid for return ticket, with a ticket also for my wife to accompany her
on both legs of the journey, the application was refused because “her exit
from Switzerland, on expiry of the visa, was not guaranteed”. Of course (I
believe) this is not the real reason, but merely an excuse to avoid stating
what the real reason would be.
So what might the real reason be? If you go to
http/bern.usembassy.gov/trafficking in persons.html, you will see that
Switzerland gets something of a slamming for not doing enough to prevent
such trafficking, and it may be that the Swiss have overreacted by a sort of
built in racial discrimination clause, i.e. she’s Thai, female, therefore
she is going to a whorehouse.
If not this, one wonders why they have not the moral courage to say what the
real reason is, so that one can discuss it. Rather they prefer to treat an
applicant as a moron. Of course the whole system is flawed. Advisers who
understand the question, and what lies behind it are barred from the
interview. The interviewer, in all embassies, are trained so they know what
questions to ask, to trap the uneducated. I am sure that if they asked young
ladies from Issan if they liked potassium cyanide, the girls would nod in
assent, rather than admit they did not know what it was.
Of course, one has no cards to play. It is even probable that like the
public hangman, the visa departments will maintain they are only obeying
orders. Probably so. One has the right of appeal, of course, a time
consuming process, which even if successful, would not erase the nasty taste
of unjustified rejection.
Build bridges, not landmarks
I just read in your newspaper the article about Pattaya allocating 3 million
baht for building two new “landmarks” for our city. I refer to the two
proposed clock towers. I accept that I will never understand the Thai way of
thinking. But why all this effort to create unneeded “landmarks”. And by the
way, why is a clock tower a landmark anyway? If Pattaya wants to improve the
image of this city as a good place for tourists to visit, how about building
a few overhead footbridges so that tourists can cross Beach Road safely
without endangering their lives? Tourists want safety, not the illusion of
it. People want value, not price increases without improved services. Come
on city leaders, when will you ever think like (me) in order to attract
more? Sad, Sad, Sad!
A Helping Hand
In viewing your TV news special report today on “Tiffany’s” I observed
several common mistakes by your reporter. He referred to the show’s ladyboys
as transvestites. By definition ladyboys are not transvestites.
Transvestites are men who live their lives as men and who also dress up as
women but still look like men. Ladyboys are transsexuals. Transsexuals
identify as females, live their lives as females, and look and act like
females. Most transsexuals undergo hormone therapy or sexual reassignment in
the form of breast implants or surgery.
Your reporter also referred to the Tiffany show’s dancers as “katoeys.”
Katoey is the Thai name for ladyboys and is a derogatory term. It is
considered an insult to refer to ladyboys as katoeys. In Thailand where most
transsexuals become ladyboys as small children and where their presence is
culturally accepted, it is unprofessional and politically incorrect to call
them katoeys or transvestites.
It is recommended that your reporters do their homework and become informed
prior to conducting interviews and special news reports.
Dr Iain replies: I have no desire to become involved in deep
semantics over a light-hearted TV (television, not transvestite) feature.
Tiffany’s Show refers to itself in its website as (quote) “the first ever
truly transvestite cabaret show in South East Asia.” If it is good enough
for them, then it is good enough for me. The term “katoey” is not
derogative. Compared to Western countries where transgenders and
transsexuals are just beginning to become visible, katoeys are much more
visible and are widely accepted in Thai culture. Several popular Thai
models, movie stars and singers are katoeys. Finally, there is much more
involved psychologically in being a transsexual than just having gender
Mom Tri’s Boathouse
Second Short Fiction Contest 2008
Part 1: Open to All
Part 2: Open to Age Group 15 – 18 years
The Boathouse announces the second Mom Tri’s Boathouse Short Fiction Contest
and invites aspiring writers to pen up to 1,500 words of original prose.
Last year saw the first annual Boathouse writing competition which was
judged by Jake Needham, Asia’s most stylish and atmospheric writer of such
bestsellers as ‘The Big Mango’, ‘Laundry Man’ and ‘Killing Plato’ –a Jack
Shepherd crime fiction story set in Phuket and starting in the Boathouse’s
own Galley Bar.
The competition generated a large and enthusiastic response from which Chris
Bonds was judged the winner. Chris went on to expand his short fiction piece
into a full-length novel which was accepted by a New York Publishing House
and will appear shortly. The Greater Phuket Magazine sponsored the
competition and placed no less than three pieces of the best writing in its
pages during 2007.
The second competition will be in two parts.
Firstly the adult competition open to all, requiring stories of 1,000 up to
1,500 words, containing the three key words: the Boathouse, Phuket and (the
big) Mango. Deadline for Part 1 entries will be 29 February and winners will
be announced 12 March 2008. Details and conditions can be found on
Secondly a competition open to young school age writers 15 to 18 years. To
get the students going, the beginning of a short Jack Shepherd story is
posted on www.boathouse.net/short_fiction_contest.htm. Students are asked to
finish the story using between 800 and 1,200 words.
To help stimulate the creative imaginations of the students, Jake will
conduct a workshop at Phuket’s International Schools on 11 - 12 March
(details to be announced) and excerpts from Jack Shepherd books are
available on www. JakeNeedham.com at the Podbooks section as audio files to
listen to. Part 2 of the contest closes 10 April 2008. Three outstanding
entries will be chosen and announced by the end of April.
Winners will be able to experience the famous Mom Tri experience first-hand;
they will receive a voucher for a complimentary stay, with a dinner for two
and a bottle of wine, at Mom Tri’s Boathouse and a spa treatment for two at
Mom Tri’s Villa Royale.
Winners will also receive an autographed Jake Needham novel and the winning
entries of Part 1 and Part 2 will be published in the Greater Phuket
Magazine and posted on Mom Tri’s Boathouse website www.boathousephuket.com
For more information and contest rules, contact: Contact: Lisa Sol - PR
Manager - Mom Tri’s Boathouse, Kata Beach Phuket Tel: 66-76-330015 Fax:
66-76-330561, email@example.com www.boathousephuket.com
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