Chiang Mai logic
Re: "Chiang Mai installs 5 more air monitors", (BP, April 3).
Over the past week, lots of local logic has crossed my path while in Chiang Mai.
Firstly, I was bitten by a dog. Said the owner, a house painter: "The lady pays for it. I work here for her." Said I: "But it is your dog, right?"
"Wonderful" local logic, like always. He also could have said: "The pedestrian over there pays for it -- because he just passed by." The main thing is, one immediately has to find another culprit. In person one is never responsible.
Second came a songthaew driver who demanded 100 baht for the trip. "There is a traffic jam," he said. I replied: "Let's see." And without a moment of standstill, except in front of a traffic light, we reached the destination. I said: "No traffic jam, right?" "But sometimes there is," he responded and hastily rushed off. My payment was like an insurance premium: If there's a traffic jam, I'm on the safe side. If not, the money's gone anyway.
This is all topped off by the news that Chiang Mai is now getting five more air-monitoring stations across the province. At first, it seems to be very good news, since there are obviously not enough of these stations. But will this be the end of it? Will we only end up with more precise data on the pollution front? Will the evaluators of this data only be able to tell us how well the instruments can track the deterioration of the air?
I fear, from the place of local logic, it will be like this. I do not see any concrete and urgent plan of action, which is long overdue. I read about how northerners have the lowest lifespan in the country and double the national average for lung cancer. Five new air-monitoring stations. Well, thanks to those who are involved. But now, please wake up and make sure that these stations will, as time goes by, monitor constantly improving air quality. Should that not be the ultimate goal?
Vexed by Thailand Post
I visited the post office about 500 metres from my house and was frustrated by a new rule -- all customers wanting to post their mail must show their ID cards, or in my case, their passport. I did not feel like returning home for my passport, so I asked the girl who is my neighbour to post my airmail envelope, the size of A4 paper, for me.
I want Thailand Post to give the reason for this impractical rule.
Also, I want to know if the government has any regulations to prohibit business operators from demanding customer ID without a good reason. Otherwise, we may soon need to show our ID when buying a pack of instant noodles at convenience stores or taking a leak at public toilets.
'Fun' facts on Russia
As I walked through the Chulalongkorn University campus Wednesday afternoon, I was excited to see a Chula Russian Week announcement. But my excitement faded when I saw their display of Crimea as a travel highlight of Russia. Crimea is Ukrainian territory occupied by Russia!
Resolution 68/262 was adopted on March 27, 2014 by the 68th session of the UN General Assembly in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea and entitled, "Territorial integrity of Ukraine". Thailand supports this resolution.
Then, I looked at their "Fun Facts" at the Russia display. And while I can laugh at the fact that Russia is a nation of drunkards, I couldn't figure out what's so funny about 8,400 Russian nuclear warheads? Kind of a sick sense of humour.
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