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Another TV rant
UK occult powers
Becoming the whinging POMS they once mocked
Perfect because of its imperfections
Cross Bay Swim support
Another TV rant
I enjoyed Hyde Parke’s True Vision rant last week, but
was sorry that he didn’t take a swipe at my own particular bete noire, Star
After True Vision’s unexplained dropping of BBC
Entertainment last year, we were left with Star World for light
entertainment. Not too bad at first; we had Seinfeld, Friends, Two and a
Half Men, all long in the tooth of course, but intelligent and amusing
enough for second and even third viewing. Then we had Letterman at 10 p.m.,
later relegated to 8 a.m. and subsequently dropped.
What do we have now? Endless Next Top Models from...
everywhere! Repeat after turgid repeat of American Idol and other ‘talent’
I understand that True Vision are not responsible for
Star World content but does anyone ever sit and look at the mindless pap
that they are foisting on us? If there is an audience surely they should be
in bed long before the ‘watershed’.
I keep coughing up, mainly for the sport channels, but
there are bars to cater for any sporting interest so maybe I should cancel
my subscription and get out more.
UK occult powers
I assume that when your evidently short-sighted
correspondent who chooses only to sign himself as “UK Pensioner” refers to a
letter from “Ron” Maynard he is actually making a point about my own which
you kindly published on 3 September.
“UK Pensioner” dismisses me as a purveyor of “nonsense...
illogical, contradictory, unfeeling rubbish... [and] Goebbels-like
propaganda”. He further suggests that, while I lack even a “mosquito brain”,
I do possess “occult powers”.
Let me once again make three simple points.
Firstly, those making pension contributions while in work
are not actually paying into and building up some mythical personal “pot”
that they themselves will be able to call upon in their retirement. What
they are really doing is paying for the pensioners of their own time - and
they will subsequently, during their own retirement, be relying on the
contributions being paid by those still in work. That is why, as the
proportion of those in work to those of pensionable age steadily decreases,
we face a looming pension crisis.
Secondly, UK pensions are specifically raised from time
to time so as to help pensioners in the UK face increases in costs that are
specific to them. Thus, pension increases are based on UK data, primarily
the national rate of inflation. Expats in Thailand or elsewhere are not
having to face increases in the cost of the UK TV licence, rising UK gas
prices or whatever, and so should not have money that has been specifically
factored in to pay for those things doled out to them.
Thirdly and on a more practical level, “UK Pensioner” is
living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks that we who continue to live in the
UK and are facing unprecedented cuts in all aspects of our daily lives will
feel much - or any - sympathy with his plight when we have our own to
May I therefore suggest that “UK Pensioner” might benefit
from acquiring a few “occult powers” of his own.
Becoming the whinging POMS they once mocked
Don’t we have to wonder at the mentality of some expats?
Always there are those who decided to leave their homeland for one reason or
another. In their autumn or winter years, they then have nothing better to
do than cherry-pick this or that aspect of life from here or there and use
their ripe weapon to beat-up on their newly adopted home. Even some Aussies
here do it, having become the whinging POMS they once mocked.
I have just returned from my annual U.K. visit and usual
3 months summer in Cyprus. While I am away I generally forget about Pattaya
and concentrate on where I am. In some ways it makes no difference as ‘expat
syndrome’ is everywhere. What is expat syndrome you might ask? Log onto one
of the many Cyprus blog sites or Cypriot English language newspapers and you
will soon see that although the place is very different to Thailand in local
culture, the expat culture is more or less identical. ‘Peeves’ and ‘rants’
are about scallywag locals taking advantage, TV, dual pricing, parking,
rubbish, noise, crime and lack of law enforcement, etc., etc. All these
things are also complained of back home.
Those who keep on about why people will not come here
should note that Cyprus has far more things that could be improved than
Thailand does, yet the Brit expat population is near the half-million mark -
ten times that in Thailand. It also has a booming Russian tourist trade and
growing expat population. One sometimes gets the idea that native English
speakers believe we are the only tourists that exist.
Perhaps expat syndrome sufferers should adopt interest in
personal progress, proceeding on the basis that it is extremely rude and
pretentious to tell other people how to do their jobs in their own land. A
question I ask is why, when time remaining is valuable and change is
unlikely before the expiry date arrives, moanalots do not seek somewhere
they will be happier. Is the answer that no such place exists?
