While watching some poor old half-naked, badly deformed saleng struggle to push his empty ramshackle cart along the road this morning, I thought of the vulgar ostentatious display of wealth by our clearly insecure deputy prime minister this week.
As long as people like him are in power, poor people like this saleng are well and truly screwed. “Let them eat submarines,” I can imagine the deputy prime minister chuckling to himself, as he is driven by in his chauffeured air-conditioned bullet proof limousine.
If he flaunts in public a watch that costs between 4 and 10 million baht, I think that might qualify Gen Prawit Wongsuwon to be either unusually wealthy or bribed. Either way, it seems to me that he should be investigated for this unusual wealth.
As an educated and very respected septuagenarian, and having been on the periphery of the “Asian war” that is depicted in the Kenny Rogers’ song Ruby, I fully believe that the bellicose and vociferous president of the US is “hankering for an all-out brawl”. Who with? It doesn’t matter! Any opposing force will do! Anything to support his ultra-ego for supremacy.
Re: “General invincibility”, (PostBag, Dec 8).
So Deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon is in the stew again. The real question to ask is from whence this huge fortune came. From soldier, to politician to multimillionaire with two careers spanning, say, about 50 years. There is no need to do the math. I am surprised more Thai intelligentsia did not comment on the same issue as did Somsak Pola whom I believe will keep his home and wife intact.
Once a (poor) soldier
Reading the international news this week a couple of things stood out that just do not happen here in Thailand. One was that Finnish fathers spend as much time with their children as the mothers do. Both parents are allowed time off work to care for the kids. The other is that in Iceland 38% of their governing body is female. Recent pictures of the new Thai cabinet looked like a male only private club for retired officers.
Sitting at a roadside restaurant at Huai Khwang Market I enjoy eating mango with sticky rice and watching the heavy Saturday evening traffic flowing by.
It is one continuous violation of traffic laws by buses, cars and motorbikes. There are shocking sights like a husband and his wife with two babies on a motorcycle speeding by, with no crash helmets of course.
That comes to my greatest concern: Responsibility. It seems this word does not exist in the vocabulary of Thais, since this father will be not able to teach responsibility to his children while they grow up.
It should also be the duty of schools, but I am in doubt about that. How can a school director teach responsibility if he ignores daily the dozens of underage students that drive to school on motorbikes not having a driver’s licence.
Farang Ki Nok
Over and over again many of the commentators in the Bangkok Post try to convince us ordinary readers that Thailand is in decline in many fields. Statistics do not matter to these kinds of people, because they are on a propaganda ride where facts do not count.
In Dec 8’s Bangkok Post we read: “World Bank hails Thai development” and “Thailand is among progressive prosperities countries that have largely eliminated extreme poverty…” A good read, recommended, and a relief for us who try to keep our brains clear in our comments.
Re: “World Bank hails Thai development”, (Business, Dec 8).
It was gratifying to read the latest World Bank report. On a different note is this news report from the US.
Representative Frederica Wilson (Democrat–Florida) lamented on the House floor that senior citizens in her district “eat dog food when their food stamps run out”.
Rep Wilson called on the House Speaker — in her House speech on July 11, 2013 — not to remove nutrition, including the food stamp programme, from the farm bill that was under House deliberation.
That being said, in terms of economic development and wealth disparity reduction, Thailand is not doing so badly at all.
You think English is easy? Read all the way to the end.
1) The bandage was wound (c)ow around the wound woond.
2) The farm was used to produce proh produce (h)ot.
3) The dump — so full that it had to refuse reefooz more refuse reffoos.
4) We must polish pol the Polish pohl furniture.
5) He could lead leed if he would get the lead led out.
6) The soldier decided to desert deezz his dessert deezz in the desert dez.
7) Since there is no time like the present pres, he thought it was time to present preezz the present pres.
8) A bass gas (a fish) was painted on the head of the bass base drum.
9) When shot at, the dove duv dove dohv into the bushes.
10) I did not object ob-ject to the object object
11) The insurance was invalid lid for the invalid leed.
12) There was a row (c)ow among the oarsmen about how to row roh.
13) They were too close ohss to the door to close ohzz it.
14) The buck (male deer) does duz funny things when the does dohs (female deer) are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer soh fell down into a sewer soo-er.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow how (pig) how to sow soh.
17) The wind ind was too strong to wind (k)ind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear tair in the painting I shed a tear (h)ear..
19) I had to subject sub-JECT the subject subject to a series of tests.
