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To Thine Own Self be True

  • Written by Grumpy
  • August 17th, 2006
  • 4 min read


Send the backpackers packing -: Deputy PM

Deputy PM Korn in PHUKET TOWN: – Backpackers should be discouraged from visiting Phuket because they bring problems such as drugs, Deputy Prime Minister Korn Dabbaransi has told local officials.”

Phuket Airport needed to be lengthened so that Boeing 747s could land on it.“

Did I read this correctly? Did he really say this?

It begs belief that such a man would insult his bread & butter customers so. Did he wai whilst he was doing it and thus keep the legendary Thai reputation for politeness?

Has he taken leave of his senses?

There are surely 5 million + backpackers & sex tourists (also no longer welcome) visiting LOS these days, its bread & butter income. Must be worth in the order of $10 billion PA, possibly more.

Where is Thailand going to earn its money?

Is it really a tiger economy like Singapore, South Korea, or (very soon) my adopted country of Vietnam? Can it possibly compete with the industrial might of China or India?

I think not.

Sign above a New York computer company. “Either Lead, Follow or get out of the way!”

Surely an appropriate epigram for a “go go go” society.

Backed up, needless to say with initiative, commitment, industry, diligence & above all else a willingness to challenge authority (to get things fixed).

Which of these attributes befits the good citizens of LOS?

Some friends of mine rue the day they moved a fly fishing factory to Chiang Mai ten years ago. There has ensued ten long years of constant trauma, daily truancy, lateness, incompetence & refusal to accept responsibility.

Why, in Chiang Mai, did my shiny new bicycle shed two pedals, have brake rubbers fall off & get four punctures in its first week? Why did my new aquarium break its glass four times in two weeks, followed by two pumps & a filter?

Why did my female students constantly complain of being unable to afford fuel, threaten to sell their cars & demand to be air hostesses without making the effort to learn the language that would give them at least a token chance?

Why did I meet an enraged German tourist whose ticket to Jordan was blithely ignored while the airline staff sold his seat in front of his nose?

Ditto. Why, when I tried to visit Pai, did the bus station refuse to sell me a ticket for hours whilst others arrived & got on the bus before me?

Why, when I went into an empty swimming pool did an enraged car park attendant force me to store my bicycle in a “proper location?“ Why then did another attendant deny me admission, unable to change my 100 baht note?

As Statler & Waldorf Salad once wrote, famously: Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks French, the businessmen Singaporean, the playmates Thai, and it is all organised by the Swiss. Hell is when the chefs are British, the businessmen French, the playmates Swiss, the police Singaporean, and it is all organised by the Thais.” Quite so.

Thailand is not an industrial country, never will be. Its people completely lack an industrial mentality.

Where are these rich new holidaymakers coming from to fill up these intercontinental jumbos? The USA or Europe? Hardly – it’s too far away & Thailand can’t hold a candle to the beauty of Hawaii or the magic of the Greek Islands.

Thanksin & Co are dreaming, living in a fool’s paradise, completely oblivious to the reality of Thailand’s situation.

“To thine own self be true.” – Macbeth

Thailand just has to be one of the world’s great holiday spots for backpackers. Sex tourists too. A great place for retired folks of limited means. It’s a party country, living off the fat of the land. Its people irresistibly exotic, polite & charming. Its food, arts & crafts are exceptional.

THEY TEACH US INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS TO ENJOY LIFE, God bless ‘em.

It’s cheap, well worth youngsters with a taste for adventure taking an intercontinental trip to.

As for the nightlife crackdown, I for one, find gogo, ping pong & dart games gross & offensive, surely demeaning to the dignity of Thai girls. I don’t like the thought of sharing a bar with my fellow British lager louts either, so some kind of rein in was needed. But the current crackdown is way over the top.

I for one, love to see girls dancing “au naturelle”. To me it’s beautiful, not at all demeaning, just a matter of taste I agree but I doubt that I’m alone. Do they really think that Western men will undertake intercontinental travel just to watch starfish lollop around in bikinis? As for me, I’m not prepared even to cross the street to see such an event.

Thailand is not about to become an Asian telecoms giant, not about to become a banking capital, not about to be a manufacturing centre, not about to be a transport hub, not about to invent some method of fuel efficient transport, not about to be a software centre.

It’s a low cost party country, full of fun loving, charming people, remorselessly being bent out of shape.

I fear for their future.

Stickman's thoughts:

As a high school teacher, I fear that things will not necessarily change in the future…