I have to say I agree with Malone. These Beach Rd.
markets that utterly block the beach and sea view are nothing but
irritating. Just when one thinks Beach Rd. could not become any more crowded
than it already is, they cram something else into the few spare millimeters
of land left.
Everything in Pattaya is crowded, why jam more stuff into
any already over-crowded space? If the sidewalks, and Beach Road itself were
both 3 times as wide, then it might start to make sense, but they are what
they are...tiny. Open space is something (western tourists at least)
appreciate far more than one giant open market.
of its imperfections
In a previous issue there was a mock-up photo of the
proposed sky train. Contained within the letters section was a letter
entitled “Clean the Streets”, which called for the equivalent of a complete
make over for the city.
Am I the only one who understands what the charm of
Pattaya is? Or at least use to be.
When I first came to Pattaya fifteen years ago I
immediately liked it, but was not certain why. It took a few years before I
began to understand why. It was a typical Thai town set on the water. No
buildings over four stories, wires all over the buildings, broken sidewalks
and nothing painted. In other words, it was the antithesis of every small,
medium and large city in the Western world. No strip malls with xerox
corporate logos, no monster malls with spotless decor, and best of all, a
minimum of cement. In short, it was different from my plush, spotless,
pristine asylum back in Los Angeles. In other words, it was real and created
by the people who lived here.
Now you see monster malls which you can find in any other
city in most of the world, rather than the makeshift tented shopping areas
we used to shop in. People are proposing subway or skyway systems where we
can be herded about in speed and comfort as opposed to the fun and
aggravation of catching a baht bus and being able to watch what is going on
in the streets while we are travelling.
Pierre, the author of “Clean the Streets”, wants to get
rid of the cute little girls standing outside of bars and scrub the spot
they were standing on. He wants the wires gone, the broken sidewalks gone
and any other trace of what the city represented. He wants Paris, New York,
London and Bangkok in place of what this city was and to some degree still
I could suggest that Pierre and all of his cohorts who
are still suffering from their centuries old colonist spirit go home, but
they wouldn’t anyway, so what’s the point?
I use to travel frequently to Honolulu, Hawaii on
business years ago. I was also there back in 1951, when there was only a
half a dozen large hotels and nothing over six stories and I couldn’t
believe how it had changed over thirty years. On one of my trips I
distinctly remember standing at sunset on the huge cement gathering area of
the hotel and watching the evening ritual from the old days where the
Hawaiians re-enact a service honoring the setting of the sun. I couldn’t
help but watch the tourists watching the service rather than watching the
service. They were all quite touched by the Hawaiian kid, in traditional
Hawaiian garb, standing on a second floor, cement balcony and blowing a horn
made from a large sea shell. I would guess that one was supposed to try and
imagine that the balcony was the side of a volcano, but I didn’t seem to be
able to conjure up that image. I also couldn’t help but consider that King
Kamehameha must have been turning over in his grave if he was watching this
spectacle. But the suckers were buying it and after Pattaya no longer looks
like a Thai city, they will probably buy that also. Where they use to watch
Thais dancing traditional Thai dances at a Thai style restaurant on Second
Road, they will be watching them in the alcove of the latest mall; “Cement
I would imagine that my projected scenario will play
itself out no matter what I say because foreigners visiting the city don’t
know what they have discovered, and city officials and business leaders are
basically greedy, so things always change. But it sure would be nice if all
of the people who come here, don’t understand why they like it, and then set
about trying to perfect it, would at least consider what I am saying and
cease their calling for change to what is already basically perfect. You
see, what was perfect about it was its imperfections.
Cross Bay Swim support
IDear Friends at Pattaya Mail Media;
We at the Rotary Club of Jomtien-Pattaya wish to extend
our sincere thanks once again to the management and staff at Pattaya Mail
Media for your generous support for our upcoming 7th Cross Bay Swim
event to be held on November 7th. It is very gratifying to know that we can
always count on your support and assistance to make this event a successful
fund raiser for our “Children’s Fund” which provides clean drinking water
for rural schools and other humanitarian help to enable our children in
Thailand to achieve their dreams.
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