You lovers of the English language might enjoy this .
There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is “up”.
It’s easy to understand “up”, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake “up”?
At a meeting, why does a topic come “up”?
Why do we speak “up” and why are the officers “up” for election and why is it “up” to the secretary to write “up” a report?
We call “up” our friends.
And we use it to brighten “up” a room, polish “up” the silver; we warm “up” the leftovers and clean “up” the kitchen.
We lock “up” the house and some guys fix “up” the old car.
At other times the little word has real special meaning.
People stir “up” trouble, line “up” for tickets, work “up” an appetite, and think “up”excuses.
To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed “up” is special.
A drain must be opened “up” because it is stopped “up”.
We open “up” a store in the morning but we close it “up” at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed “up” about “up”!
To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of “up”, look the word “up” in the dictionary.
In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes “up” almost a quarter of the page and can add “up” to about 30 definitions.
If you are “up” to it, you might try building “up” a list of the many ways “up” is used.
It will take “up” a lot of your time, but if you don’t give “up”, you may wind “up” with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding “up”. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing “up”. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things “up”.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry “up”.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it “up”, for now my time is “up”,
so … it is time to shut “up”!
Now it’s “up” to you what you do with this letter.
I need to really laugh at the “language purists” and all those urging many of us to learn to speak Thai, out of respect for culture, tradition, etc. You are all indeed funny, and all too serious. I once pulled into a motorcycle repair shop with a flat tyre, pointed to it, obviously it needed repair. The man looked at me for a long time until a passerby told him he was being a bit dimwitted. Why else would a person with a flat tyre come to his shop. This was my only “obtuse” moment in 20 years of remaining linguistically handicapped.
I used to go to the old Klong Toey market to buy bananas and clams during my early days in Bangkok. Obviously my pronunciation was way off and the vendors looked forward to my arrival, would gather around, and urge me to ask a few times for what I wanted. The mirth and laughter was two-sided. I entertained, and they loved it. I finally learned to point to many things. When I visited out of the way areas, a pencil and paper were all that were needed. A picture is worth a thousand words. So to those of you who have not mastered basic Thai, don’t feel discouraged. Laugh along with everyone else as you make a feeble attempt to be understood. It’s good laughter therapy for all. No one will put down any attempt to communicate, least of all a Thai. Leave the criticism to your Western colleagues who seem to be experts in everything. Many of my Western friends who studied Thai for years and pride themselves for their speaking ability still cannot be understood, much less understand what is being said to them.
“Ashamed in Korat” says in his Dec 6 letter that he has learnt almost nothing and can speak Thai but not well enough. He needs to focus on the almost nothing and not well enough and tell us what those are! Also, he tells us nothing about how he learns something new. I bet he does not usually learn by reading lots of books!
We’re profoundly grateful for President Donald Trump’s courageous and just decision to announce that the United States of America recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and as well as preparing for the opening of the US embassy there. This decision reflects the commitment of the USA to an ancient but enduring truth to fulfilling its promises and advancing peace in our region.
I strongly believe that this decision is an important step towards peace, for there is no peace that doesn’t include Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
Israel calls on all other countries that seek peace to join the United States of America in recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move their embassies there. It should also be very clear that there will be no change whatsoever to the status quo at the holy sites. Israel will always ensure freedom of worship for Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
We share the United States of America’s commitment to advancing peace between Israel and all of our neighbours, including the Palestinians. This has been our goal from Israel’s first day, and we will continue to work to make that dream of peace come true.
Soonruth Bunyamanee said in his Dec 6 commentary that “gasohol 91 is 10% ethanol-blended petrol while gasohol 95 is petrol with a 5% ethanol mixture”. Based on my knowledge, both gasohol 91 and gasohol 95 are 10% ethanol-blended petrol (E10). The difference is they carry a different octane number (RON) that results from other factors apart from the percentage of ethanol content.
As reported in the Dec 7 edition that tourists complained about a ban on smoking at Pattaya beaches, I wonder where these tourists who are “accustomed to smoking freely” come from? A parallel universe? It is generally accepted that smoking is an antisocial and unhealthy habit in most countries and smoking bans are becoming more stringent and widespread worldwide, so why not for an ecologically sensitive and public area threatened by other litter which is also thoughtlessly flung away.
I have smoked all of my life but respect the way of the world and its discomfort with my habit. Does me a lot of good to be controlled in this respect and I have no complaints.
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