Only Thailand overcharges
Opinion > Postbag- +
Re: "No discount for farang", (PostBag, April 13).
Pierre Petitkilo asked why non-Thais had to pay more than Thais for the same buffet at Pattaya Park Tower's revolving restaurant. That difference comes from the common perception that non-Thais are wealthier than Thais. However, the 2016 gross national income/year of non-Thais varies from Burundi's US$280 to Norway's $82,390 (source: the World Bank), so to charge by GNI level is most impractical to apply fairly.
Charging tourists more than Thais commonly causes resentment among foreigners that they are being taken for suckers, deterring repeat visits. Also, foreign students have no income, but are tomorrow's leaders -- and Thailand would want them to think well of us.
Almost every ot her country I've been to charges the same for foreigners as for nationals for the same services, and that fosters a feeling of fairness. I've never been to another country where the policy is to charge based on nationality -- and see no reason why Thailand should be the first. Posting lower prices for Thais fools nobody, and if you're ashamed to post them in English, you shouldn't be having them to begin with.
On the other hand, fees for residents for tax-supported venues can be lower than for non-residents.
Slap on wrist doesn't work
Re: "Road toll puts damper on water throwing fun", (BP, April 14).
Year in, year out, same, same old news. The police confiscate vehicles belonging to drunk drivers and return them after the holiday. How about not only confiscating, but never returning the vehicles, and a revocation and total, lifetime of the driver's l icence? The slap on the wrist, band-aid solutions are laughable.
I have been happily driving in Thailand for over 20 years. During this time I have come to some conclusions.
First, that Thai drivers learn how to control a vehicle but not how to drive it. By drive I mean knowing stopping distance and not being too close to the vehicle in front. Adjusting one's driving in relation to road conditions, weather and traffic density. Being in the correct lane to make a turn at least 1km in advance, obeying traffic signs and legal requirements etc.
Secondly, it appears that Thais only respond to information from a teacher and they are not apparently taught that there are other sources of information. For example, in my condo the lifts display the customary information but on intermediate floors many Thais have no idea whether the lift is going up or down. With the information staring the m in the face they resort to asking someone.
So it is on the roads with their excellent signs on the verges and the road surface itself, including rumble strips and coloured surfaces. All this information is simply not "seen" and thus not used.
We are told that most Songkran accidents are due to speeding and drink driving. Could it be that these drivers have no clue as to what speed they are going and no idea of the current speed limit or the concept that speed kills? Is it that drunk drivers cannot comprehend that being inebriated does not relate to safe driving?
Syria and the new cold war
Re: "Suspected Syria chemical attack: What we know", (BP, April 13).
It is quite understandable that Western governments want to prevent Syrian forces from using banned chemical weapons in Syria. However, neither a knee-jerk reaction nor a military confrontation are good solutions. T he world cannot afford for Russia and America to get into a direct clash with each other. The consequences are as disastrous as they are obvious.
America is in now locked in a second Cold War with Russia which neither a military strike nor a proxy war can resolve. If America really wants to win Cold War 2.0, then it has to do something that it really does not want to do: Increase political diversity in its best universities.
Russia and America got into a new Cold War because they have the same problem: a lack of skilled academic reformists in their universities and, ergo, their governments. Both Russian and American culture fail to provide incentives for lateral-thinking academics and, indeed, often oppress their admittance to university life.
Instead, lateral-thinking academics emigrate to other countries such as China and, yes, Thailand. Emigration not only represents a tremendous loss in human capital for the host country, but it also means that the countr y is forced to solve problems with the very same academics who often created them. That's the zero-sum game that sparks a Cold War.
President Putin cannot be defeated by bombs. This battle must be won at the tip of a pen; not a sword.
Jason Alan Jellison
This is the season for microbursts, one of nature's most dangerous and destructive types of storms. Hot weather causes warm moist air to rise rapidly, and as it does the water vapour it carries condenses, cooling the air very rapidly. Condensed water in the form of rain and/or hail falls along with the cool heavier air in a vertical column at speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour. When it reaches the ground it spreads out reaching speeds of up to 140kph.
Microbursts can appear in minutes and together with lightning, hail, torrential rain and flooding they can be deadly and extremely destructive.
Thai citizens should re ceive public service videos from the Meteorological Department explaining dangerous weather and what to do when encountering it at this time of year.
Raised on a diet of cruelty
Re: "The circle of life", (PostBag, April 12).
I agree with Michael Setter that there are times when killing animals can be morally justified. But I can't think of a better example of needless animal cruelty than what we do to the animals raised for food. I'm not saying that everyone has to be a vegan. But if we want to be more humane in our treatment of animals we should give careful consideration to the dietary choices we make.
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